Communication on Progress of Balmer Lawrie

Communication on Progress (CoP) Report – 2020-21

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-à-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 Corporate Office or send an email to 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 the Regional offices, which can be approached 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 meet 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 programs aimed at ameliorating the problems of the socially and economically downtrodden and the weaker sections of the society and improve their social and 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 (ATRs) 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

  • The Company strongly believes in and supports the employees’ right to association. As of now, there are 6 Unions and 1 Association 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.
  • In the previous COPs it was reported that Balmer Lawrie Workmen’s Union signed the Long Term Settlement (LTS) 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 LTS 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 LTS of LI, Mumbai was signed on 6th July 2017 in Mumbai, the LTS of the Establishments in Chennai and Bangalore was signed on 23rd April 2018 and the LTS of Establishments in Delhi was signed on 11th September 2018.
The Long-Term Settlement being signed at Mumbai on 31st March 2021

The Long-Term Settlement being signed at Mumbai on 31st March 2021

 
  • The Long-Term Settlement with Union representing unionized staff of Travel & Vacations - Mumbai, Logistics Services - Andheri and Mumbai General was signed by the Union and Committee members concerned of the Company and was duly endorsed by the Dy. Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), Mumbai on 31st March 2021, in resolution of the Union charter of demands regarding pay and benefits etc.
  • 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 also 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 is 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 minimise water consumption. LED lights and energy efficient machines are installed in the plants and establishments to minimise our carbon footprint.

  • Industrial Packaging (IP) - Manali installed 500 ltr / day RO plant for its degreasing unit thus, reducing usage of fresh water.
  • IP - Manali has been using poly bag for drum packing instead of corrugated paper, which is more environmentally friendly.
OWS Unit at Greases & Lubricants - Silvassa

OWS Unit at Greases & Lubricants - Silvassa

 
  • Greases & Lubricants (G&L) - Silvassa installed an Oil Water Separator (OWS) unit (6KL / Hr) during the year.

Principle # 8: Promoting greater environmental responsibility

  • Container Freight Station (CFS) - Navi Mumbai installed four additional water meters to measure the use of Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) water.
  • CFS - Kolkata replaced the conventional HPSV floodlights of all the seven High Mast Lighting Towers with LED lights thus, saving electrical energy.
  • IP - Navi Mumbai, CFS - Kolkata and CFS - Navi Mumbai installed occupancy sensors in some rooms of the office building thus, saving electrical energy.
  • G&L - Manali, IP - Navi Mumbai, IP – Chittoor and IP - Manali replaced some conventional light fittings with LED light fittings thus, saving electrical energy.
  • G&L - Silvassa became zero waste water discharge plant.
  • G&L - Kolkata has been using Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) treated water for filling up Fire Water Tank as well as for gardening purpose.
  • IP - Silvassa recycles discharge water of ETP in its manufacturing process and also uses it for gardening purpose
  • CFS - Kolkata, CFS - Navi Mumbai, CFS - Chennai, Temperature Controlled Warehouse (TCW) - Rai, TCW - Patalganga, G&L - Kolkata, G&L - Manali, IP - Asaoti, IP - Vadodara, IP - Chittoor, IP - Navi Mumbai and other establishments across India planted large number of trees during the last financial year (2020-21). This creation of green cover aims to reduce the overall carbon footprint.
50 KWp Solar Power Plant installed at G&L, Silvassa

50 KWp Solar Power Plant installed at G&L, Silvassa

50 KWp Solar Power Plant installed at IP, Silvassa

50 KWp Solar Power Plant installed at IP, Silvassa

 
  • The Company has till date installed solar plants with a total capacity of 626 KWp in seven different sites at Asaoti, Navi Mumbai, Chennai, Patalganga, Rai and Silvassa (two locations). Out of this, in the current financial year, 50 KWp solar power plant has been commissioned at IP - Silvassa and another 50 KWp solar power plant has been commissioned at G&L - Silvassa. This helps Balmer Lawrie to offset approximately 950 tons of carbon dioxide per year from its manufacturing and cold chain operations.
  • G&L - Manali, IP - Silvassa and many plants of the Company installed atomizer tap controller thus, reducing water consumption of the plants significantly.
  • Rain water harvesting is done at TCW - Patalganga, IP - Navi Mumbai, Chemicals – Manali and IP - Chittoor.

