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  • Overall approach
    7/12
    • Overarching commitment on deforestation
      3/4
      Zero deforestation/Deforestation-free commitment or, for timber, pulp & paper companies only, commitment to well implemented harvest and no deforestation of HCV & HCS areas
      3/4
      "The Group shall implement its best efforts to avoid trading and sourcing wood or wood fibre (herein referred to as wood) from the following categories: a. Illegally harvested wood; b. Wood harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights; c. Wood derived from uncertified High Conservation Value Forest1 (a Forest Stewardship Council designation); d. Wood harvested from plantations established after 1994 through conversion of natural forests or converted to non-forest use1; e. Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted; f. Wood harvested in ancient and endangered forests, or endangered species habitat."
    • Signatory to an initiative tackling deforestation
      1/1
      Yes
      1/1
      "The ABG Sustainable Business Framework has been assured by an internationally renowned independent third party to ensure that it conforms to the various international standards that are incorporated into it. These include:" [...] "; United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)"; "As a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global consortium of more than 200 brands, Birla Cellulose is using the Higgs Index Tool to monitor their manufacturing units performance on environment and social scales." Under the WBCSD Forest Sector roadmap, Aditya Birla Group is acknowledged as a member of the Forest Solutions Group. 
    • Awareness of the value of forests
      1/1
      Yes
      1/1
      "Given the industries we operate in, we recognise that protecting the world’s forests is not just good for the planet, but critical for our businesses if we want them to thrive and remain operational."
    • Deforestation as a business risk
      1/1
      Yes
      1/1
      Does the company recognise the risk as financial, operational, competition, reputational, or other? Please detail.: They recognise it largely as a financial and operational risk 
      "Given the industries we operate in, we recognise that protecting the world’s forests is not just good for the planet, but critical for our businesses if we want them to thrive and remain operational."[...] " By working in such a way, the business is working to secure its supply chain and access to the raw materials recognising that a sustainable and long-term approach goes hand in hand with the business’ growth strategy"
    • High-level management of deforestion
      1/1
      Yes
      1/1
      Which commodities does it apply to?: Pulp & Paper

      How often does the committee or board meet to assess company's progress on addressing deforestation-related issues?: Quarterly
      "Group Apex Sustainability Committee. [...] The Committee meets quarterly. Its members include: Chief Executive, Chief Financial, Chief Human Resources and Chief Sustainability Officers from the Group, appointed by the Chairman. It provides advice and guidance on implementing the Group’s policies and standards for which it has oversight and studies the major trends likely to impact our businesses. It reports back to the Chairman and Business Review Councils on company performance and ensures that sustainability risks are being assessed, controlled and managed effectively."
    • Executive compensation linked to deforestation
    • Target to reduce emissions from land-use change
      0/2
    • Reporting on emissions from land-use change
      0/2
    • Disclosure of conservation activity
    • Disclosure of reforestation activity
    • Target to reduce emissions in scope 1/2
  • Commodity score
    46/88
    • Pulp & Paper
      46/88
      • Commitment Strength
        18/20
        • Commitment to protect priority forests
          6/8
          • Commitment details
            Zero-gross deforestation
            4/6
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Zero-gross deforestation
            4/6
            Which certification schemes are used?: FSC; PEFC; Other certification

