A passion to deliver positive change

Across Vanderlande, sustainability is now high on the agenda and is strongly influencing what we produce and how we work, as well as our relations with customers, suppliers and the wider world. That’s certainly true at our Global Capability Centre (GCC) in Pune, India, where dedicated staff collaborate with local charities and NGOs on a range of issues related to the environment and, more broadly, corporate social responsibility (CSR).

There are 18 people in the India Sustainability Team who are drawn from different departments. They all give their time on a voluntary basis, putting in extra hours on top of their day jobs. As you may have read in our article about CSR engagement, the GCC is committed to supporting several long-term projects that are tackling poverty, improving education, reducing environmental degradation and helping wildlife.

A personal commitment

“In 2016, we started supporting an organisation that helps homeless people and began the formalisation of our team,” says Rashmi Chethan, who leads on sustainability in India, when she’s not working on Quality and Data Analytics. “Everyone in the team is committed to bringing about change in our society and we have young, driven people, who are only too willing to give up their time – some colleagues even carry out additional voluntary activities for our partner NGOs.”

That commitment to help others was evident during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, as the team carried out ad hoc fundraising drives for good causes while continuing to support ongoing projects. And when parts of the country were hit by severe floods, the sustainability champions stepped up again to provide help, including raising funds for a badly affected children’s home. “As well as planning regular activities for the whole year, we keep a buffer amount of funding, so we can react quickly to provide assistance in times of emergency,” adds Rashmi.

The team also tends to internal matters as Vanderlande delivers on its sustainability commitments. “Assessing how we manage the waste generated at our two offices and innovation centre is a priority for this year,” explains Rashmi. “We are looking at working with an NGO that offers corporate organisations end-to-end solutions and services for waste management. In India, companies only have to separate waste into wet and dry, but we want to recycle and reuse when possible.”

Setting the standard

The team in Pune is actively preparing for the ISO 50001 international standard for energy management. Additionally, Pune will be audited for the ISO 14001 international standard for environmental management with the aim of getting certified by the end of FY2030.