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BW Businessworld

Pushing For Clean Mobility

Tata Motors initiated a systematic and phase-wise implementation of a Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative in FY17 by shortlisting its suppliers based on ESG criticality.

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In FY20, challenges facing the automotive industry were aplenty, much before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. A slowing domestic economy, muted demand across other geographies and regulatory transitions were some of them. This came just when in FY19 Tata Motors had delivered a strong net income of Rs 2,021 crore, after making losses for five years. In FY20, this turnaround journey was interrupted due to sectoral challenges and as demand deteriorated sharply on the back of an abruptly slowing economy coupled with the spread of Covid-19. 

One of the highlights of 2020 was the launch of Tata UniEVerse, by six Tata Group companies of which Tata Motors is included. CEO Guenter Butschek stated in the integrated report, “Tata UniVerse is an entire electric mobility ecosystem— from charging infrastructure, battery cells, battery packs and electric motors, to financing options, customised for the needs of electric vehicle ownership.” 

This is being seen as Tata Group’s biggest push for clean mobility. Tata Motors’ foray into electric vehicles would certainly reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which mostly originate from the operational phase of the vehicles (more than 70 per cent). 

Environmental Sustainability 

According to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) data in 2019, Tata Motors has been using internal carbon pricing which is pegged at 14 $/tonne of CO2. The company was rated B by CDP in 2019. In FY18, carbon neutrality targets figure was 0.71 tCO2e per vehicle. In FY19 it reduced to 0.69 tCO2e per vehicle and remained at this level in FY20 as well, favouring the company as a sustainable one. The company is also a signatory to RE100 - a collaborative, global initiative of businesses committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity, and is working to increase the amount of renewable energy generated in-house and procured from off-site sources. 

Working its Supply Chain 

Tata Motors is working its upstream and downstream supply chain towards sustainability. Upstream, Tata Motors initiated a systematic and phase-wise implementation of a Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative in FY17 by shortlisting its suppliers based on ESG criticality. Downstream, the Tata Prolife business division remanufactures auto components that have reached the end of their useful life. 

Further, circularity has been a priority area for Tata Motors and is a space where it has scored well in the ranking. Initiatives to achieve circulatory include the commitment to manufacture products using 85 per cent recyclable materials, conducting life cycle analysis, using innovation, and integrating recycle- reuse-recover practices across operations. As a result of this initiative, the company reported savings of 3760.1 tonnes of materials and avoided 8923.7 tCO2 of carbon emissions. While Jaguar Land Rover is strong in its overall sustainability practices, it holds subsidiary reporting up to 75 per cent recycled content in the aluminium alloy used in manufacturing. 

Tata Motors has stated that through its value from hazardous waste initiative across plants in FY20, it has been successful in reducing hazardous waste to landfill or incineration by 19.3 per cent as compared to the previous year. That said, there was a 13 per cent increase in the recycling of hazardous waste vis-a-vis the previous year.