All ITC Units continue to pursue efficient use of raw materials through extensive process management initiatives focused on waste elimination/reduction. The Company has unique opportunities to continuously improve natural resources usage efficiencies as most of ITC's Businesses are vertically integrated (please refer Supply Chain section for details). This helps in optimum utilisation of raw materials, recycling of wastes as well as efficient logistic operations.
For addressing the impacts outside the boundary of operations, life-cycle assessment study of ITC's products are progressively being taken up with the objective of making such studies an integral part of product design and development. In addition, Board approved Policies of ITC supplemented by a 'Code of Conduct for Vendors and Service providers' provide the direction for sustainable sourcing of raw materials to ensure their long-term availability. Please refer to 'Supply Chain' section of this Report for further details.
ITC's products and services can be broadly classified into the following categories:
Cigarettes, Branded Packaged Foods, Personal Care Products, Education and Stationery Products, Matches and Agarbattis.
Paper, Paperboards, Packaging, Leaf Tobacco, etc.
Hoteliering and Information Technology.
As explained in 'Supply Chain' section, most of the ITC Businesses largely depend on agro-based raw materials. In 2016-17, ITC processed 21,29,068 tonnes of materials, out of which around 95% (20,23,548 tonnes) were from renewable sources like agriculture and forestry. Only those raw materials, which constitute more than 10% of the total consumed in any manufacturing Unit or have significant environmental importance, have been considered in reporting this aspect.
The Paperboards and Specialty Papers Business contributes to over 73% of the total raw materials procured by ITC. 17,02,890 tonnes of materials were processed by the Paperboards and Specialty Papers Business in 2016-17, out of which 99.6% were renewable.
Wood is a major source of fibre for the paper and paperboards industry. Availability of wood remains a critical challenge in India, which has limited productive forest resources. National Forest Policy 1988 brought in a strategic policy shift by putting conservation in the forefront of the objectives for forest management in India. The Policy also emphasised the need for tree plantations outside the forests, to meet fuel wood, fodder and industrial wood requirements, to reduce pressure on forests. ITC has contributed immensely towards the objectives of the National Forest Policy, by establishing a partnership with farmers through farm forestry and social forestry initiatives, which have led to massive afforestation and has benefitted millions of farmers as well as ensured responsible sourcing of wood fibre for its manufacturing requirements.
Approximately 55% of the total fibre requirement of ITC's Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (PSPD) is met by pulp manufactured at Bhadrachalam, another 17% comes from recycled fibre, processed at Kovai and Bhadrachalam and the balance 28% is imported pulp used at Bhadrachalam and Tribeni Units. Approximately 83% of the fibre produced in Bhadrachalam is from wood sourced from ITC's Social and Farm Forestry Initiatives. All the fibre used for operations at the Kovai Unit is either recycled/reclaimed fibre. Overall, 100% of the fibre used by this business division is of known and legal origin.
ITC's Social and Farm Forestry initiatives have greened over 6,20,000 acres of land as on March 31, 2017. In the current year, over 120 million high yielding, site specific, disease resistant eucalyptus and subabul saplings developed in-house have been distributed to farmers.
Apart from the obvious benefits of increasing the green cover, afforestation on degraded wastelands under the Social Forestry Programme also directly contributes to in situ moisture conservation, ground water recharge and significant reduction in topsoil losses caused by wind and water erosion. In addition, as a result of leaf litter from multi-species plantations and the promotion of leguminous intercrops, soils are constantly enriched.
Paperboards and Specialty Paperboards Division achieved the prestigious Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) Chain of Custody Certification in 2009, which is valid till 2020. To ensure responsible wood sourcing, all domestic wood procurement sources have been certified as per standards of FSC™ - Controlled Wood and over 81,500 acres have been covered under the FSC™ - Forest Management (FM) Certification. Nearly 55,000 tonne of FSC FM certified wood has been procured during the year, which has been used in manufacturing of FSC™ certified products.
FSC™ is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation established to promote responsible management of the world's forests and is recognised as the gold standard in wood certification for ethical and legal sourcing. The FSC™ is represented in more than 122 countries around the world and is the most widely accepted and respected certification amongst forest product certification schemes. PSPD can supply FSC™ certified paper/paperboard from all its four manufacturing Units, i.e. Bhadrachalam, Kovai, Tribeni and Bollaram. The FSC™ logo on the product assures customers that the material is from legal, sustainable and well managed sources.
FSC™ certification for this Business illustrates the Organisation's continued commitment to sustainable business practices and to the building of an inclusive and secure future for its stakeholders and the society at large. The Business is the largest seller of FSC™ certified grades of paperboards and paper in the country.
In line with ITC's Board approved Policies on Life-cycle sustainability and Responsible Sourcing, systems and procedures will be progressively implemented across Businesses. In the coming years, ITC plans to carry out more life-cycle assessment studies of select products/services to evaluate the environmental impacts at various life-cycle stages, which would help in identifying opportunities for further improving their environmental attributes in the value chain.