Message of Continued Support to Global Compact
Year 2020 was an extremely challenging year for all of us owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic and today, even after a year a passed by, we are still grappling with the disease and the associated unprecedented challenges. All 195 sovereign countries recognised by the UN are affected by this virus, and barring a few tiny islands in the pacific, the coronavirus is everywhere. With more than 3 million deaths and more than 150 million cases, we are nowhere near the end of the COVID-19 crisis. Scientists have been warning us that, historically the second wave tends to be more dangerous in a pandemic, and unfortunately in India, we seem to be heading towards such a catastrophe. Great thinkers of our times like Bruno Latour, Charles Eisenstein, Hartmut Rosa etc. are of the opinion that COVID-19 is a rare opportunity for the world to fix its broken economic and business systems and chart out a new future. WHO, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are recommending that Governments across the globe make long term plans and invest into building more resilient and sustainable societies and restore health, economies and societies together. The newest McKinsey Global Survey signals greater optimism about the economy and corporate prospects; however, it continues to view the pandemic as the biggest risk to growth in the global economy.
As a diverse organisation with presence in both the manufacturing and services sectors, coping with the challenges posed by the pandemic was even more difficult for us. As a Company, we have been resilient and we have been putting in that extra effort and going that extra mile to ensure safety of our employees and business continuity at every juncture. Our Communication of Progress (COP) report for the year 2020-21 is a summary of our efforts and achievements in furthering our sustainability objectives which are seamlessly integrated with our overall business goals. We focused on our triple bottomline and took forward various activities as part of the Start-up Fund, CSR and HSE initiatives. Encouraged by our success in nurturing innovative ideas and ensuring that the ideas gets translated into successful businesses, we launched Round 2 of the Startup Fund program. An MOU was signed between Balmer Lawrie and IIM Calcutta Innovation Park for taking forward the Round 2 Startup Fund Program on 24th February 2021.
During the year, we undertook some significant CSR and HSE initiatives across the country focusing on the prevention of COVID-19. We successfully published the Business Responsibility Report [BRR] and Sustainability Report for one more year. Our Industrial Packaging plant at 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. Our Temperature Controlled Warehouse (TCW) at Rai, Haryana won the Cold Chain Award for outstanding performance in the category “Best Practices in Cold Storage” given away by Confederation of Indian Industry in February 2021. TCW, Hyderabad contributed to the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive as the sole storage and logistics partner of Bharat Biotech for Covaxin. We appreciate the fact that in these tough times special focus on our sustainability roadmap is needed to not only safeguard the interests of all our stakeholders but also continue to create long-term value for all of them. We stand committed!
Adika Ratna Sekhar
Director [HR & CA] and C&MD [Additional Charge]