Communication on Progress

Communication on Progress (CoP) Report - 2016-17

This Report on Communication of Progress (COP) represents our assessment and perspective on the manner in which the principles of Global Compact have been taken forward in our organisation through various initiatives. The accompanying statements attempt to capture the achievements vis-a-vis the principles pursuant to the actions taken during the past, including the year under report, in brief. For more details, please contact the Corporate Communications Department at the Company's Head Office or by Email: corpcomm@balmerlawrie.com

Principles Relating to Human Rights

Principle # 1 & 2 : Support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights / Not be complicit in human right abuses

Balmer Lawrie remains committed to uphold and strives to further the cause of human rights in all aspects of its business and ensures that neither the Company nor any of its business partners indulge in any human rights violation or are complicit in any human rights abuse in any manner. The various actions taken and the status are as under:

  • The Company has constituted Committees at Corporate and Regional levels to prevent any possible Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace and to ensure that the employees are able to work in a positive atmosphere free from physical or psychological threat, abuse or sexual harassment. The committee meets periodically to identify and address issues, if any, that are of concern.
  • The Company does not, as a matter of principle, deal with any party with history of human rights abuse.
  • The Company consciously works towards the development of the society at large and provides financial support for community development projects. These include programmes aimed at ameliorating the problems of the socially and economically downtrodden and the weaker sections of the society and improve their social & economic status.
  • All legal and statutory obligations towards employees, shareholders, clients, customers, associates and the society at large are complied with. Periodic audits are undertaken and reports on compliance are submitted to the Board of the Company. Action Taken Reports (ATR) against Non-Compliance Reports (NCRs) are also reported to and reviewed by the Board.
  • The Company has duly constituted Internal Committees (as per the Prevention of sexual harassment of women at workplace Act) at the Corporate Office and Regional Offices, which can be approached by women employees in case of harassment.

Principles Relating to Labour

As reported in the previous COPs, Balmer Lawrie recognizes and respects the dignity of labour and strives to ensure that there is total freedom of association and no discrimination whatsoever in matters of employment. The company provides safe and healthy working conditions, pays competitive wages much above the minimum levels and at times best in the industry/region that it operates in, and provides the best of health care and other welfare facilities to its employees. In all matters pertaining to labour, it follows conventions adopted by the International Labour Organisation. Further, it abides by all regulatory provisions governing the employment in the organisation and strives to enhance the quality of work-life of its employees. To be more specific, the present status, including the actions taken, is detailed in the ensuing paragraphs.

Principle # 3 : Uphold the freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining

  • The Company strongly believes in and supports the employees right to association. As of now, there are 6 Unions and 2 Associations representing different sections of employees in the Company.
  • Settlements on terms and conditions of service of unionized employees are arrived at through the process of collective bargaining. All the commitments made to the collective are implemented in letter and spirit.
  • Negotiations to conclude long term settlements, where due, are progressing satisfactorily and it is our expectation that the new wage settlements would be signed in due course.
  • The Company continues to follow the policy of non-discrimination of bargaining agents based on political affiliation or any other extraneous considerations.

Principle # 4 : Elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour

  • Employment in the Company is on free volition of the employees. No form of forced or bonded labour exists or is allowed.
  • Employees are free to terminate the contract of employment by giving notice as stipulated in their appointment letters.
  • All forms of employment are governed by Letters of Appointment / Engagement and are subject to acceptance by the prospective employees.

Principle # 5 : Abolition of Child Labour

  • The Company policy does not permit employment of any person below the age of 18, directly or through contractor, in any of its businesses. To ensure this, the age of all candidates for employment is verified at the time of recruitment and recruitment rules ban employment of persons below 18 years.
  • It does not buy goods/products from agencies that use child labour.

Principle # 6 : No Discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

  • The Company does not practice any form of discrimination or bias in matters related to hiring of employees, their career planning, training and development, promotion, transfers, or on remuneration and perquisites. All sections of employees, including women, are given equal opportunities and the Human Resource Policy is to advance the cause of meritocracy and foster development of employees including learning and growth.
  • The Company does not practice any discrimination, in matters relating to recruitment, compensation, promotion, training on the basis of religion, caste, region, political affiliation or sex, excepting positive discrimination in hiring of employees to give effect to constitutional guarantees for socially backward / underprivileged groups like SC / ST / OBC / Minorities / Persons with Disability.
  • In all recruitments where there are candidates from SC/ST/Minority communities, the Selection Committee has a member from the said community to ensure that the interest of these communities are safeguarded.

Principles Relating to Environment

Principle # 7: Environmental Protection

The Company gives highest priority to protect the environment. Towards this end, precautionary measures have been put in place with regard to treatment/discharge of effluents conforming to the standards laid down by the regulatory authorities in all its Plants and Manufacturing Facilities.

  • The plants of SBU: Greases & Lubricants at Kolkata, Silvassa and Chennai have developed and segregated the hazardous storage area from the non-hazardous storage area for better waste management.
  • The Silvassa plant of SBU: Industrial Packaging developed a separate area for storage of both hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste.
  • SBU: Industrial Packaging has implemented rain water harvesting at its state-of-the-art barrel manufacturing plant at Taloja, Navi Mumbai and does proper maintenance to ensure that the ground water level is maintained.
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Rain water harvesting unit at IP, Navi Mumbai.

