Tata Group’s Journey on the path of sustainability

Tata sustainability

Global warming has hit the world hard and recovery from this disaster demands ubiquitous, consistent, and sustainable solutions. The industrial sector is one of the major contributors to GHG emissions and bears a heavy load of carbon footprints directly as well as indirectly. It is rightly said to be the toughest sector to decarbonise. Especially the heavy industries that are responsible for 40% of total emissions. Not to mention the high energy footprints. Massive efforts are underway to achieve decarbonisation. Carbon capture, storage, and utilisation (CCSU) is by far the most convenient of the options for the decarbonisation of heavy industries. The government has various policies and rules in place to keep industrial emissions in check, however, decarbonisation requires collaborative efforts by both the governments as well as the industrial players. Indian industrial giants are indeed trying to help the nation achieve its nationally determined goals and TATA industries is one of the forerunners. 

The TATA group of industries

Established in 1868 by Jamsetji Tata, TATA industries form an important part of the Indian industrial sector. It is the biggest multinational conglomerate with active services in 150 countries. From steel to chemical, automobile to electronics, hotel to real estate, air travel to communication, and much more, TATA group has many industries under its flagship. They believe in bringing about development and progress at the economic as well as social levels while preserving nature. Their sustainability policy is about creating long-term stakeholder value by integrating economical, social as well as environmental aspects. They aim at incorporating sustainability in all key processes, mitigating climate risk, and providing more opportunities. They have adopted modern digital technologies such as blockchain, metaverse, artificial intelligence, and IoT to help with climate and energy crises. Here are some steps taken by the TATA group to help change the course of climate change.

Sustainable practices at Tata Steel

Tata Steel is one of the leading producers of steel globally. With worsening climatic conditions and the global energy crisis, the company is taking efforts to make the process of steel making more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Although financially challenging, the company is trying to implement the production of green steel. Tata Steel is set to achieve low emission goals by 2030. The company has prioritised the UN sustainable development goals and is promoting water conservation and a circular economy. The company has created artificial sources of water for industrial use to cut down the use of groundwater as much as possible. To emphasise and implement the circular economy (reduce, reuse, and recycle), the company has developed an app, FerroHaat to source steel scrap. The company is using advanced technology equipment to achieve energy efficiency. Digitalisation is another facet of the company that is a big help in the conservation of trees and reducing carbon footprints. The company is aiming for a 30% reduction in its CO2/ GHG emissions by 2030. 

E-mobility ecosystem by Tata Motors

Tata Motors, an automobile giant has also leaped forward in the sustainability journey. The company has successfully ventured into the field of e-mobility. The sustainability approach is based on three pillars of planet resilience; driving net zero, pioneering circular economy, and preserving nature and biodiversity, in addition to its social and governance focus. The company has successfully launched E-vehicles  and is also exploring the realms of hydrogen fuel cell technology and hydrogen internal combustion engine technology. The company has launched a project ‘UniEverse’ intending to provide an appropriate ecosystem for the smooth adoption of electronic vehicles. They are also working on providing a charging ecosystem for electric vehicles. Along with this, the company is using low-carbon and eco-friendly materials for the process of production. It is a collaborative project involving many players such as Tata Chemicals, Tata digital, Tata motor finance, TCS, etc. 

Tata Power for affordable renewable energy

Tata Power is at the centre of the generation of clean, green, and sustainable energy and significantly reducing GHG emissions. The company has climate-centric practices and policies to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Tata Power provides a variety of services such as Solarroof, EZ Charge, EZ Home, etc. The Tata power solar facility in Bengaluru is employing advanced technologies to build photovoltaic cells. The aim is to increase the energy capture efficiency of the cells while bringing down the production cost thus making it affordable for all. At present, the company has successfully established a network of around 3,600 public/ semi-public charging stations and 23,500 private charging stations. As per their new programme named Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the aim is to have 25,000 charging points spread across 450 cities by the next five years. 

Nature Conservation projects 

Sustainability has been the key ingredient in the formation and shaping of the Tata industries. The group has been actively involved in plantation drives, habitat restoration, and biodiversity conservation. Here is a small glance at countless efforts by the group.

  1. In the year 1960, Tata Motors (Pune) established a wetland Habitat in the industrial area of the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporation. The lake has excellent aquatic biodiversity, it is home to many species of birds (local as well as migratory) and has rich and diverse flora. 
  2. Tata industries established a biodiversity park at Mithapur, Gujarat in 2004 for the conservation of local biodiversity. The park spreads over an area of 150 acres of land. The park houses many endemic species that have been listed as endangered. 
  3. The various fractions of the Tata group have been involved in the protection and conservation of endangered species in the wild such as the Olive Ridley Sea turtles, Golden Mahseer, Whale Shark, Great Indian Hornbill, and Red Panda. 
  4. To protect the natural carbon sinks, Tata Power has launched a ‘Gardens of green’ programmer in the Mulshi and Maval regions of India’s Western Ghats near Pune.  In the past 30 years, the company has been instrumental in the plantation of 18 million saplings in the area around the Walwhan dam and hydroelectric plant. The initiative has helped in the protection of the local flora and fauna.

Project Aalingana

On the pretext of worsening climatic conditions and energy crisis and to accelerate its sustainability journey the group launched the project ‘Aalingana’ two years ago. Aalingana’ is a Sanskrit word that means embrace. The project is aimed at achieving a greener, cleaner, more sustainable, and equitable future for the planet. It envisions Tata Group’s aspiration of net zero by 2045. The project acts as a binding/ commitment by the group towards decarbonisation, providing sustainable services and choices, zero-emission mobility, sustainable energy production, providing climate finance, promotion of nature-based solutions, protecting forests, and conservation of biodiversity. 

By Amruta Joshi

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