            Other certification scheme: Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
            "The Group shall implement its best efforts to avoid trading and sourcing wood or wood fibre (herein referred to as wood) from the following categories: a. Illegally harvested wood; b. Wood harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights; c. Wood derived from uncertified High Conservation Value Forest1 (a Forest Stewardship Council designation); d. Wood harvested from plantations established after 1994 through conversion of natural forests or converted to non-forest use1; e. Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted; f. Wood harvested in ancient and endangered forests, or endangered species habitat."; "Secondly, by engaging with experts from Canopy, an organisation dedicated to protecting the world’s forests, species and climate, we are working with forest owners to create chains of custody and to certify the forest management practices to the standards set by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)."
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            "In order to better manage our full fibre value chain we have developed a Wood Fibre Sourcing Policy. This mandates our businesses to implement best efforts to avoid trading and sourcing wood or wood fibre from ancient and endangered forests, endangered species habitats, uncertified high conservation value forests and wood which has been harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights"[...] "Secondly, by engaging with experts from Canopy, an organisation dedicated to protecting the world’s forests, species and climate, we are working with forest owners to create chains of custody and to certify the forest management practices to the standards set by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)."
          • Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            "In order to better manage our full fibre value chain we have developed a Wood Fibre Sourcing Policy. This mandates our businesses to implement best efforts to avoid trading and sourcing wood or wood fibre from ancient and endangered forests, endangered species habitats, uncertified high conservation value forests and wood which has been harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights"[...] "Secondly, by engaging with experts from Canopy, an organisation dedicated to protecting the world’s forests, species and climate, we are working with forest owners to create chains of custody and to certify the forest management practices to the standards set by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)."
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.3
        • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
          5/5
          • Commitment details
            Yes
            3/3
            Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes
            3/3
            Type of commitment: Recycled content; Use of alternative fibres
            "We have also prioritised the development of alternate raw materials, such as pre- and postconsumer waste and agri-waste to reduce our reliance on virgin wood." [...] "Our current efforts are focussed on developing products made with industrial, post-consumer and alternate feed-stock and increase the use of alternate feedstock in our total production and reduce the cost of production of the next generation solutions, so that in long term we can reduce the dependence on virgin wood based pulp." [...] "At the same time, we have also worked upon developing fibres with alternate raw material sources that would ease the burden of virgin wood requirement."
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            "We have also prioritised the development of alternate raw materials, such as pre- and postconsumer waste and agri-waste to reduce our reliance on virgin wood." [...] "Our current efforts are focussed on developing products made with industrial, post-consumer and alternate feed-stock and increase the use of alternate feedstock in our total production and reduce the cost of production of the next generation solutions, so that in long term we can reduce the dependence on virgin wood based pulp." [...] "At the same time, we have also worked upon developing fibres with alternate raw material sources that would ease the burden of virgin wood requirement."
          • Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            "We have also prioritised the development of alternate raw materials, such as pre- and postconsumer waste and agri-waste to reduce our reliance on virgin wood." [...] "Our current efforts are focussed on developing products made with industrial, post-consumer and alternate feed-stock and increase the use of alternate feedstock in our total production and reduce the cost of production of the next generation solutions, so that in long term we can reduce the dependence on virgin wood based pulp." [...] "At the same time, we have also worked upon developing fibres with alternate raw material sources that would ease the burden of virgin wood requirement."
          • Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            "We have also prioritised the development of alternate raw materials, such as pre- and postconsumer waste and agri-waste to reduce our reliance on virgin wood." [...] "Our current efforts are focussed on developing products made with industrial, post-consumer and alternate feed-stock and increase the use of alternate feedstock in our total production and reduce the cost of production of the next generation solutions, so that in long term we can reduce the dependence on virgin wood based pulp." [...] "At the same time, we have also worked upon developing fibres with alternate raw material sources that would ease the burden of virgin wood requirement."
        • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
          6/6
          • Commitment details
            Traces to Point of production
            4/4
            Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            Traces to Point of production
            4/4
            Target: "Visibility from forest-to-fashion by 2021" In 2020 there was "100% visibility from forest-to-retail"
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            "Visibility from forest-to-fashion by 2021"
          • Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            "Visibility from forest-to-fashion by 2021"
          • Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            "Visibility from forest-to-fashion by 2021"
      • Social Considerations
        6/18
        • Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Details of commitment: ILO; Discrimination; Forced labour; Child labour; Freedom of association
          "The Group Companies are committed to respecting the human rights of our workforce, communities and those affected by our operations wherever we do business (including our contractors and suppliers) in line with internationally recognised frameworks including the Social Accountability 8000 International Standard and its associated international instruments." [...] "Prohibiting all forms of harmful child labour, forced / trafficked labour, discrimination and harassment"[...]"Respect the right of all workers to form and join a trade union of their choice without fear of intimidation or reprisal, in accordance with national law"
        • Inclusion of small-scale farmers
          No
          0/4
        • Gender equality in the supply chain
          No commitment
          0/4
        • Commitment to remediation
          Yes
          2/2
          Commitment to remediation
          Yes
          2/2
          Type of harm covered: Environmental harm
          "No Net Loss approach Our Group-wide biodiversity policy, technical standard and guidance notes set out our target to manage biodiversity based on a No Net Loss (NNL) approach. NNL calls for negative biodiversity impacts caused by projects to be balanced by biodiversity gains through compensation measures implemented in the region. These gains are evaluated against a baseline (a reference point or trajectory without the project occurring, or prior to the project occurring) of the relevant biodiversity values being impacted. While the NNL approach applies to all projects, for operational projects, steps for assessing biodiversity risks and past instances of biodiversity loss and ecosystem services will be carried out. These will identify mitigation actions and introduce obligatory additional conservation actions to compensate for past losses."  
        • Commitment to ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent
          No
          0/4
        • Commitment to resolve land conflicts
          No
      • Reporting and Implementation
        23/50
        • Reporting against commitments
          2/2
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes, for all commodity exposure
            1.7/1.7
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes, for all commodity exposure
            1.7/1.7
            "Birla Cellulose has implemented a strict 'Wood Sourcing Policy' and sources wood from sustainably managed forests following ® ® internationally renowned standards like FSC , SFI , PEFC™. All the suppliers adhere to 'Supplier Code of Conduct' and 'Supply Chain & Procurement Policy'" In 2019 and 2020 "100% controlled wood sourcing achieved" 
          • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes, for partial or unclear commodity exposure
            0.8/1.7
            Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes, for partial or unclear commodity exposure
            0.8/1.7
            Sustainable Products & Circular Economy Status in FY20: "Liva Reviva launched with 20% pre-consumer waste"
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            Yes, for all commodity exposure
            1.7/1.7
            Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            Yes, for all commodity exposure
            1.7/1.7
            (for 2.3 only) What percentage of the commodity volume in the company's supply chain can be traced to origin in low-risk jurisdictions?: 100%
            For Sustainable Products & Circular Economy traceability through the GreenTrack Blockchain Technology, reporting can be seen for FY18=baseline, FY19="Visibility from fibre-to-retail" and FY20="100% visibility from forest-to-retail".  
        • Reporting is independently verified
          1/1
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes, using a third-party verification scheme or certification scheme.
            1/1
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes, using a third-party verification scheme or certification scheme.
            1/1
            Which tools, approaches, third-party verification, including certification, schemes are used?: FSC, PEFC
            "Birla Cellulose has implemented a strict 'Wood Sourcing Policy' and sources wood from sustainably managed forests following ® ® internationally renowned standards like FSC , SFI , PEFC™. All the suppliers adhere to 'Supplier Code of Conduct' and 'Supply Chain & Procurement Policy'" In 2019 and 2020 "100% controlled wood sourcing achieved" 
          • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes, using a third-party verification scheme or certification scheme.
            1/1
            Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes, using a third-party verification scheme or certification scheme.
            1/1
            For what percent of the company's supply volume is third-party verification of performance relative to commitments conducted?: 20%