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Separator hazardous waste storage area for Ip, Silvassa

Principle # 8: Promoting greater environmental responsibility

  • The online ambient air and water monitoring system was commissioned at the Company's Leather Chemicals Business Unit at Chennai to ensure that air quality and water quality is as per the prescribed norms of EP Act 1986.
  • Balmer Lawrie has installed 300 KWp of solar plants in 2016-17. A 100 KWp of roof top plant has been installed at the Industrial Packaging plant at Asaoti and a  200 KWp of solar plant has been fixed at the Manali complex in Chennai.
  • The CFS unit at Mumbai achieved zero discharge of sewage effluent. All the effluent are treated in-house and are reused in toilets, vehicle washing and gardening.
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100 KWp solar plant at IP Asaoti

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200 KWp solar plant at Manali Complex

Principle #9: Development and diffusion of environmental friendly technologies

  • The Company has continued its efforts at technological up-gradations in its manufacturing processes to ensure that adverse impact of our operations on the environment are minimized.
  • The company has installed and maintained a Zero Liquid Discharge Plant (ZLDP) for the units at Manali Complex, Chennai. In order to minimize the load of the effluent load on the ZLDP, our Leather Chemicals Business Unit is working on projects related to reusing and recycling of liquid hazardous waste. 
  • Energy efficient welding machines have been installed at our Industrial Packaging units at Taloja, Asaoti and Silvassa in the recent past.
  • Paints with lower volatile organic compounds (VOC), have been introduced in our Industrial Packaging units and state of the art technology has been adopted in the paint booth at IP - Navi Mumbai to minimize VOC emission in the air.
  • Our Industrial Packaging plant in Navi Mumbai is a zero discharge plant. No water is being consumed in the process for degreasing.
  • Our R&D team continuously works to identify raw materials, processes and technologies, which will have minimum impact on the environment. The Application Research Laboratory of the Company has made significant progress in developing a number of biodegradable lubricants like hydraulic fluids, gear oils for high temperature applications for enclosed and open gear boxes, engine oils for 4 stroke gasoline engines etc. Continuous trainings are being imparted to our workforce on the latest developments in the lubricant industry

Principles Relating to Ethics & Transparency

Principle # 10: Elimination of corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery

  • Transparent policies and systems have been put in place to ensure ethical behaviour of Balmer Lawrie employees, and we expect our employees to behave in conformity with these principles. As a matter of policy, the Company regularly interacts with clients, customers and associates to get their views/suggestions.
  • Issues relating to corruption, dishonesty or unethical behaviour are looked down upon and any instance of such nature is dealt with expeditiously for corrective and preventive action, including disciplinary action against erring employees. There is a vigilance department in the company to deal with such matters in an organized & systematic manner.
  • Balmer Lawrie has institutionalized its "Fraud Prevention Policy". The policy provides for detection, reporting and prevention of fraud, whether committed or suspected. This has been done in pursuance of the Company's motto to nurture a culture of zero tolerance for fraud or fraudulent conduct.
  • Balmer Lawrie has also institutionalised the "Whistle Blower Policy" to develop a culture where it is safe for all employees to raise concerns about any irregular, undesirable or unacceptable practice and any event or incident of misconduct.
  • In order to ensure greater transparency in respect of all procurement actions through tendering, all tenders are now hosted on Company's website. Further, it was decided by the Company in December 2012 that all procurements above Rs 5 lakhs need to be carried out through the e-procurement mode.
  • A Handbook on "Public Procurement" was published by the Vigilance Department in the month of April 2013, with the aim of assisting all Executives in understanding the procurement of process well.
  • The company has a practice of conducting internal and external audits by experts.
  • All the employees have been advised to take integrity pledge released by the central Vigilance Commission.

Sustainability Efforts

HSE: In pursuance of the leadership’s advocacy for the institutionalization of a proactive HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) culture in the organization, a full-fledged HSE department was set up at the Corporate Office. Various initiatives are taken for continuous improvement. Some of them are regular HSE audits at all units across all SBUs, trainings / workshops on HSE, Sustainable Development and CSR for employees and other stakeholders, General Planned Inspections at different units on a daily basis etc. The HSE Manual for standardization of safe working practices was developed and has been uploaded on the Corporate website.

In 2016-17 Company has organised training programs on Behaviour Based Safety for the Operational Managers and Electrical Safety for the Engineers. We have also carried out Electrical Safety audit for all the manufacturing plants in 2016-17.

World Environment Day was observed with much fervour at various units/establishments of the Company on 5th June 2016. An online quiz on Environment was organised on an all India basis. Saplings were planted in various units and establishments as part of our green effort.

The 46th National Safety Week was observed from 4th to 10th March 2017 in all units/establishments across locations. The week commenced on 4th March, observed as National Safety Day, with the administering of the safety pledge and reading out of C&MD's message. In line with the theme, various programs were organized over the week. The programs included extempore, quiz, skit, spot the hazard contest, safety slogan & essay writing and poster competitions.

Balmer Lawrie for the first time achieved Zero LTI [Lost Time Injury] for 365 days i.e. from 18th August 2015 to 18th August 2016, in all the manufacturing and service businesses.

Environmental Sustainability: Environmental Sustainability aligned to business is the need of the hour and towards this a long term Sustainability Development Plan was developed for the Company in association with E&Y. In the year 2016-17 our Company installed a total capacity of 300 KWp of Solar Power plants. A 100 KWp of roof top plant has been installed at the Industrial packaging unit at Asaoti and 200 KWp of solar plant has been set up at the Manali complex in Chennai. Our Industrial Packaging unit at Asaoti is now certified in ISO 14001 : 2015.

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Last updated on : 24/08/2017
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