The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

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Case study: How APSEZ manages waste responsibly

APSEZ (Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited) is India’s largest private sector port developer and operator company, with ports located at strategic locations across the Indian coastline. In its effort to minimise its environmental impact, and become a Zero Waste organisation, APSEZ is taking a number of initiatives to reduce, reprocess, reuse, recycle and recover waste.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2016-17 Sustainability Report by APSEZ 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.

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Continuously working towards its vision for Zero Waste by implementing the 5R principles of waste management (reduce-reprocess-reuse-recycle & recover), from April 2016 to March 2017 APSEZ successfully recycled 119 MT of solid waste, created compost of 40 MT from food waste and sent 6 MT of waste for co-processing. In order to manage waste responsibly APSEZ took action to:

  • reduce waste
  • reprocess waste
  • recover waste
  • recycle waste
  • reuse waste

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016-17 Sustainability Report APSEZ identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, occupational health and safety, compliance, training & education, procurement practices. Among these, managing waste responsibly stands out as a key material issue for APSEZ.

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:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

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 APSEZ engages with:  

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Customers ·      Personal Interviews


·      Vendor meet

·      Group Discussions

·      Vendor Audits



·      Online Surveys

·      Group Discussions

·      Individual performance appraisals

Local communities ·      Group Discussion
Investors/Shareholders ·      Online Surveys by third party

·      Annual General Meeting

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics APSEZ engaged with key internal and external stakeholders through various methods, that included online sustainability questionnaires and focus group discussions.

What actions were taken by APSEZ to manage waste responsibly?

In its 2016-17 Sustainability Report APSEZ reports that it took the following actions for managing waste responsibly:

  • Reducing waste
  • As an active supporter of digital India, APSEZ has reduced the use of paper in its daily operations, implementing a “paperless office” initiative that enabled APSEZ to save 23,524 kg of paper since February 2016. This has been achieved by introducing new systems and improving some of the existing ones. For example, by shifting from paper-based workforce management to an online workforce management system. This process alone, reduced consumption by approximately 1 lack (100,000) papers every month. In addition, in June 2016, APSEZ launched another drive to eliminate the use of plastics at Mundra and Tuna ports. As a result, the use of plastic commodities, including polythene bags, water pouches, tea cups and food parcel containers has been reduced and the use of alternatives, such as cotton bags, has been increased.
  • Reprocessing waste
  • In order to divert organic waste from port canteens from occupants of Samudra Township and Shantivan Colony from landfill, APSEZ launched a pilot project and installed a small-scale biomethanation plant at Kishan Kanaiya Canteen near MRF Site, Mundra. The energy generated is utilised in the same canteen and, considering the success of the project, APSEZ plans to establish a large-scale plant at the central kitchen location, which be able to manage 1.2 MT food waste generated from the port’s central kitchen, townships and cafeterias. APSEZ has also developed a pilot scale vermicomposting facility at the Samudra township STP area, to manage the composting of food waste, STP sludge and soil material/dung, preparing high quality, saleable manure.
  • Recovering waste
  • APSEZ has established a Material Recovery Facility, for the environmentally sound management of Dry Solid Waste. Currently, manual sorting is carried out for sorting different types of solid waste. Recyclable material that has been sorted – paper, plastic, cardboard, PET bottles, glass, etc. – is sent for recycling, while remaining non-recyclable waste is bailed and sent to a cement plant for co-processing as RDF (Refused Derived Fuel).
  • Recycling waste
  • Every year, port and residential colonies generate approximately 5 MT of e-waste, which includes used gadgets and electronic equipment such as computers, laptops, etc. APSEZ makes sure that this e-waste is recycled as per norms, by authorised agencies.
  • Reusing waste
  • APSEZ generates different types of scrap materials such as conveyor belt, empty plastic barrels, GI sheet, used tyre, Tarpaulin, waste oil, wire rope and wooden ply scrap. All these scrap materials have been used to create various sculptures, which are placed at various locations at APSEZ, Mundra port, adding to the place’s aesthetics. During the reporting period, 6 such sculptures were prepared, using metal and tyre scrap.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 306-2 Waste by type and disposal method

Disclosure 306-2 Waste by type and disposal method corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

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1) This case study is based on published information by APSEZ, 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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