The Tata Power Company has done it again. It has been declared 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent centre of research in USA, promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance. This, by itself, is no mean feat. The fact that the honour has been bestowed upon it for the second consecutive year, just adds a fresh sprinkling of glitter on the Company’s already shining image.
The World’s Most Ethical Companies designation recognises those organizations that have had a material impact on the way business is conducted by fostering a culture of ethics and transparency at every level of the company. “These companies use ethics as a means to further define their industry leadership. They understand that earning the World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition involves more than just an outward facing message or a handful of senior executives saying the right thing,” said Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Erblich.
On this front, along with all others, Tata Power could not have been on firmer grounds. It always steers clear of empty sermonising, focusing instead on putting its policies and programmes into practice. Let us take the example of Coastal Gujarat Private Limited (CGPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power Company. Located in the Kutch region of Gujarat, the CGPL project is spread over 6 catchment villages. Tunda-Vandh, Mota Kandagra of Mundra; Nanabhadia, Tragadi and Modva of Mandvi Taluka of Kutch. Its some of the flagship activities have now been extended to the majority of the villages in the block.
When a senior member of the CGPL clan says, “It is highly satisfying to look back on the last year and see the programmes we strategized, blossom into successful and replicable Community Relations (CR) models. It is gratifying to observe that our hard work over the last seven years has translated into bringing such a significant difference in multiple aspects of people’s lives,” he is backed up by rock solid evidence on the ground.
In CGPL’s catchment villages, the number of students going to school has grown steadily from teachers who claim that the quality of the work they do has improved significantly thanks to the trainings organized by CGPL, and the technology (computers and other appliances) by it in classrooms.
Every villager living in the CGPL zone is aware of the perils of unclean water, and therefore, protects the infrastructure set up by the company to source unpolluted water as zealously as his or her own.
Even as Community partners here are being trained to be tech-savvy, the traditional livelihoods prevalent in this region, such as cattle-rearing that were languishing in recent times have now been given a fresh lease of life. The animals have grown in number and local dairy farms are in business again.
Such instances are numerous and they all lead to the same conclusion. That CGPL’s Community Relations (CR) Department has reinvented the scope, the dimension and the significance of the concept that the rest of the industry refer to as Corporate Social Responsibility.
“The effectiveness of our strategy stems from the alignment of specific CSR goals with those of CGPL’s overall business objectives. This is done by working closely with all the key stakeholders of our operations from fishermen to women, farmers and those engaged with animal husbandry”, says Mr. K K Sharma ( ED and CEO)
At the beginning of any infrastructural project, the scope of work, expected benefits to the community and other salient points are discussed threadbare with the community members. The work is done through community participation and in most in terms of providing the manpower to work, contribution of a small percentage in the total cost of the project, creation of committees to oversee work etc.
In Kutch CGPL has set up a structured process of doing business and follows it meticulously. This is how the system works. Could there be a fairer, more transparent one than this?