Kolkata, April 6 In line with a commitment made last year, ITC has gone beyond its goal of Plastic Neutrality in 2021-22, by following an integrated solid waste management programme that incorporates multidimensional initiatives.
Under the programme, the company has collected and sustainably managed more than 54,000 tonnes of plastic waste across 35 states and union territories. The amount of plastic waste managed exceeded the amount of plastic packaging utilised by the company during the year, enabling it to achieve the milestone of Plastic Neutrality, the company said in a press statement.
ITC has been running a holistic 360-degree solid waste management programme for over a decade now that isbased on the principles of a circular economy and encompasses the entire waste value chain.
The milestone is yet another reflection of ITC’s commitment to augmenting environmental and social capital, in line with Chairman Sanjiv Puri’s Sustainability 2.0 Vision that calls for inclusive strategies that can support even more livelihoods and pursue newer pathways to fight climate change.
The company has achieved this milestone by scaling up its portfolio of holistic initiatives focused on in-house innovation, robust waste management programmes centred around source segregation and sustainable business practices with mass impact.
“Over the decades, ITC has made industry leading efforts in end-to-end waste management. Through a large-scale and integrated solid waste management programme, it has moved beyond plastic neutrality this year. In addition, the company is also using cutting-edge innovations to develop sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging for the industry. The effort to move beyond plastic neutrality and sustainable management of waste will continue apace in the years ahead as part of our Sustainability 2.0 agenda,” Sanjiv Rangrass, Group Head, ITC Life Sciences & Technology, Central Projects, EHS & Quality Assurance, ITC, said in the statement.
ITC has adopted a multi-pronged approach to reduce plastic in the company’s operations, spanning fast-moving consumer goods, hotels, paperboards and packaging. This includes creating robust next-generation environment friendly packaging solutions, mega-scale waste collection programmes under its flagship waste management initiative ‘ITC WOW – Well-Being Out of Waste’ as well as focussed interventions in rural areas; a culture of plastic-free operations - in line with its philosophy of ‘Responsible Luxury to eliminate single-use plastic usage in ITC Hotels; and innovative models for sustainability, which has plastic reduction and management at their core.
Within its operations, ITC has been recycling more than 99 per cent of the waste for more than a decade.
ITC WOW, which enables the creation of a clean and green environment through community partnerships, has so far covered 18 million citizens across 46.7 lakh households in India. Currently operational in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hyderabad, and the major towns of Telangana, Coimbatore, Chennai, Tirupur, Kochi, Muzaffarpur, Delhi and several districts of Andhra Pradesh, the initiative has raised awareness in over 52 lakh school children and 2,000 corporates since its inception.
The initiative has also created sustainable livelihoods for over 16,900 waste collectors by facilitating an effective collection system in collaboration with municipal corporations.
In addition to WOW, a separate ITC programme on Solid Waste Management (SWM), which deals with both wet and dry waste, is also operational in 17 districts of nine states, covering 14.6 lakh households.
The company’s targeted waste management initiatives not only ensure that lesser waste goes into landfills, but also enables larger value recovery from waste, thereby, creating sustainable livelihoods for waste collectors, while creating additional income streams from collecting and sorting plastic waste.