We at Apollo Tyres are aware of the environmental risks and challenge that mankind faces today and work with our stakeholders in a concerted fashion to find solutions. As a part of our environmental sustainability journey, we have initiated a number of projects on themes of biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, water ecosystems, renewable energy & waste management. We believe our efforts towards environment conservation will help reduce the burden on the planet, eventually bringing back smiles to life.
Biodiversity has been identified as an important area of intervention under the environment programme – Habitat Apollo. As an industry type dependent on natural resources like rubber; our relationship with biodiversity is deeply underlined. We run various initiatives around the theme of biodiversity conservation. These cover projects inside the plant boundary as well as in the communities. In addition, the organisation has mapped its impact on biodiversity in its manufacturing locations through formal risk and impact assessment studies. As an outcome of such studies, biodiversity conservation projects have been developed at all the sites – both within and outside the fence. These include theme based gardens for butterfly, fruits tree gardens, pond revival in community, amongst many others.
Mangrove Conservation Project, Kannur, Kerala
We have partnered with Wildlife Trust of India and initiated a project on Mangrove conservation in Kannur, Kerala. Mangroves are unique ecosystems growing along the inter-tidal coastal habitats such as shorelines, estuaries and backwaters that support a rich biodiversity as well as provides valuable ecosystem services to coastal populations. Apart from offering refuge and being nursery grounds for diverse and many threatened terrestrial and aquatic fauna, they provide food, fodder, medicines, fuel wood, raw materials for cottage industries and construction materials. They also act as barriers for natural hazards such as cyclones and tsunamis; prevent coastal erosion; and maintain inland water quality by preventing sea-water intrusion and trapping sediments. Mangroves are the spawning grounds or nurseries to many edible and commercially important fin fishes and shell fishes, and many coastal communities, mostly below-the-poverty-line people, depend on them for their financial and nutritional security. However, world over, mangrove forests have faced considerable destruction, mostly owing to human interventions. Almost 90% of Kerala’s mangroves are under private ownership, and the rest lies with various government agencies like the state Forest Department (Kerala FD). These ecosystems are heavily fragmented and occur only in patches. Conversion for coconut plantations and other agricultural practices has been one main reason behind the reduction in mangrove areas.
Through this initiative we wish to ensure the survival of the existing natural mangroves and promote the increase in acreage of such ecosystems. As a part of the project, a nodal centre has been set up for mangrove-based nature education, research and restoration in Kannur, Kerala. It will also promote community-based initiatives to reduce threats to mangroves and enhance public awareness on environmental issues and on the linkage of mangrove protection and sustainable livelihoods. It is expected to pave way for creating a long-term impact on the local policies, by including mangrove protection in the local self-government plans and policies. A mangrove biodiversity inventory will also be created with community participation. The project is modelled on multi stakeholder engagement approach through involvement of local students, youth, communities, government bodies, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders. The interpretation centre will assist mangrove-focussed nature education, research and encourage mangrove conservation.
Afforestation project in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
Our afforestation programme is aimed at creating carbon sinks by promoting plantations of teak trees in water stressed areas of Tamil Nadu. Teak is a naturally existing plant of the region and requires less water in the growth years. It thus makes it a natural choice coupled with the fact that teak wood has a good value as timber. This makes it an attractive proposition for the farmers who realise economic benefits from selling the timber at the end of the life of the tree. We have initiated this programme in Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai and Tiruvallur districts in Tamil Nadu. Under this initiative, we are on our way to plant 2,50,000 saplings by the end of March 2017. The programme also promotes inter cropping to enhance the soil productivity thus presenting extra income opportunities to the farmers participating in the programme.
Initiatives within the Campus
We also promote biodiversity within our manufacturing facilities with a view of fostering mutual co-existence. This is also our endeavour to challenge the notion of zero sum game attached traditionally between nature and industrial setup. Our campuses are home to butterflies, honey bees and plants of various natural significance. We have set up dedicated Butterfly gardens, apiculture corners, fruit tree & medicinal gardens for this purpose.
We are home to more than 26 species of butterflies while the garden has 40 species of nectar and host plants. Our Apiculture garden has 12 beehives with rich colonies of Apis Indica. In the fruit tree garden we have more than 50 species of native fruit trees. We also promote organic farming and have a small vegetable farm inside the campus. All the produce from the organic farm is supplied to the plant canteen.
Environmental sustainability is a pivotal focus area at Apollo Tyres. We understand that eco-conscious behaviour is no more a matter of choice but an urgent need. We aim to mainstream environmentally responsible conduct and resource conservation amongst our key stakeholders through various programmes.