Communication on Progress of Balmer Lawrie

Communication on Progress (CoP) Report - 2017-18

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 duly constituted Internal Committees(as per the Prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace Act) at the Corporate Office and te Regional office, which can be aproached by women employees in case of any harassment. The Internal Committees hold quarterly review meetings.
  • The Company has constituted committees to ensure that the employees are able to work in a positive atmosphere free from physical or psychological threat, abuse or sexual harassment. The committees 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.

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

BLWU members along with the Management during the signing of LTS Draft

BLWU members along with the Management during the signing of LTS Draft

BLEU, CCDC members with the Management during the signing of LTS

BLEU, CCDC members with the Management during the signing of LTS

Signing of the LTS at LI, Mumbai

Signing of the LTS at LI, Mumbai

  • 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.
  • Balmer Lawrie Workmen’s Union signed the Long Term Settlement with the Management of the Company on 14th November, 2017 towards their Pay Revision effective 01st January, 2014 for a period of 5 years
  • Balmer Lawrie Employee’s Union, CCDC signed the Long Term Settlement with the Management of the Company on 23rd October, 2017 towards their pay revision effective 01st April, 2014 for a period of 5 years.
  • The Long Term Settlement of LI, Mumbai was signed on 6th July 2017 at the Labour Commissioner's Office in Mumbai.
  • 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 storage, collection and disposal of hazardous wastes. Recycling of water is being done in various plants to minimize water consumption. LED lights and energy efficient machines are installed in our plants and establishments to minimize our carbon footprint.

  • SBU: Greases & Lubricants (G&L) developed a mechanism of segregation and collection of hazardous and non-hazardous waste in its plant at Silvassa.
  • SBU: Industrial Packaging (IP) also demarcated separate areas for storage of hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste in its manufacturing unit at Asaoti.
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Segregated waste collecting bins at G&L, Silvassa

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Separate hazardous waste storage area at IP, Asaoti

Principle # 8: Promoting greater environmental responsibility

  • Asbestos roof sheets were replaced with pre-coated galvanized iron roof sheets at IP, Silvassa thereby improving the work environment
  • The Company has till date installed solar plants with a total capacity of 460 KWp in three different manufacturing sites at Asaoti, Navi Mumbai and Chennai. This helps us to offset 700 tons of carbon dioxide per year from our manufacturing operations.
  • A water recycling system was installed in the Leather Chemicals plant at Chennai and IP plant at Silvassa to reuse the process water thereby reducing water consumption in various processes.
  • Air compressors were installed at IP, Silvassa with acoustic enclosures which ensure dampening of noise and minimize noise pollution in the surroundings.
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Pre-coated GI sheet replacing asbestos

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Acoustic enclosure of air compressor

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 in the environment are minimized.
  • The Company has installed and maintained a Zero Liquid Discharge Plant (ZLDP) for the manufacturing units at Manali Complex, Chennai. The plant has also done a successful trial run of reusing and recycling liquid hazardous waste.
  • SBU: G&L has developed unique esters for producing biodegradable lubricants for some important segments.
  • IP, Chittoor has adopted IGBT technology in their welding machines, which helped to reduce energy consumption by 50% and enhance load balance to all the three phases of the power system. Energy efficient welding machines have been installed in our IP units at Taloja, Asaoti and Silvassa in the recent past.
  • Our IP plant in Navi Mumbai is a zero discharge plant. It uses special steel to eliminate the process of degreasing.
  • Formaldehyde content has been reduced by 1% in our synthetic tanning products manufactured at the Leather Chemicals plant in Chennai to make them more environment friendly.
  • 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 development 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 institutionalized 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 April 2013, with the aim of assisting all Executives in understanding the procurement process well.
  • The Company has a practice of conducting internal and external audits by experts.
  • All the employees have been advised to take the 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. Balmer Lawrie for the first time published its Sustainability Report and Business Responsibility Report for the year 2016-17 and it has been uploaded on the Company’s website. This year the HSE Progressive Disciplinary policy was also rolled out. Corporate HSE carried out HSE audits in all units across all SBUs, conducted trainings / workshops on Behaviour Based Safety, Process Safety, Sustainable Development and CSR for employees and other stakeholders, and General Planned Inspections at different units on a daily basis. In 2017-18 our Company organised training on HSE Legal requirements, Process Safety and Behaviour Based Safety for the operational managers. We have also carried out Process Safety Audit was carried out for the temperature controlled warehouse in Hyderabad in 2016-17.

World Environment Day was observed with much fervour at various units/establishments of the Company on 5th June 2017. 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 47th National Safety Week was observed from 4th to 10th March 2018 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, mock drills, safety slogan & essay writing and poster competitions.

Balmer Lawrie for the first time achieved Zero LTI [Lost Time Injury] for 365 days in the last financial year that is from 1st April 2017 till 31st March 2018.

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. Balmer Lawrie for the first time published the Sustainability Report on triple bottom line for the year 2016-17. Our Industrial Packaging plants at Asaoti, Silvassa and Navi Mumbai are now qualified TfS [Together for Sustainability] units.

Corporate Social Responsibility Click here

Last updated on : 18/07/2018
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