India’s economic ascendancy

India is a country on the rise. By facilitating nation building through sustainable and inclusive growth, the natural resources sector holds the key to unlocking India’s potential

Employees at Alumina Refinery 

The world is undergoing an unparalleled evolution, unlike any witnessed in human history. Never before have we witnessed such remarkable advancements in manufacturing, renewable energy, infrastructure development and artificial intelligence, among others. What sets this apart is not just the magnitude of dynamic progress, but also the global distribution of its impacts. This needs action that is both purposeful and that facilitates nation building. With this shift comes the necessity for businesses to accelerate their approach to sustainable, inclusive, and enduring growth for all stakeholders. The United Nations defines sustainable development as development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet the same. By ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth, India aims to leapfrog to a developed economy.

Indian corporates must actively seek to ingrain sustainability and inclusive growth principles in their organisational culture. It is also equally crucial that businesses establish partnerships with entities that share similar dedication and enthusiasm for generating a positive impact on society. Further, instilling an innovation-centric mindset capable of going beyond conventional boundaries and devising ingenious approaches to accomplish overarching goals is paramount for a country like India. While each industry contributes in its own way, the natural resources sector which provides essential raw materials for various industries and holds a significant potential for sustainable development would play a critical role. From minerals used in renewable energy to metals essential for modern infrastructure, the natural resources sector underpins the foundation of sustainable and inclusive growth.

The role of natural resources
India’s ascent as an economic powerhouse is characterised by its dynamic population and demographic dividend. Central to the country’s economic surge lies the indispensable contribution of natural resources. With the advent of transition in the area of energy and industry, the demand for minerals and raw materials is poised to skyrocket, positioning sectors like mining as fundamental blocks of the India growth story.

India’s mining sector is experiencing healthy growth, driven by the nation’s pursuit of self-reliance and economic prosperity. Today, India is the second largest steel and aluminium producer, fourth largest iron ore and zinc producer and sixth largest bauxite producer in the world. Being a leading group in this sector, Vedanta, with its diverse portfolio encompassing zinc, lead, silver, iron ore, steel, copper, aluminium, nickel, and oil and gas, is uniquely equipped to meet the escalating demand for primary materials, both domestically and internationally. Vedanta’s strategic assets across the globe amplify its capabilities, enabling it to significantly contribute to ensuring resource sufficiency. Central to Vedanta’s vision is the role it plays in supporting India’s quest for self-reliance in minerals, metals, and energy. A vision that encompasses more than just financial growth – one that aspires to uplift communities, safeguard the environment, and cultivate a culture of broad-based prosperity – is essential for businesses aiming to contribute to the broader agenda of nation-building.

Aerial view of zinc smelting plant

Vedanta’s leadership as a natural resources conglomerate transcends mere scale, embodying a commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices. Vedanta’s zinc business holds around 75 percent market share in India’s primary zinc industry while its aluminium business has about 50 percent market share.

Vedanta is the largest private sector oil and gas in India, contributing nearly 25 percent of India’s oil production. As frontrunners in various segments of the natural resources industry, Vedanta’s operations are guided by a holistic value creation process that places equal emphasis on business, social, and environmental sustainability. Vedanta’s contribution to India’s economic success extends beyond its commercial pursuits and includes efforts to empower marginalised communities through its social impact programmes. By uplifting marginalised communities and enabling inclusive growth, Vedanta is contributing towards India’s economic progress. Moreover, Vedanta’s constant efforts are visible in adapting greener mining practices to ensure environmental sustainability.

Leading the charge
Through strategic investments in technology and innovation, Vedanta is spearheading the transition towards sustainable mining while prioritising inclusive and responsible practices. By aligning every business unit with the shared vision of ‘Transforming for Good,’ Vedanta has set the stage for integrated growth and long-term sustainability. For this, Vedanta has embraced a holistic approach towards growth with industry-leading ESG practices, ensuring that economic progress goes hand in hand with social development and environmental stewardship.

