Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, has embarked on its ambitious commitment to turn net water positive, by partnering with TÜV SÜD, a global leader in safety, security & sustainability solutions. Under this partnership, Vedanta Aluminium and TÜV will chart the roadmap for the company’s water positivity goal by working in the areas of baseline study, bolstering the accounting process for water consumption, capacity building for continual improvement and conservation, and implementing innovative solutions & initiatives for a sustainable water footprint. Water management is a crucial pillar in Vedanta Aluminium’s journey of Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) excellence for climate action, the company is committed to the Vedanta Group’s goal of net water positive operations by 2030.
Vedanta Aluminium’s water management endeavours are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 of Clean Water & Sanitation. A robust water management policy guides the company’s efforts towards minimizing its water footprint, while supporting the local communities in their water-related requirements and helping maintain the ecological balance. Each of the company’s business units have undertaken water-screening assessments, using the World Resource Institute (WRI) Aqueduct Tool to identify sensitive aquatic habitats, water availability and dependence on shared water sources. Basis this the company anticipates and evaluates the degree of potential environmental and social risks related to water and implements customised water management plans for each location.
Underscored by the governing principle of Zero Liquid Discharge, which ensures that all liquid is contained, processed and reused inside operations, Vedanta Aluminium follows a 4-pillared approach to sustainable water management, which includes:
Monitoring water usage: The company continuously monitors water intake and usage across operations, thereby identifying high-consumption areas and subsequently putting in measures to optimize water consumption in those areas.
Ensuring maximum water reutilization: Through state-of-the-art closed-loop recycling systems and Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP), augmented with Ultra-Filtration and Reverse Osmosis, the company is maximizing water reutilization and lowering freshwater intake.
Creating a positive footprint: On-site reservoirs and rainwater harvesting infrastructures have been created to increase quantum of water captured and ultimately replenish more water than is consumed by the company. 9 rainwater harvesting infrastructures were constructed in the last fiscal alone, having a combined water saving potential of 194 million litres.
Enabling communities’ access to water and climate-smart agriculture: Vedanta Aluminium is building and rejuvenating hundreds of community water infrastructures like ponds and percolation tanks to help communities get perennial access to water. The company is also helping local farming communities adopt drip-irrigation, solar-powered water pumps, rainwater harvesting, etc. to boost irrigation potential and reduce dependence on monsoons for cropping. Further, it is training them on growing climate-resilient crops for improving yield in the face of irregular climactic conditions.
As a result of these endeavours, in FY22, the company recycled 15 billion litres of water for inhouse consumption.
Speaking about the company’s partnership with TÜV SÜD, Mr Rahul Sharma, CEO – Vedanta Aluminium, said, “Our partnership with TÜV SÜD will give us access to their global advisory expertise for sustainable water management. There is immense pressure on global water resources, exacerbated by climate crisis. In this decisive decade, we intend to make significant strides towards our commitment to Net Water Positive operations. Our underlying objective is to ensure water security of our operations and our local communities’ access to good quality water, while helping maintain the ecological balance in the process.”
Mr. Bratin Roy, Senior Vice-President, Industrial Services, TÜV SÜD South Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa Region (ASMEA) said, “TÜV SÜD, is proud to bring its global expertise in sustainability solutions to accelerate Vedanta Aluminium’s journey to water positive operations. The company’s unequivocal commitment to excellence in ESG is matched by our passion to enable organizations to achieve their sustainability targets. With this partnership, we look forward to creating a sustainable water footprint that will benefit India’s largest aluminium producer, the local communities and the environment.”
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.26 million tonnes in FY22. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 4th in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2021 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.