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 Balmer Lawrie’s operations in the environment are minimised.
  • G&L - Manali installed oil float sensors and LDO float sensors in the storage tank to prevent spillage of oil and subsequent land contamination.
Auto Welder installed at IP, Asaoti

Auto Welder installed at IP, Asaoti

 
  • IP - Asaoti installed 3 phase auto welding machine replacing the old 2 phase welding machine, which has helped in reducing power consumption from 400A to 72A.
  • IP - Vadodara installed VOC material extraction system at the paint booth thus, reducing environmental pollution.
  • IP - Vadodara also installed Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) at its production line thus saving electrical energy.
Plastic AC Door curtain and Hatch Door at TCW, Rai

Plastic AC Door curtain and Hatch Door at TCW, Rai

 
  • At TCW - Rai, Plastic AC Door curtain and Hatch Door installed at the Ante Room reduced air conditioning leakage and reduction in electrical energy usage.
  • TCW - Hyderabad has been using new wrapping technology thus, reducing usage of stretch film by 40%.
Solvent Extraction System at IP, Asaoti

Solvent Extraction System at IP, Asaoti

 
  • IP - Asaoti installed Solvent Extraction System thus, reducing hazardous waste and also solvent input in the process.
  • IP - Manali installed 35 CFM Compressor for lacquer lid lacquering line, which runs during lunch time instead of the main compressor of 350 CFM thus, reducing electrical energy usage.
  • Chemicals - Manali closed earlier old solar evaporation ponds for effluent treatment system and started state-of-the-art Zero Liquid Discharge plant. This gave some relief in terms of handling the effluents but resulted in higher operating cost and higher generation of solid wastes. The R&D team after due study improved the reaction efficiency from 55% to 85% by modifying kettle type reaction system to series reaction system. With the increase in reaction efficiency, the unreacted gas emanating from the reaction reduced, resulting in lesser alkali consumption and lesser effluent generation. The R&D, EHS and production teams worked together and further developed a method to eradicate the effluent generation completely from the sulphochlorination process. With the newly developed process, there is no effluent generation from the primary reaction. Earlier for producing one sulphochlorinated product, the process used to generate two types of effluents. One was acidic and the other alkali. Now, the acidic effluent is converted to usable product, cleaning chemicals and alkali effluent is converted to saleable leather chemical product. Another advantage of this new process is that the liquid product that is generated from this reaction is feed for another plant (syntan plant), resulting in overall higher plant capacity utilization. Today, scrubbers and effluent handling equipment are being used for producing products. We can rightly say that we are generatng wealth out of waste.
  • 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 (ARL) of SBU: Greases & Lubricants has made significant progress in developing a number of biodegradable lubricants and environment friendly tribological solutions. 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 employees are expected 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 organised and systematic manner. The Vigilance department proactively works along with the Businesses / Functions to enhance transparency and good governance in the organisation.
  • Balmer Lawrie has institutionalised 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, Government e-Marketplace and the Public Procurement Portal. Further, it was decided by the Company 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, 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.
  • Purchases are being made on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal and procurement of approximately Rs. 11.3 crore has been done during the financial year 2020-21.

Sustainabiliy Efforts

HSE: The full-fledged Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) Department institutionalises a proactive HSE culture in the organisation. Balmer Lawrie published its Sustainability Report and Business Responsibility Report for the year 2019-20 and it has been uploaded on the Company’s website. 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.

World Environment Day was observed with much fervour at various units / establishments of the Company on 5th June 2020. 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 50th National Safety Week was observed from 4th to 10th March 2021 in all units / establishments across the country. The week commenced on 4th March, observed as National Safety Day, with the administering of the safety pledge and reading out of message of Director [HR & CA] and C&MD [Additional Charge]. In line with the theme, various programs were organized over the week. The programs included extempore, quiz, spot the hazard contest, mock drills, safety slogan and essay writing competitions.

Environmental Sustainability: Environmental Sustainability aligned to business is the need of the hour and towards this, a long-term Sustainability Development Plan was created for the Company in association with E&Y. Balmer Lawrie published the Sustainability Report on triple bottomline for the year 2019-20. Industrial Packaging, Asaoti participated in the India Green Manufacturing Challenge organised by International Research Institute for Manufacturing in March 2021 and Balmer Lawrie was categorised as a Silver standard company for its green initiatives.

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Last updated on : 23/04/2021
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