ITC Kovai paper unit earns global recognition for water stewardship

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on November 06, 2019

ITC’s Kovai Paperboards factory in Tamil Nadu has earned the unique distinction of being the only facility in India to be awarded the Alliance for Water Stewardship Platinum-level certification – the highest recognition for water stewardship in the world.

The certification acknowledges ITC’s large-scale and impactful water management programmes benefitting millions.

Over the years, more than 385000 cubic metres of water harvesting potential has been created across the catchment, benefitting tens of thousands of farmers.

Adrian Sym, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) said, “For many years, ITC has been at the forefront of business engagement in water stewardship, understanding the need for business to contribute to the sustainability of the water catchments on which they depend. The AWS certification awarded to ITC’s Kovai paper mill provides deserved global recognition to ITC in the field of water stewardship.”

“This certification is indeed a source of encouragement to all at ITC and will inspire us to scale up our efforts to ensure water security to our stakeholders around our factories,” said Chitranjan Dar, Group Head of EHS, Projects and R&D, ITC Limited.

ITC Kovai is the first site in India and only the second in the world to be awarded this certification based on international benchmarks in water stewardship.

Impactful water management

ITC’s Paperboards factory in Kovai produces 103,000 tonnes per annum of recycled boards. The factory obtains water from a stream which is part of Upper Bhawani river basin, in Tamil Nadu. This area is under water stress due to erratic climatic conditions (inconsistent rainfall), excessive unplanned and unsustainable groundwater usage, water-intensive cropping pattern as well as a steep declining trend of the water table.

At the catchment level, ITC and World Wide Fund for Nature - WWF-India have been working towards a watershed management strategy using a multi-stakeholder approach in the Upper Bhawani basin, since 2015, benefitting nearly 149 villages and 14,000 rural households.

This involves both demand-side management, where ITC works with farmers across the catchment to improve irrigation efficiencies in agriculture as well as supply side management through creation of check dams, farm ponds and other water harvesting and recharge structures, strengthening of water governance in the catchment through the creation of water user groups etc.

Published on November 06, 2019

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