            Which processes or groups does the company use for third party verification?: RCS (Recycle Claim Standard) of Textile Exchange 

            What percent of the company's supply volume is verified using company verification systems?: 20%
            "We approached Textile Exchange for certification ofthe product to confirm that the product is made withrecycled material. Audit of the manufacturing plantwas done by Certification body and after thesuccessful audit of the process we secured RCS(Recycle Claim Standard) of Textile Exchange, for LivaReviva. We are getting very positive response fromthe leading global brands who have already started toplace products made from Liva Reviva in the marketsand the volumes are showing excellent growth withina year of launch of this product."
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            No
            0/1
        • Suppliers aligned with deforestation commitments across supply chain
          No
          0/2
        • Deforestation cut off date
          Yes, for all sourcing regions/operations
          2/2
          Deforestation cut off date
          Yes, for all sourcing regions/operations
          2/2
          What cut-off date is specified?: 1994
          "The Group shall implement its best efforts to avoid trading and sourcing wood or wood fibre (herein referred to as wood) from the following categories: [...] Wood harvested from plantations established after 1994 through conversion of natural forests or converted to non-forest use"
        • Collaborative actions
          No
          0/2
        • Risk assessments for forest risk
          Yes
          2/2
          Risk assessments for forest risk
          Yes
          2/2
          How frequently are assessments conducted?: not disclosed
          "In addition, we have adopted the use of IUCN’s screening tool, the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT). This assessment tool has enabled our operations around the world to map biodiversity challenges in relation to the exact location of the site. The results that we have obtained from IBAT form the starting point of biodiversity risk assessment at our operations. "
        • Operations assessed to comply with law
          No
          0/2
          Operations assessed to comply with law
          No
          0/2
          "we expect our suppliers to comply with applicable laws and to adhere to environmental, social and corporate governance standards (ESG standards)."
        • Accessible grievance mechanism
          No
          0/4
          Accessible grievance mechanism
          No
          0/4
          Does the company publish grievances that have been made against it, as well as responses and resolutions including status and timeframes: No
        • Report volumes of commodity
          No reporting
          0/2
        • Report verified volumes of commodity
          100%
          6/6
          Report verified volumes of commodity
          100%
          6/6
          What third-party verification is used?: FSC and PEFC (SFI only applies to North America)

