ITC Classmate celebrates World Environment Day

Engages students in Chennai to create urban forests

ITC Classmate
ITC Classmate celebrates World Environment Day. Photo ITC

Over the past two decades, ITC has supported a sustainable and inclusive forestry value chain for its paperboards and specialty paper business. It contributes to carbon sequestration by creating a large green cover whilst supporting large-scale livelihood tribals and marginal farmers. The Business has adopted an indigenous fibre-sourcing strategy by supporting the growth of renewable plantations, thus contributing to import substitution. Encouraged by ITC’s large-scale afforestation initiative, Classmate has taken up a local tree plantation initiative in Chennai and students on World Environment Day. ITC’s large-scale afforestation programme has greened over 9,50,000 acres of land and provided over a 170-million-person day of sustainable livelihood to farmers in India. The efforts made by ITC to promote responsible sourcing and sustainable plantations have led to the Forest Stewardship Council certification and membership of WWF-Global Forest and Trade Network.

ITC Classmate’s small but significant afforestation drive involving school students aims to complement the efforts of volunteers combating climate change at a local level. It has partnered with the Environmentalist Foundation of India, which the Chengalpet District Administration has invited to create a forest patch at Vengadamangalam, a fast-growing residential suburban pocket of Chennai. It is witnessing land, water, and air contamination with a profound shift in land use, growth, and ecology at large.

It is developing this project as an urban forest as part of a collaboration between the government, industry, students, and civic society. The objective of this afforestation project is also to motivate school students fully understand the importance of positive environmental actions and develop eco-consciousness. To ensure that, ITC Classmate has planned a dedicated orientation program in 24 schools in the city from 10 June 2022 to 31 July 2022. The program aims to enhance their understanding of nuances of resource utilization, biodiversity preservation, and sustainability. After attending the orientation program, students are expected to volunteer at the afforestation site in Vengadamangalam and get involved in post-plant maintenance like plant watering, manuring, and nourishment.ITC Classmate

Speaking about the initiative, Vikas Gupta, chief executive officer, Education and Stationery Products Business Division, ITC, said, “Climate change is impacting us in myriad ways. The young generation will have to play a significant role in environmental conservation. At ITC, responsible capitalism is an ongoing strategy that focuses on extreme competitiveness but in a manner that replenishes the environment and supports sustainable livelihood. As part of this ethos, we, at ITC Classmate, have taken it upon ourselves to enhance understanding of the youth about the afforestation and take actions that would support their hope and trust in active actions for the future. We are endeavouring to embed awareness, know-how and capability amongst students on how they can foster sustainability in their daily way of life.”

The Vengadamangalam panchayat dedicated the land parcel to developing an urban forest intending to mitigate issues related to pollution and recreate lost habitats by encouraging biodiversity. ITC Classmate, through its NGO partner Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI), cleaned this land parcel of any non-degradable trash and invasive plants, completed trench work, and created nourishment beds. It planted 1350 saplings of native plants and planted berry-bearing, nectar-bearing, and fruit-bearing varieties on the entire plot, besides fencing it with a dedicated water source for the growth of the saplings.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here