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Sustainability is at the heart of our business strategy: Neeraj Akhoury, Ambuja Cements

Akhoury, CEO, Holcim India, and Managing Director & CEO,  Ambuja Cements Limited, speaks on the company’s latest initiative 'Change The Story' to build a greener future

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Feb 16, 2022 8:31 AM  | 5 min read
Neeraj Akhoury

Holcim India, the parent company of cement companies-Ambuja Cements and ACC, launched its first corporate campaign c which highlights the plastic removal efforts of the cement majors in the country. The objective of launching ‘Change The Story’, was to elevate the narrative around sustainability challenges by showcasing technology-backed solutions that offer effective and measurable outcomes and building a better world for people and planet.

Neeraj Akhoury, CEO, India Holcim, and Managing Director & CEO, Ambuja Cements Limited says, “Our new #ChangeTheStory campaign is a vital, but also the step in that direction that will amplify solutions, that work and showcase champions who are bringing about the change. The success of the campaign will also provide a new direction to building a green planet and how we can together make a difference. The platform is set to expand its scope to include more stories of impactful change for the environment and society.”

The first leg of the campaign addresses the challenge of marine plastic pollution and how Geocycle India, the waste management arm of Ambuja and ACC, has implemented in India a smart and non-invasive ‘bubble curtain’ technology to remove plastics from rivers before they reach the oceans. Since the inception of this project, 500 tonnes of plastic waste leakage in the Yamuna River has been prevented and the project is expected to collect 2,400 tons of plastic from the canal every year.  Moving forward more such bubble barriers will be put up across the country to clean other rivers of plastic waste.

Akhoury says, “#ChangeTheStory platform lays emphasis on finding solutions to tackling plastic waste, resource conservation and other issues of national importance such as women empowerment, sustainable livelihoods with a sense of urgency and provide solutions that will benefit the future of society.” He adds, “Through this platform, we want to address some of the most pressing challenges around sustainability faced by all of us and do our bit to support India’s Net Zero goals.”

This is just one of the many initiatives undertaken to achieve the company’s sustainable goal. Akhoury says, “We will also be highlighting our other interventions such as partnership with BCCI for cleaning plastic waste from stadiums, pioneering biofuel in sea transportation and many more in the upcoming quarters.  Through our sustainability interventions, this campaign will create awareness about how we can drive positive change at a macro level. It will highlight the need for change and will encourage others to adopt a sustainable model which will help in achieving nation’s net-zero goals.”

The company has also launched a microsite advocating the audience to adopt sustainable practices and share their change the moment story and also pledge on the microsite and be part of our future green initiatives. Akhoury states, “We wanted to take a vital step to amplify solutions for a better tomorrow and co-author a story of a new India that sees sustainability as an integral part of our success in the country.”

As part of the sustainability campaign ‘#ChangeTheStory,’ Ambuja Cement and ACC have introduced a rap song titled ‘Bubble Rap’ which features the campaign mascot ‘Bubble Sharma.’ Says Akhoury, “Today, the youth are the champions in driving conversations around issues like climate change and sustainability across the world. We wanted to create something fun in a humorous and educational manner that not only catches the youth’s attention but also drives the desired message. Driving awareness across digital channels, we launched a video in collaboration with the rappers across all our owned platforms featuring the campaign mnemonic ‘Bubble Sharma’. We have leveraged the power of music which will resonate with new-age audiences, to showcase how the company is pushing out plastic from the rivers using bubble barrier technology. The aim was to capture the fun and spirited vibes of the rappers and inspire others to follow the suit for a sustainable future.”

The integrated campaign has been rolled out across platforms, including print and digital. The company is leveraging its owned platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as key levers to drive awareness of its campaign. Driving awareness across the digital platforms, Holcim India has collaborated with micro and Nano influencers to drive further engagement around the bubble barrier technology. Emphasize has also been placed on the regional media to reach out to the grass-root audience in Tier I and Tier II cities.

Sustainability At The Heart of Business Strategy

Talking about how sustainability has been incorporated into business processes Akhoury says, “Sustainability is at the heart of our business strategy, we aspire to be a leader and set new standards in sustainable construction. We want to transform the way our industry works and encourage the whole construction sector to play its part in addressing our planet’s biggest issues.”

Looking at the company processes, Holcim India has completed the successful trial run of using biofuels in its in-house cargo shipping vessels. It is building new plants powered by renewable energy and recycling plastic collected from public spaces to energy sources in its plants.   Akhoury explains, “While we are focused on our sustainability goals, we will also help our customers reduce CO2 emissions being released from buildings and infrastructure throughout their entire life-cycle using our portfolio of sustainable products and services. Sustainability is well embedded in all facets of the business and our supply chain starting from our customers to our production facilities and suppliers. And that is the success formula to make sustainability efforts and outcomes remain sustainable. We will continue to focus on resource conservation efforts, using green/clean energy sources, driving energy efficiency in all our plants and building an inclusive and equitable world for our communities.”

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