DCM Shriram Going beyond products and profit.

DCM Shriram Going beyond products and profit.

Today, DCM Shriram is known more for its high early strength and fast setting cement rather than its CSR activities. Nowadays, CSR initiatives have become an inevitable part of any business. Having goals and a vision for your company that go beyond products and profits definitely provides an image of your business that consumers and all stakeholders will be more eager to engage with. Ajay Shriram, Chairman Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram elaborates about the initiatives.

C SR can influence economic, environmental and social factors in various ways; there is no ´one size fits all´ approach. An effective CSR strategy must consider alignment with the organisation´s business strategy, commercial added value, and sustainability of impact.

Right from its inception, DCM Shriram is committed to society at large beyond its factory gates and office premises. The commitment stems from a sense of responsibility that recognises the importance of health and happiness of human beings in the long-term sustainability of any enterprise. This has translated into a mosaic of meaningful contributions to society across long-term development issues such as education, healthcare, HIV-AIDS prevention, family planning, cultural heritage and sports. This tradition of contribution to society has developed over the last 100 years. Some of their initiatives are:

Agriculture extension activities
DCM Shriram Krishi Vikas Kendras (SKVK) is a long term integrated rural development programme, which besides imparting scientific knowledge to farmers also addresses the needs of the local populace by adopting villages. The organisation also provides:
Help in farming technology, post harvest management, soil and water testing, etc.
Training to men & women in villages to create self-reliance for ladies.
Training on vocational subjects such as sewing, food preservation, candle making, etc., for farmers
Training to initiate subsidiary occupations such as compost making, fish farming, poultry farming, dairy farming, mushroom cultivation etc.
Basic health and hygiene facilities like holding human and animal health camps, and providing water tanks, hand pumps to supply potable water in schools, community places, etc.

For the well-being of the community at large around its manufacturing locations, DCM continues to support education activities with a special focus on protecting the future of the girl child. Further it has instituted scholarships in various educational institutions to encourage students to achieve the best in the fields of engineering, medicine, agriculture and management.

In Kota, a small city in Rajasthan, the company has instituted scholarship programmes that encourage students to pursue advance academic studies. Further, the infrastructure of a number of schools in the plants- viciniy has been strengthened through the introduction of basic facilities like safe drinking water, etc.

In Bharuch in Gujarat, the company has funded a degree college and has instituted a scholarship programme that touches several villages around its facility. In another scheme, students are awarded every year by way of ´fixed deposits´ that can be encashed after the student turns 18 or until the date of the students´ marriage/higher education.

Around the sugar facilities, the education initiative is aimed at strengthening the education delivery system in government primary schools of more than 25 identified priority villages. The interventions are in the form of infrastructure support, teaching support through volunteers drawn from employees and their families and facilitating training for the teaching staff. We have started a public school for students-in collaboration with Ryan International-in our sugar operations area.

Ecological balance
DCM understands the need of maintaining right ecological balance and has therefore planted trees in and around its facilities. Over 75,000 tree saplings have been planted at Bharuch, covering 33 per cent of the green belt over the last 10 years. Approximately 25 per cent of 47 hectares at Bharuch have been reserved as a green belt for eco-development, marked by increased tree planting. A continued focus helped the company achieve a tree survival rate of 95 per cent-over 460,000 in number-in the rocky terrain at Kota.

DCM has also partnered with the local community to build more than 50 km stretch of roads benefiting the entire region in and around its cane-growing areas. The organisation has also partnered with various factories in Bharuch for building up of effluent treatment plant for disposal of industrial effluents. The company understands the responsibility towards the society-in-general and as in past will take all necessary steps û monetary as well as non-monetary, to meet its social obligation.

Water management
DCM is countering the dearth of water in arid terrains near Kota, and has been able to mitigate this by the digging borewells, installing submersible pumps and constructing water storage tanks. Around DCM´s sugar mills, the company has helped in financing borewells and has programmes in place to improve the irrigation resources available to the farming community. This involves supplementing creation of borewells for the farmers, improvement in drainage systems through desilting of existing farmland drains, etc. The company has also facilitated supply of drinking water and animal feed to some of the drought hit villages of Rajasthan.

DCM uses water harvesting effectively across its manufacturing locations. DCM´s reservoir, which is spread over 50 acres at Kota, accommodates 4.5 lakh cm3 of water, which is enough to provide for 21 days of production. In water-starved Bharuch city, the company´s sound water collection and harvesting system holds 20,000 cm3 that is effectively deployed at its caustic soda plant.

Mid-day meal scheme
The company continues to partner with the Government of Rajasthan to support the state government´s Mid-day meal scheme for school children at Jhalawar and Kota districts of Rajasthan. The scheme benefits more than 17,000 children daily across 400 schools in and around Jhalawar and around 5,000 students daily across 50 schools in Kota. With the help of this programme, the attendance rates in schools have gone up and drop-out rate have decreased. This programme also provides employment opportunity to local women in the central kitchen and others in the distribution network. This initiative will go a long way towards sustaining the future of the society.

Health care
The company endeavours to improve the health of the community living around its manufacturing facilities.

The company has been organising health camps to create awareness on diseases such as AIDS, cancer, etc. It is our belief that the best hope to limit the spread of HIV-AIDS infection and its human and economic impact is through behaviour modification. Awareness is a powerful tool that has the potential to bring about attitudinal and behavioural change in individuals and society. As part of public-private partnership (PPP) efforts, DCM will put necessary resources to perform our social obligation in line with the National Aids Policy and carry forward mission of the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO).

Companies should be a driving force towards strengthening business-driven CSR activities. CSR makes it possible to combine innovation, productivity, and growth with social responsibility, sustainability and respect for human rights. By demonstrating responsible conduct, companies can generate business and at the same time can ensure their activities have a positive derivative effect on the surrounding society in terms of responsible growth. It is important to think about the dual objectives of making a CSR plan benefiting business and society and the range of potential benefits in each case. The focus of the business is now moving beyond avoiding risks or enhancing reputation and toward improving the core value creation of an organisation.

When it comes to CSR, there are no easy answers on what to do or how to do it. A company´s interactions and interdependencies with society are many and complex. However, it is clear that approaching CSR as a feel-good or quick-fix exercise runs the risk of missing huge opportunities for both the business and society.

DCM Shriram
DCM Shriram is a wet process cement plant based on calcium hydroxide sludge of sister calcium carbide plant, located in the same complex. DCM Shriram was commissioned in 1987 with the technical know-how from Lafarge Coppee Lavelin, France. Products (Shriram Nirman and Shriram Silver) of the plant are OPC-53 grade. Besides these products, trading of POP is also carried out by the company. The plant is certified with ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications for its effective quality, environment, and occupational health and safety management systems. It has also been awarded five star certificate by the British Safety Council for its effective safety systems. Installed capacity of SCW is 4 lakh tonne cement per annum.

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