Ambuja Cements Limited (ACL), established in 1986, is one of India’s leading cement manufacturing companies, with a product portfolio largely revolving around cementitious products such as Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), Pozzolana Portland Cement (PPC) and Pozzolana Composite Cement (PCC). A company is as good as its employees, and that motivates Ambuja to carving out leaders through various initiatives for developing and retaining superior talent Tweet This!, while providing a collaborative working atmosphere free from discrimination and harassment along with equal career development opportunities for all employees.
This case study is based on the 2019 Sustainable Development Report by Ambuja published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.
Learning and development activities help Ambuja make sure that it has the right people, in the right role, with the right competencies, at its industrial sites. In order to promote employee development Ambuja took action to:
- establish a Leadership Academy
- offer virtual learning opportunities
- implement Impact, a programme for plant heads
- launch a digital learning platform
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With this case study you will see:
- Which are the most important impacts (material issues) Ambuja has identified;
- How Ambuja proceeded with stakeholder engagement, and
- What actions were taken by Ambuja to promote employee development
What are the material issues the company has identified?
In its 2019 Sustainable Development Report Ambuja identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, compliance to regulatory requirements, biodiversity, health & safety. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for Ambuja.
Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:
Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.
Key stakeholder groups Ambuja engages with:
To identify and prioritise material topics Ambuja engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:
|Stakeholder Group||Method of engagement|
|Shareholders and Investors
|· Annual General Meeting
· Investor Grievance Cell
· Board Meetings/Communications
· Annual Report
|Dealers and Suppliers
|· Channel Satisfaction Survey
· Grihalakshmi Conference
· Annual Meeting
· Marketing Meetings
|· Technical Services Team
· Site Visits
|· Employee Engagement Survey
· Function-specific Meetings and Newsletters
· Magazines — I CAN, I SIGHT
· Functions and Programmes
|Community and NGOs
|· Ambuja Cement Foundation
· Community Advisory Panel
· Site Specific Impact Assessment
|Government and Regulatory Authorities||· Meetings
· Communications on proposed legislations
|· Press Briefings/Invitation to Events
· Site Specific Impact Assessment
|Construction Professionals||· Ambuja Knowledge Centres|
· Policy Papers
In its 2019 Sustainable Development Report Ambuja reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development:
- Establishing a Leadership Academy
- The ACC ACL Leadership Academy (AALA) (a joint academy of ACC and Ambuja Cement, started in 2012) and Techport (for technical trainings) provide leadership as well as functional trainings for employees, to develop capability and competence. Apart from classroom and on the job trainings, focus is also on virtual e-learning trainings and webinars for wider coverage on different topics, while facilitating employees to learn at their own pace and place. AALA and Techport partner with some of the best management and technical institutes to build competence in identified areas. Training is identified and aligned to business needs and about 50% of staff time at the academy is spent in understanding and inculcating strong work practices during training.
- Offering virtual learning opportunities
- Ambuja has conducted 16 Virtual Classroom training sessions in addition to classroom programmes, to cover a larger population of the sales force. This goes a long way in making sure that the field force is comfortable using technology and continues to work in the field. Virtual Learning ensures that salespeople have a greater understanding of their responsibilities within their role and in turn build their confidence, which will enhance their overall performance.
- Implementing Impact, a programme for plant heads
- For plant heads, Ambuja conducted a unique programme to:
- Develop strategic thinking, planning and execution skills
- Translate global strategy into local actions
- Take quality decisions in high-stake and ambiguous conditions
- Manage communication channels
- See what it takes to lead a team with conflicting priorities
- Additionally, Ambuja implements the Kirkpatrick Model to assess the effectiveness of training programmes at three levels:
- reaction of employees;
- behavioural change; and
- results of the training (applied for few trainings).
- For level 3 assessment, action learning projects were conducted to assess whether employees can convert their learning into action. Evaluation for a technical training “Walk by inspector Certification program” revealed the quantified benefits in improving Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF).
- Launching a digital learning platform
- As on-demand learning becomes popular, Ambuja introduced a digital learning platform by using micro learning for effective training. SAIL (Super Assisted Intelligent Learning) intends to reach out to maximum learners, creating new learning opportunities for everyone, available on both Web and Mobile. This method proves useful for acquiring skills, as grasping concepts becomes easier when employees can follow the momentum on a device of their choice. SAIL focuses on inclusive learning, ensuring maximum people are offered learning opportunities through curated content delivered online at their workplace. Over 80% of employees started using the digital platform for learning. The SAIL platform hosts more than 80 e-learning modules and over 3,000 employees started using it, with the total time spent by them on the leaning platform amounting to 1,032 hours. Additionally, a total of 6,401 content views showed that learners are adopting to this digital learning platform.
Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?
The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs
Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:
- Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Targets: 8.2, 8.5
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1) This case study is based on published information by Ambuja, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:
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