To celebrate World Environment Day, 5th June 2012, Vedanta’s Hindustan Zinc has taken the initiative to plant 100,000 saplings at its business locations in Rajasthan. All the units of Hindustan Zinc will participate in this drive and Rampura Agucha, world’s largest zinc producing mine, alone has started plantation of 70,000 saplings from today. Hindustan Zinc already houses more than 12 lakh plantation, in and around its business locations.
The drive started with plantation of neem, seesam, ashoka and palm trees at Bhilwara District in Rajasthan. The District Collector, Mr. Onkar Singh while inaugurating the drive welcomed Hindustan Zinc’s initiative and efforts to plant and monitor 100,000 saplings. He named this as a unique initiative which will become a benchmark for other corporates to follow. In order to further strengthen the drive, the District Collector, Bhilwara offered to make available wasteland for the company to incorporate in their plantation drive and monitor the plantation.
Hindustan Zinc’s plantation drive aligns with the flagship project of the Rajasthan State Government’s "Green Rajasthan", where in Chief Minister Rajasthan had asked all the people and corporates to plant trees at various locations.
The collector congratulated the company for this commendable initiative and requested the people to join this campaign to bring desired results. It is a matter of pride for all of us to have a world class mine in the district which has also positioned the name of Rajasthan on the world metal and mining map, he added.
Mr. Akhilesh Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of Hindustan Zinc also emphasized the need for collective responsibility while achieving such milestones. He said, that this plantation drive is being undertaken under extreme temperature i.e. 45 degrees just to ensure the world that ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. We would take extra care to ensure that these plants survive and develop to become healthy trees.
On the offer made by the District Collector to plant saplings on the wasteland provided by the government, Mr. Joshi happily agreed and requested the District Collector to expedite the process and Hindustan Zinc is ready to not only plant the samplings but also maintain them.
Mr. Joshi also said that mining and agriculture sector are the essentials for the development and prosperity of any economy. Both are not only inter-related but also inter-dependent. You cannot run either without another. He said that the company believes in integrating sustainability in all the aspects of business.
On this occasion the District Forest Officer, Mr. L.N Ranawat emphasized on the need of ‘Green Economy’. While talking about the availability of land in Rajasthan for plantation purpose, he said, any State should have about 33% of forest cover but Rajasthan has a forest cover area of just 7%. To enhance the greenery in the state we should utilize all the available areas including that of wastelands, areas around roads and the area inside the housing facility and business locations. If we have scarcity of forest land we should approach non-forest land for creating green cover as being done by Vedanta’s Hindustan Zinc. He said the company’s initiative should send a strong signal to all the corporates towards their concern for green environment in India.
Mr. Sunil Duggal, Executive Director of Hindustan Zinc believed in making a mining area worth visiting tourists. He emphasized that the people need to see mining with a different sight. Mr. Duggal informed that Hindustan Zinc is not just celebrating World Environment Day but a Week, just to give this message to the world that environment drives are to be undertaken throughout the year and not limited to just one or two days.
Hindustan Zinc has been one of the largest contributors in terms of protecting and conserving the environment. Company’s plants have been set-up on most environment friendly technologies that allows the plants to operate on `zero discharge’ and these units are now heading towards `zero waste’. The companies has persistent focus on minimal impact on environment, re-cycle & re-use practices, and is conserving bio-diversity in and around its operating units.
Head Corporate Communication, Pavan Kaushik informed that "the employees play an important role in maintaining highest standards of corporate governance. Several energy conservation projects, identified by our own employees, are undertaken resulting in substantial energy conservation."
The company has been a key initiator in adopting clean green technology. Very few people know that Hindustan Zinc produces about 25 MW of power just through the waste heat recovery process. As a part of green energy initiatives the company is also one of the largest producers of wind power - 275 MW in India, which is registered under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is entitled for carbon credits. Hindustan Zinc practice the `4-R Policy’ – Reduce, Recycle, Reuse and Reclaim. The company has a dedicated effluent treatment plant at all smelters. The Reverse Osmosis Plant installed at the units result in a constant decrease in consumption of fresh water. In further promotion of conservation of environment, Company's laboratory located at Udaipur has been able to develop use of slag and fly ash in cement manufacturing. This has resulted in efficient use of waste that is generated from production of zinc and captive power generation respectively.
Also present on the occasion were Mr. Hari Ram Meena, SDM Gulabpura, Mr. Avinash Kuldeep, Mining Engineer Bhilwara, Mr. H.K.Mehta, Sr. Vice President (HR) HZL Mr.L.S Shekhawat – Location Head RAM-HZL, Mr. Bhag Chand, President Union President – RAM and Mr. Pavan Kaushik, Head – Corporate Communication, HZL.
Rajasthan Govt. (Bhilwara District) will provide land for HZL to extend plantation drive