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Doing Well by Doing Good:

Global Sustainability at
Aditya Birla Group
Hosted by Wayne Cascio, Ph.D.
SHRM Foundations 9
Filmed at Aditya Birla Group
Headquarters, Mumbai, India
Officers, Managers, and
Video Overview
Video Introduction
A Brief Snapshot of The
Aditya Birla Group
Community Involvement
Defining Global
Vision and Focus
Sustainability and Business
Sustainability Over The
Long Term
Sustainability and
Business Strategy
Corporate Benefits of
Role of HR in Sustainability
Where to Begin
Advice to Future Leaders
Five Lessons in Global
Video Synopsis
Company Overview
Headquartered in Mumbai, India
$35B in annual revenue
131,000 employees worldwide
Operates in 33 Countries
Named one of the top six places for
leaders in the Asia-Pacific Region
60% of revenues come
from overseas operations
Company Overview
A metals powerhouse, among the worlds most cost-
efficient aluminum and copper producers.
No.1 in viscose staple fiber
The largest producer of carbon black
The fourth-largest producer of insulators
The fifth-largest producer of acrylic fiber
Among the top 10 cement producers
Among the best energy-efficient fertilizer plants
Company Overview
A top fashion (branded apparel) and lifestyle player
The second-largest producer of viscose filament yarn
The largest producer in the chlor-alkali sector
Among the top three mobile telephony companies
A leading player in life insurance and asset management
Among the top two supermarket chains in the retail
business Among the top 10 BPO companies
Company Overview
Works in 3,000 villages.
Reaches out to seven million people, annually through
the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and
Rural Development focusing on healthcare, education,
sustainable livelihood, infrastructure and espousing
social reform.
Runs 42 schools, which provide quality education to
45,000 children. Of these, over
18,000 children receive free education.
Its 18 hospitals tend to more than a million villagers.
Company Overview
In line with its commitment to sustainable development,
has partnered with Columbia University in establishing the
Columbia Global Centres Earth Institute in Mumbai.
To embed corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a way
of life in organizations, has set up the Federation of Indian
Chambers of Commerce and Industry Aditya Birla
CSR Centre for Excellence, in Delhi.
Discussion Questions
What aspects of a healthy society
can be influenced by corporations?
Education and health care
Equal employment
opportunity and job creation
Efficient use of natural
List some examples of how the Aditya Birla Group is
improving education and health care in the
communities in which it operates.
Discuss how a corporations employment standards
might influence other businesses and organizations in
the community.
How might inefficient use of natural resources affect a
Additional Questions
What competitive advantages
could be realized as a result of
engaging in the local community
and global sustainability?
Healthy and educated workforce
Cost savings through efficiency
Long-term availability of source
In what ways have the Aditya Birla Groups health care
initiatives created a competitive advantage?
Define sustainable livelihood.
Discuss some examples of local community initiatives
that have an impact on global sustainability.
Additional Questions
In what ways can a company put
more back into the world than it
Community initiatives and rural
Sustainable operations and
environmental rehabilitation
Recycling, reusing, reducing
and repairing
What are some of the community initiatives of the
Aditya Birla Group?
Why are sustainable operations important for
List other ways a company could promote recycling,
reusing, reducing and repair.
Additional Questions
Why is long-term
success in business
dependent on a
healthy society?
Society is your customer
Society is your source of talent
Healthy societies have fewer
How has the Aditya Birla Group invested in the long-
term health of local communities?
What human resource expenses can be minimized by
operating in a healthy society?
What are some operational benefits that healthy
societies afford to companies?
Additional Questions
How would you define
compassionate capitalism?
Capital should not be your only concern
Avoid exploitation
Collective enrichment
How has the Aditya Birla Group exemplified
compassionate capitalism?
What techniques can be employed to create and
maintain a higher sense of purpose?
How can an executive influence an organizations
Additional Questions
Why should firms consider undertaking
sustainability initiative(s) that intersect
with the strategy of
their businesses?
The natural (easy) fit
Protect needed resources
Improved public image
Give some examples of how the Aditya Birla Group
intersected its strategy with global sustainability.
In what ways would a company be affected by wasteful
use of natural resources?
Why are potential employees drawn to companies that
are environmentally and socially responsible?
Additional Questions
What are some specific issues of
global sustainability that a
company might address?
Climate change and
water shortages
Infectious disease and
reduction of poverty
Disaster response and relief
How did the Aditya Birla Groups investment in health
care systems help prevent a breakout of the dengue
What is fair trade, and how does it help prevent
In what ways can a company prepare for catastrophic
Additional Questions
How does a companys attention
to global sustainability attract
talented human capital?
The good corporate citizen
An opportunity to contribute
Caring for society implies
Why is young talent attracted to the Aditya Birla
How does the Aditya Birla Group use employer-
sanctioned charitable activity to encourage employee
List some ways that a company might promote its
global sustainability efforts to entice new talent.
Additional Questions
Employee buy-in
The financial investment
Long-term integration of
the effort
Why is it critical to have
top-level executives
buy in to global
sustainability efforts?
How do Aditya Birla Groups top-level executives
commit to global sustainability?
Are there any downsides to global sustainability efforts
that are not tied to a businesss strategy?
How might an organization with limited resources
finance large-scale sustainability efforts?
Additional Questions
In what ways can an organization
measure its impact in terms of
Cost savings
Availability of resources
Polling new talent
How has the Aditya Birla Group measured the value of
its global sustainability and community involvement
What are some advantages of conserving resources
over recycling waste?
Discuss how you might calculate a metric that links
sustainability to employee retention
Additional Questions
Five Important Lessons
1. Recognize the link between sustainability and
competitive advantage focus on initiatives that
create a meaningful benefit for society and that are
also valuable to your business. The tighter that
linkage, the great the opportunity to leverage the firms
2. Leadership matters Corporate leaders with vision
are recognizing that by advancing global solutions they
can create valuable, renewable resources, establish
new markets for their companies, and unleash
tremendous opportunities.
Five Important Lessons
3. Consumers care In developed countries, study
after study shows that a majority of consumers believe
they can help companies create products and services
that are a win-win for consumers, business and
Five Important Lessons
4. Measurement matters Measuring and documenting
a companys true impact with respect to sustainability
is critical. Greenwashing, or otherwise faking it, will
ultimately be exposed to the detriment of the
companys image and reputation. Beyond that,
measurement matters to corporate boards and
shareholders who want to understand the value of
sustainability initiatives in advancing the interests of
their companies.
Five Important Lessons
5. Accountability and integrity matter A key reason
for embracing sustainability is to build trust with
consumers, employees and potential job applicants.
Communications that are less than honest and candid
are an invitation to unwanted publicity and negative
media attention. Tell the truth and tell it first.