As part of Godrej Group’s sustainability initiative, the Group has been working to create a more employable Indian workforce, a greener India and innovate for good and green products by the year 2020. Also, beyond taking measures to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in their manufacturing plants, Godrej has initiated community waste management projects with an endeavour to raise more awareness about the topic and involve senior stakeholders in such projects.
In 2016, the Group started implementing an urban community waste management project in 25 colleges across India’s commercial capital in association with Mumbai-based Stree Mukti Sanghatana (SMS).
Since 1975, Mumbai-based Stree Mukti Sanghatana (SMS) has helped thousands of women improve their lives and escape poverty. Parisar Bhagini Vikas Sangha initiated by SMS in 2005, is the registered organisation of self-help groups of women waste pickers and associated in the process of dry waste and e-waste collection. They are training waste pickers in sorting, composting and bio-methanation while initiating many zero waste campus projects along with college and corporate campuses by collecting their segregated wet waste and processing it. SMS has also started a school based programme for solid waste management with 5000 students annually.
Together, with Godrej Group they are building composting pits in the colleges across Mumbai to help treat organic waste to produce high quality manure and recycle the dry waste. With the college administration, the team is also raising awareness among college students in managing waste and involving them in the process.
Activities like waste audit (wet waste and dry waste), selection of site for compost pit, construction of the compost pit, awareness sessions for students, local operators and canteen staff, dry waste management campaign forms the major part of the programme. The larger aim of the project includes:
- Waste to be treated as a resource
- Spreading the message of segregation at source
- Improved environment and production of high quality manure and recycling of dry waste
- Saving space at the dump yards and reducing air water and soil pollution
- Contribution of the people working in the waste sector management to be recognised
- The message of clean and green Mumbai to spread among students
Training the local waste operators, students and staff is an integral part of this project. The ready involvement of the local operators and municipal authorities has helped in transferring the know-how. This has made it easy for the college and operators to collect and recycle basic waste and operate the compost pits.
With the sustainable nature of the programme, Godrej is now focusing on designing a training module to handle hazardous waste that will help in complete waste management of the college.
In the recent past, Godrej also hosted the third annual Good & Green conclave on Waste Management to addresses the changing needs of managing waste. The conclave highlighted policies for waste management, role of the government, industry and people, and the need for creative solutions. Several speakers emphasised the need for segregation of waste and decentralising the treatment process to achieve efficiency. The conclave brought together nearly two dozen companies, non-profits and educational institutions. Over 200 people participated in the conclave and interacted with experts.