The commitment to excellence with the below mentioned nine ESG aims is leading the path for Vedanta to carve its niche in leadership:

Transforming communities
Aim 1: Keeping community welfare at the core of business decisions
Aim 2: Empowering over 2.5 million families with enhanced skillsets
Aim 3: Uplifting over 100 million women and children through education, nutrition, healthcare and welfare

Transforming the planet
Aim 4: Net-carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner
Aim 5: Achieving net water positivity by 2030
Aim 6: Innovations for a greener business model

Transforming workplaces
Aim 7: Prioritising health and safety of all employees
Aim 8: Promote gender parity, diversity and inclusivity
Aim 9: Adhere to global business standards of corporate governance

As India charts a course towards achieving net zero emissions by 2070, Vedanta has emerged as a key enabler, leveraging its diverse portfolio of metals and minerals to drive indigenous manufacturing and bolster supply chains. This contributes to India’s energy security and mineral independence. Vedanta has committed towards achieving net zero carbon by 2050 or sooner with a planned $5bn investment over the next decade and reducing absolute emissions by 25 percent by 2030 from the 2021 baseline. Over the past year, concrete measures have been undertaken in this direction to reduce GHG intensity, use renewable energy, and implement innovative technologies for minimising environmental impact. Vedanta has also invested in community development programmes to help build the resilience of communities and enhance its social license to operate.

Vedanta also places a strong emphasis on innovation and greener product portfolios. By driving innovation in products with lower carbon footprints and embracing renewable energy solutions, Vedanta is consistently aligning its business objectives with environmental imperatives. The company’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint extends beyond operational efficiencies to encompass initiatives like renewable energy adoption and decarbonisation of vehicle fleets.

Transcending operational boundaries
Vedanta’s journey towards sustainable growth exemplifies the power of responsible corporate citizenship with its initiatives serving as a catalyst for positive changes at the community level and beyond. As the company continues to forge ahead, it remains poised to shape a future characterised by prosperity, equity, and sustainability.

By weaving sustainability into its core business processes and governance mechanisms, Vedanta has aligned with global best practices while driving value creation for its stakeholders. It has upheld accountability and transparency, setting a precedent for responsible corporate citizenship through transparent reporting and comprehensive sustainability frameworks.

Vedanta’s sustainability focus also transcends operational boundaries, empowering communities and supporting inclusive growth. Vedanta’s philanthropic initiatives positively impact over 50 million lives annually, focusing on childcare, nutrition, women’s empowerment, healthcare, skilling, sports and animal welfare.

Through programmes like Nand Ghar – an initiative for enhancing pre-primary learning, health and women’s empowerment – Vedanta is helping uplift millions by providing access to education, healthcare, and nutrition. In the last six years, Vedanta spent over Rs2,200 Crore on CSR. By focusing on the wellbeing of women and children and striving to combat hunger and malnutrition, Vedanta is consistently focused on social upliftment and inclusive growth.

The pivotal focus on inclusive growth permeates every facet of the organisation, shaping its internal processes, governance structures, and business administration mechanisms. Underpinning this vision is the commitment to upholding good governance practices, supported by rigorous policies and frameworks that drive accountability and transparency.

Driven by its focus on building a strong foundation, Vedanta’s resilience and adaptability helped the group navigate unprecedented geopolitical and operational challenges in recent years. Despite the unpredictable macroeconomic environment caused by global conflicts and supply chain disruptions, Vedanta achieved commendable operating performance while navigating external shocks and realigning supply chains.

As Vedanta charts its course for the future, the company remains committed to elevating its ESG journey. By setting a horizon for certain ESG plans at 2030, Vedanta aims to set broader targets and programmes with a greater impact. This includes plans to have 2.5GW of continuously operating renewable energy (RE RTC) capacity and completely decarbonising its fleet of light motor vehicles by 2030.

As India grapples with the intricacies of economic expansion and environmental preservation, Vedanta remains at the vanguard of driving sustainable transformation. Vedanta’s vision extends beyond mere profitability, underscored by its emphasis on shared value creation and stakeholder engagement. Championing diversity, supporting marginalised communities, and promoting equality are actions that not only enrich lives and contribute to the strengthening of societal fabric but also improve productivity and resilience of businesses.

By setting ambitious ESG targets and collaboration with stakeholders, Vedanta aims to unlock value while safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders. As the company embarks on its transformative journey, it remains committed to creating a sustainable and inclusive future for India and beyond.

Ingraining sustainability
In the case of Vedanta, its corporate strategy is devised to address and act upon the fundamental expectations of key stakeholders concerning critical issues such as climate change, human rights, occupational safety, environmental conservation, diversity, inclusion and governance. This strategy is underpinned by a three-pillar framework which serves as the driving force behind the company’s efforts to promote sustainability outcomes across our communities, workforce, and the environment. Leveraging its leadership position and innovative technologies, Vedanta is not only catalysing India’s economic resurgence but also shaping a future where economic prosperity is intrinsically linked with environmental stewardship.

In order to contribute in this direction, Vedanta continues to serve as a leading responsible business, driving sustainable development and prosperity for generations to come.