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ESG: Setting National & Global Ideals

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At STL, our vision of ‘Transforming Everyday Living by Delivering Smarter Networks’ guides our every action. It applies not only to our business, but also to how we work with communities to build a more inclusive future.

And this passion for creating shared value through proactive action on ESG reinforced through determination towards uplifting the communities has been recognized over the last three years. Aligned with national and global goals, our efforts have been awarded not only nationally, but internationally as well through over 40 awards, including 22 in 2020-21 alone!

Prioritizing Climate Action

In the rat race to mint profits, the planet usually takes the maximum brunt. At STL, we acknowledge our responsibility towards the ecosystem and hence, ESG is at the core of our every undertaking. Throughout our value chain, we focus on ensuring carbon neutrality, water positivity, zero waste to landfills and sustainable sourcing.

By collaborating with partners we constantly strive to evolve the way we conduct our business. We aim to deliver life-changing technologies and innovations, reduce our environmental footprint, engage and inspire our employees and drive inclusive growth and create sustainable business models that prople not just our progress, but also that of our partners and stakeholders.

Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWL) has been fundamental to how we drive the environment conservation and climate action agenda at STL. Initiated in 2018, the journey reached a significant milestone in 2020 with STL becoming the world’s first integrated optical fibre and cables manufacturer to receive ZWL certification for its Indian plants

The ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle’ strategy has helped us not only reduce waste generation at source, but also prioritize repurposing over recycling, reduce significant GHG emissions and divert over 135,000 MT of waste from landfills till date. Adopting reusable packaging, co-processing, by-product reuse, automating processes and bringing in several other efficiencies have also resulted in significant cost savings apart from the enormous environmental gains. Additionally, these best practises have also percolated into our value chain where waste buyers are guided on global standards to ensure responsible reuse and recycling of waste.

These ESG efforts led by STL’s leadership along with cross functional collaboration have ensured our consistent efforts are not just recognized in India, but also overseas.

Our waste management efforts were widely recognised globally with five prestigious awards, including the DuPont Safety & Sustainability Awards (APAC) – which recognises excellence in employee safety, operational excellence and green operations; the Rushlight Awards, UK- which promotes the development of clean technologies, innovation and sustainable solutions as well as others such as the Global WasteMet Awards, ACEF Asian Leaders Award and Golden Globe Tigers Awards. The Growcare India Awards and Apex Foundation Awards were two national awards we received for Sustainability as a whole.

Creating Shared Value

While responsible operations are important, we believe it’s also essential to ensure that communities we operate in progress along with us. In a country afflicted with poverty, gender inequality, inequitable access to healthcare and education, there is no ‘one mantra’ to eradicate these issues. Hence, STL has integrated its community outreach programmes as a part of organisation’s ethos to address national priorities as well as universal agendas (UN Sustainable Development Goals).

Through our CSR initiatives, we focus on four areas – Women Empowerment, Healthcare, Education and Environment Conservation. Our holistic approach targets the root cause of each issue to create a ripple effect and bring about sustainable transformation in communities impacting innumerable other developmental concerns.

In communities where women neatly fold their dreams and ambitions and keep them in locked cupboards, our Women Empowerment program, helps them find the key to become leaders and role models for the younger girls in their villages. Creating access to quality blended education is helping create sustainable growth and progressive communities capable of breaking societal shackles of poverty, inequality, unemployment and social taboos. Our hybrid AI-telehealth-onsite healthcare program aims to ensure equitable access to healthcare for India’s rural multitudes.  And finally, our environment conservation programs look to work with communities to reimagine, recreate and restore ecosystems through afforestation, biodiversity restoration; and build water resilient villages through water conservation, ground water recharge and waste water reuse. 

And while all these efforts were being driven more rigorously and remodelled to ensure social progress does not stall amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we also doubled our energy to provide relief to those affected by the virus. We were able to reach out to over 100,000+ people in 20 locations across the country including remote locations like Gadchiroli, Andaman and Lakshadweep among others.

Thus, by ensuring holistic approaches through collective action, we have been able to bring about sustainable behavioural change and transformation among marginalized communities. And these efforts were recognized by the Global CSR Awards for Gender Equality, as well as at two of India’s most prestigious awards – The Golden Peacock and CII-ITC Sustainability Awards for CSR Excellence.

Further, our approach on ‘Leveraging Partnerships for the Goals – SDG 17’ was recognized at the Mahatma Awards (India). And these are not all the forums our efforts and outreach was recognized at. Other wins during the year included the National CSR Leadership Awards, Greentech India CSR Awards and Apex India Foundation Award, CSR Health Impact Award, CSR Times Awards and the Growcare India Awards among several others.

Committed to ESG Excellence

The pandemic has totally redefined what ‘normal’ will look like hereafter. And hence, while our work and the recognition we received thereof has been good, we believe we need to continue reimagining how we operate and create meaningful social and environmental progress. Through partnerships and collective action and by leveraging tech, innovations and collaborations along with our expertise in connectivity and commitment to responsible operations, we hope to build a more inclusive, greener and better future, beyond tomorrow.

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