UltraTech Biodiversity Case Study: Creating natural capital value through biodiversity program

Sustainability is an integral part of all our business operations at UltraTech. We have pursued this agenda for years and is now a part of the way our core business functions.  In the process, we have helped shape the sustainability agenda for the industry as a whole in India.

Credit: UltraTech Cement Limited

Strategic priorities

UltraTech’s Sustainability Roadmap clearly defines our key targets mapped to our priorities, and we allocate resources to achieve the same. The key focus areas are as laid out below:

  1. Decarbonisation
  2. Circular economy
  3. Biodiversity management
  4. Water Positivity
  5. Safe Operations
  6. Community development


Credit: UltraTech Cement Limited

Protecting and conserving biodiversity through biodiversity management practices are a priority for the Aditya Birla Group, and at UltraTech, it is an integral part of our sustainability strategy.

UltraTech is committed to conduct its business in a responsible manner and recognises the importance of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services for long-term sustainability of its operations. Over the years, it has worked to enhance the green cover in and around its quarry sites, manufacturing units, residential colonies and nearby villages.

UltraTech has committed to conduct biodiversity assessment and develop biodiversity management plans for all its Integrated Units by 2024.

Our engagement with IUCN

UltraTech has worked with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to create a scientific and systematic approach towards biodiversity management. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

UltraTech’s engagement with IUCN was in two parts – at the ground level through its unit Sewagram Cement Works (SCW) in Gujarat, and at corporate level to develop policies and technical standards.

Sewagram Cement Works – where it all began

Credit: UltraTech Cement Limited

In 2017, UltraTech entered into an agreement with IUCN for developing detailed biodiversity and ecosystem services management plan for one of its integrated manufacturing units, Sewagram Cement Works (SCW) located in Gujarat. The unit was selected for conducting the study based on the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool report.

IUCN carried out the comprehensive baseline assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services in and around SCW’s area of operations, including the mines. This included defining habitats inside and outside the mines and operational area. The results from biodiversity assessment were used to develop a robust Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for the unit. The BMP includes a suite of measures designed to avoid, minimise, rectify, and/or compensate for impacts to biodiversity resulting from the development and operations of the cement unit and mines area. Native nursery development, on-site thorn forest habitat development and restoration of grasslands are some of the biodiversity projects implemented at SCW over the years.

The approach and learnings from the assessment study were also the basis to develop Aditya Birla Group’s and UltraTech’s Biodiversity Policy and technical standard, in line with global biodiversity standards.

Continuance of the work on biodiversity program

Since completion of elaborative work on biodiversity management, UltraTech took up similar studies at four more of its integrated manufacturing units:

  1. Rajashree Cement Works located in the state of Karnataka, India.
  2. Aditya Cement Works, located in the state of Rajasthan, India.
  3. Kotputli Cement Works, located in the state of Rajasthan, India.
  4. Balaji Cement Works, located in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Way Forward

Credit: UltraTech Cement Limited

Over the next few years, UltraTech will work towards implementing the measures identified under the biodiversity management plan at the above mentioned five manufacturing units. The learnings from these projects would be shared with all our integrated units to guide them towards identifying their biodiversity risks and develop a time-based strategy towards creating biodiversity management plans by 2024.

In parallel, UltraTech will work on raising awareness amongst value chain partners on biodiversity and related ecosystem services. UltraTech will continue to engage through industry-level platforms such as Leaders for Nature (LfN) to enhance awareness and contribute towards dissemination of biodiversity related information and knowledge.