KOLKATA and RIO DE JANEIRO, June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
In a prestigious development for India at the Rio+20 United Nations Summit at Rio de Janeiro, Indian multi-business conglomerate, ITC Limited, was presented the 2012 World Business and Development Award for its transformational rural initiatives in social and farm forestry programmes in India.
The only Indian company to receive this honour at the ongoing historic Rio+20 Summit, this award has been instituted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) in partnership with the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the UN Global Compact. ITC was among 5 large global companies to win this honour.
Mr. Y C Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC, received the award at a ceremony held at Rio which was presided over by Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP; Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact; Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Co-operation, Sweden and the CEO of the IBLF, Clare Melford.
Mr Deveshwar in his acceptance address said, "I receive this award with humility and pride on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of tribals and poor farmers whose lives have been transformed by ITC's social and farm forestry initiative. It gives us tremendous encouragement to witness the global appreciation for this initiative and this recognition will indeed help us in taking this initiative to newer heights."
Commenting on the awards, Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact, said, "Congratulations to the winners of the World Business and Development Awards who have demonstrated that inclusive business models can generate tremendous positive impact on communities. The UN Global Compact fully supports sustainable, commercially viable business initiatives that expand access for low income people to goods and services and improve livelihoods while generating growth."
Minister Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden also pointed out that, "Innovation in inclusive business lies at the heart of the fight against poverty. It creates income possibilities and builds bridges between business and people living in poverty. Therefore, I am delighted to see that innovation is a common theme for all the WBDA winners."
ITC's social and farm forestry programmes provides sustainable livelihoods to rural wasteland owners by helping convert their wastelands into pulpwood plantations. They are supported by ITC's R&D developed high-yielding, disease resistant clonal saplings with shorter harvesting cycles. While farm forestry focuses on farmers owning wastelands, social forestry targets resource-poor tribals and farmers.
Currently the programmes cover over 125,000 hectares. It has generated over 56 million person-days of employment. Regenerating green cover on this scale has enabled carbon sequestration making ITC carbon positive for 7 years, besides improving moisture conservation, groundwater recharge and reducing erosion.
The international judging panel for this award comprised of global luminaries such as:
- Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Vice Chairman, UN Global Compact and Chairman of the Global Compact Foundation, the Innovative Vector Control Consortium and Hermes Equity Ownership Services
- Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce
- Lisa Dreier, Director of Food Security and Development Initiatives, World Economic Forum USA
- Jane Nelson, Director, Harvard Kennedy School's Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative and Non Resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
- Ted London, Senior Research Fellow, William Davidson Institute (WDI) and faculty member of University of Michigan's Ross School of Business
- Graham Baxter, Senior Adviser, International Business Leaders Forum
- Susan Chaffin, Head of Business Call to Action Secretariat
- Ying Chen, Director, Beijing Rongzhi Institute of Corporate Social Responsibility and Vice President, China Enterprise Confederation (CEC)
- Sameer Hajee, Co-founder and CEO, Nuru Energy
- Alan Detheridge, Associate Director of the Partnering Initiative and Board Member of the Synergos Institute, the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help, Management Sciences for Health and the Revenue Watch Institute chaired the judging panel.
ITC is one of India's foremost private sector companies and a diversified conglomerate with interests in consumer goods, hotels, paperboards and packaging, agri business and information technology. With a market capitalisation of around US$ 35 billion and a turnover of nearly US$ 7 billion, ITC has been rated among the World's Best Big Companies, Asia's 'Fab 50' and among India's Most Valuable Companies by Business Today. It has been ranked as the world's 6th largest 'sustainable value creator' among consumer goods companies globally, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
ITC is the only enterprise in the world, of its dimensions, to be carbon-positive (7 years in a row), sequestering twice the amount of carbon it emits; water-positive (10 consecutive years), creating over 2 times more rainwater harvesting potential than that consumed by the group; and is solidwaste recycling positive (for the last 5 years). ITC's businesses help in generating more than 5 million livelihoods across value chains that touch the lives of many who live at the margin in rural India. For more information, visit www.itcportal.com
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SOURCE ITC Ltd