          For what percent of the company's supply volume is third-party verification of performance relative to commitments conducted?: 100%
           "Birla Cellulose has implemented a strict 'Wood Sourcing Policy' and sources wood from sustainably managed forests following internationally renowned standards like FSC, SFI, PEFC. All the suppliers adhere to 'Supplier Code of Conduct' and 'Supply Chain & Procurement Policy'" In 2019 and 2020 "100% controlled wood sourcing achieved"
        • Upstream: Monitor compliance with human rights
          Yes, commit to monitoring compliance with labour/worker rights
          2/4
          Upstream: Monitor compliance with human rights
          Yes, commit to monitoring compliance with labour/worker rights
          2/4
          "Continually improving human rights performance by sharing good practices and learnings, setting and reviewing targets, and monitoring, reporting and disclosing performance."
        • Upstream: Impact assessments for land development/acquisition
          Yes
          4/4
          Upstream: Impact assessments for land development/acquisition
          Yes
          4/4
          How does the company remedy adverse social and environmental impacts linked to their operations and/or supply chains?: "No Net Loss approach Our Group-wide biodiversity policy, technical standard and guidance notes set out our target to manage biodiversity based on a No Net Loss (NNL) approach. NNL calls for negative biodiversity impacts caused by projects to be balanced by biodiversity gains through compensation measures implemented in the region. These gains are evaluated against a baseline (a reference point or trajectory without the project occurring, or prior to the project occurring) of the relevant biodiversity values being impacted. While the NNL approach applies to all projects, for operational projects, steps for assessing biodiversity risks and past instances of biodiversity loss and ecosystem services will be carried out. These will identify mitigation actions and introduce obligatory additional conservation actions to compensate for past losses."
          (Impact assessments) As part of their environmental "our framework policies and programs" - "Environmental & Social Impact Assessment; Land Acquisition Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation" [...] "Building sustainable business models for mitigation and adaption"
        • Upstream: Reporting production/processing locations
          No disclosure
          0/4
        • Downstream: Publishing supplier lists
          No
          0/4
        • Upstream: Monitor compliance of production/processing
          Yes, using an internal verification system
          4/4
          Upstream: Monitor compliance of production/processing
          Yes, using an internal verification system
          4/4
          How frequently is compliance assessed?: Not disclosed 

          Does the company use a jurisdictional monitoring mechanism?: No

          What tools, processes, bodies carry out monitoring of the company's production or processing operations?: Sustainable Forestry System 

          Does the company use a certification system?: No
          "The Aditya Birla Group Company shall endeavour to: Maintain positive compliance to all applicable legal requirements, ABG Sustainability Framework and adopted international forestry scheme; Ensure conformance to the existing forest management programs, while procuring wood from other appropriate, approved sources; Ensure internal mechanisms are in place to track the origin of its fibre sources; Maintain a Sustainable Forest Management System for land it owns or directly manages. The system shall be regionally appropriate and meet the requirements of internationally recognized certification standards and good environmental and safety industry practice as defined in the ABG Sustainability Framework"
        • Upstream: Reporting hectares of deforestation
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Reporting hectares of deforestation
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          Engage with suppliers but with no time-bound threat of exclusion
          1/2
          Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          Engage with suppliers but with no time-bound threat of exclusion
          1/2
          Does the company engage non-compliant indirect suppliers in order to address and remedy non-compliance?: No
          "When suppliers contravene these criteria, the Company shall engage with them to change practices and/or re-evaluate the relationship with them."  
        • Downstream: Disclosure of non-compliant suppliers
          No disclosure
          0/2
  • Commitment strength
    18/20
    Avg. score
  • Reporting and Implementation
    23/50
    Avg. score
  • Social considerations
    6/18
    Avg. score

Profile

Aditya Birla Group is one of the largest conglomerates in India with operations in 34 countries. The group operates in sectors including fashion, cement, mobiles and viscose filament yarn. Aditya Birla Group is selected as a powerbroker for pulp & paper.

Sector
Industry sector 
Apparel & footwear
Segments
Producer, Trader, Processor, Manufacturer, Retailer
HQ
HQ 
India
Collective Commitments
Consumer Goods Forum member
New York Declaration on Forests signatory

Top Brands

American Eagle, Birla Modal, Combinate 35, Delice, Eternia, Forever 21, Hackett, Linen Club, Louis Philippe, Oxywhite, Pantaloons, Ralph Lauren, Raven, Ted Baker, VanHeusen

How we assess the Forest 500

To ensure deforestation free supply chains, companies need to adopt and implement timebound and measurable policies for forest risk commodities.

All assessments use policies published on company websites, some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Disclaimer

This assessment has been carried out following the methodology developed for the Forest 500 project, available here. Please see our disclaimer applicable to all information contained within this site and our terms and conditions for use of data presented on this site.

All assessments use policies published on company and financial institution websites, and while we endeavor to keep them updated some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Please contact us with any concerns or feedback about this or other assessments included in the Forest 500.