CSR has been an integral part of Tata group with a wide focus on varied socio-economic and environmental issues enabling the rural households to improve their lives.
The Tata group has undertaken several CSR projects through the years. companies and societies. It note worthy to mention here that there are more than 500 self-help groups currently operating under various poverty alleviation programmes; out of which over 200 are engaged in activities of income generation thorough micro enterprises. The group also supports social welfare organizations all over the country. Its healthcare projects include facilitation of child education, immunization and childcare, plantation activities, creation of awareness of AIDS etc.
A programme aiming at economic empowerment through improvised agriculture has been taken up in three backward tribal blocks in Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. It has hosted 12 Lifeline Expresses in association with the Ministry of Railways, Impact India Foundation and the Government of Jharkhand serving over 50,000 people. Pollution control, restoring ecological balance, education, employment generation, vocational training, agriculture etc. are other relevant issues addressed.
To read full case study click here
SOURCE: TATA GROUP
Sign at Kala Dera Plant. Image credit: India Resource CenterANN ARBOR—The idea of corporate social responsibility to manage common-pool resources such as water, forests and pastures is flawed, says a University of Michigan researcher.
Aneel Karnani, associate professor of strategy at the U-M Stephen M. Ross School of Business, says that when a common-pool resource is left without any enforced property rights, it results in degradation and destruction of the resource.
Karnani uses an in-depth case study to make his point—groundwater use by Coca-Cola Co. at its Kaladera plant in the state of Rajasthan in India. The groundwater level in Kaladera has dropped significantly from 9 to 39 meters below ground in the last 20 years.
The plant operates four bore wells that are 100 meters deep. In its early years of operation, the plant withdrew about 200,000 cubic meters of groundwater per year. In recent years, the company has reduced its water usage to about 100,000 cubic meters annually, or about 0.2 percent of total water extraction.
Even at current levels, however, Coca-Cola is one of the largest users of groundwater in the Kaladera area, Karnani says.
In 2008, the nonprofit Energy and Resources Institute conducted an independent audit of the cola manufacturer's Kaladera plant and outlined four alternatives to help conserve water—all rejected by the company.
Coca-Cola says the Kaladera plant's water consumption is minimal and has little impact on the local groundwater regime. It also says it has built rainwater harvesting structures around Kaladera that recharge the groundwater aquifers with 15 times the volume of the water extracted by the plant.
Karnani's research refutes those claims. "Moreover, according to the government policy the priorities for water use are drinking, agriculture, power generation and industrial, in that order," he said. "This would further reduce Coca-Cola's 'entitlement' of water."
He also mentions it is difficult to calculate the amount of rainwater harvested by Coca-Cola. The company showed him a recharge shaft that was in good shape, but he found no evidence to support the company's claim that it recharges 15 times the amount of water it withdraws.
"The company is behaving like most profit-maximizing firms," Karnani said. "It is just unrealistic to expect companies to help solve common-pool resource problems through voluntary corporate social responsibility.
"The ultimate solution is government regulation. Its greatest appeal is that it is binding. Government has the power to enforce regulation. Even with its faults, governments are a far more effective protector of the public good than any campaign for corporate social responsibility," Karnani said.
U-M Sustainability fosters a more sustainable world through collaborations across campus and beyond aimed at educating students, generating new knowledge, and minimizing our environmental footprint. Learn more at sustainability.umich.edu.