With “Powering a Greener tomorrow” as its vision, Suzlon Group, the fifth largest wind turbine company globally, has mandated Suzlon Foundation, an autonomous body to ensure integration of sustainability across all its business operations.
Suzlon Foundation leads CSR, and is an integral part of business strategy. CSR is defined more like a “Responsible Business” practice rather than a charitable act. Currently, Suzlon Foundation through its CSR initiatives works across all business verticals and though predominantly India focused at present, it has plans to grow globally wherever Suzlon is present.
Suzlon Foundation (SF) works on the framework of five capitals – Financial, Natural, Social, Human and Physical. SF believes that these resources, which we call capitals, affect the business and are in turn affected by it. Hence, for overall sustainability, balanced growth of these five capitals is essential. This is the sustainability framework of CSR. All programs of SF are designed to enhance these capitals. Thus, livelihood programs enhance financial capital, natural resource management programs enhance natural capital, social institution building and empowerment programs enhance social capital, education and health initiatives enhance human capital and basic infrastructure improvement or civic amenities programs enhance physical capital. The programs not only contribute to sustainability but also to Millennium Development Goals declared by United Nations.
Transformative: Transformative programs are about transforming the business practices – to be more responsible and ethical. We work with business units to integrate sustainability perspective in the way business is conducted. This requires changing polices and mindsets and setting operating guidelines. The purpose is to treat the root causes and also to demonstrate that transformation is possible. Changing the way the land at wind farms is used so as to reduce the impact on environment by implementing initiatives such as rain water harvesting, fodder development, etc. – is an example of Transformative CSR.
Responsive: Responsive programs are implemented to offset the impacts of the business. Any business however green would still have some negative impacts – CSR studies them and makes plans for offsetting. This requires engaging various stakeholders in the process. Examples of responsive programs are livelihood, soil and water conservation, plantation, waste recycling, health and education, forming and strengthening community based organizations and civic amenities initiatives.
Proactive Programs go beyond business boundaries and contribute to the sustainability context in which business is conducted. Addressing global issues such as climate change, disaster response and international cooperation fall in the category of proactive CSR programs.