Giving back to society by offsetting or negating environmental, economic and social impact is an increasing priority for many businesses around the world.
In India, 70% of the plastic produced is discarded as waste, which has major repercussions for people, wildlife and the environment. Plastic produced today will take at least ten generations to biodegrade, so management of this hazardous waste is fast becoming a top priority.
India is home to some of the most innovative techniques for recycling plastics. An increasing number of Indian businesses are monetising waste and integrating environmental and social issues into their business strategies.
According to a recent study2 , India recycles 90% of its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) waste – a plastic used for manufacturing drinking water bottles and food containers. The Indian cricket team’s apparel, for example, is made from recycled PET bottles. Banyan Nation, a five-year-old plastics recycling start-up based in Hyderabad, is working with Tata Motors to recycle car bumpers and with the French cosmetics company L’Oréal to recycle shampoo bottles.
The company won the Dell People's Choice Award for Circular Economy Entrepreneur at the World Economic Forum in 2018.
On 5 June 2018 India hosted World Environment Day under the theme of ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, where communities from around the world gathered for the single largest annual celebration of the environment. India announced that single-use plastic would be eliminated in the country by 2022, setting new standards to purge plastic wastage and rescue the environment.
In 2014 India was one of the first countries to enforce the legal requirement that large and mid-sized companies devote 2% of their profits to social development projects.
With climate change, community health, education and development high on the agenda for many Indian businesses, sustainability reporting is gaining momentum as a way to showcase their sustainability plans and performance. Tata Motors is just one of the pioneers in this field and the majority of companies follow the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.
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