TAKE Solutions has engaged with EFI (Environmentalist Foundation of India) and adopted several ponds and lakes across Tamil Nadu ensuring Environmental Sustainability. They propose to clean waterbodies, plant trees to restore bio-diversity and educate the local community about the importance of maintaining these natural resources. Giving more insights on this, Deepa Jayakumar, VP Corporate Services, TAKE Solutions Limited speaks to SPOI on how it impacts the CSR strategy of the company –
Could you tell us more about your CSR initiatives you have started?
TAKE Solutions is committed to being a sustainable business enterprise that creates value for our customers, our investors, our employees, our partners, Society and the Environment.
Our core values of Integrity, Differentiate, Boundary less Innovation, Vibrancy & Joy, and Equity with Fairness – all guide us along the path of sustainability. These values, along with our business objectives, drive us to be a socially responsible organization.
In line with our business objectives, we have supported initiatives to impact the society in a positive and sustainable manner. Our CSR efforts are focused around education, environmental conservation and healthcare. We have supported after-school programs in Chennai and rural Tamil Nadu. We work diligently to restore the water table in Chennai and surrounding areas, and we support preventive healthcare initiatives and scientific research in Public Health. Our CSR agenda revolves around a single vision of working together as an extended family and achieving greater heights. This produces an overall positive impact on our employees and their families as well as that of the local community and society at large.
In particular, I would mention our efforts towards water table conservation, in partnership with the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI). We work to restore and maintain the water bodies around Chennai in a scientific manner, to conserve the water table and provide a habitat for indigenous flora and fauna. This involves team members volunteering to clean the lakes, plant trees and even paint walls in the area to raise awareness about environmental issues. This program was launched in 2013, and is still going strong.
How has been the outcome of the work that you are undertaking and how would you like to take it forward?
Over the years, we have sponsored the complete restoration of 4 water bodies and have participated in the cleaning and maintenance of over 10 lakes in and around Chennai. We have planted 1500+ trees and even painted walls with messages about the environment to raise awareness. 300+ team members have participated in these activities, with many coming in regularly, month after month, year after year.
These activities raise the social consciousness of our team, increase our engagement beyond the day-to-day work and have inculcated a sense of community building. Our teams have seen young participants at the age of 4 years to senior citizens over 60 years of age, a truly diverse and socially supportive team. Our volunteers report how great they feel after participating, how this changed their view of the environment, and how some have stopped littering after understanding how that moment of thoughtlessness impacts the whole ecosystem.
What kind of challenges do you face while taking up any such work in terms of finding the right partnerships, funding and so on?
We have been very lucky in terms of choosing great partners to helm our projects. Having taken a conservative approach right from the beginning, we select our partners carefully and build sustainable relationships with them. Our commitment is beyond just the disbursement of funds, we spend time and efforts and get our teams involved and engaged with our initiatives.
What kind of support do you receive from the local community?
The local government is very supportive of our efforts and we make it a priority to engage with key stakeholders. Local communities appreciate our sustained commitment and even pitch in to help us with our efforts.
Could you share the major learning from your years of running such successful CSR initiatives?
The most important lesson is that you need to be careful in selecting a partner, and having selected one, work with them to build a sustainable partnership. We have a rigorous selection process to vet partners.
Another critical aspect of running successful initiatives is to get the teams involved and engaged with CSR initiatives.
What is your roadmap in creating a positive impact on both the society and the environment?
We see each of our CSR initiatives as an investment, and we bring in more than just funds; we also offer our partners the benefit of our skills and capabilities to ensure the best use of funds and create a larger impact. We are focused on creating sustainable partnerships to create a positive impact on society. In the area of healthcare, we are focused on preventive measures to build a healthier community. We are also focused on research, to leverage science for the betterment of humanity. Our efforts towards the environment will continue through the next few years, with us expanding the scope of our engagement and deepening our commitment.
Do you also run any awareness programs for sensitizing the society on keeping the environment clean?
We have found that there is a shocking lack of awareness about waste management and environmental concerns. Our efforts are directed towards creating a better environment for them to live in, but the next time we go back, the area we cleared is dirty once again. We work with our partners to raise awareness about these issues through street plays in the local language. This goes a long way in improving awareness. We also paint awareness walls in the local language to communicate important environmental messages.