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First ‘Sustainability Report’ by NHAI

‘Sustainability Report’ by NHAI: This report highlights NHAI’s commitment to responsible governance, environmental stewardship, and inclusive work practices. The First ‘Sustainability Report’ by NHAI is also important for UPSC Prelims Exam and UPSC Mains Exam (GS Paper 3- Environment and Ecology).

‘Sustainability Report’ by NHAI  in News

Emphasizing its dedication to environmental sustainability, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has released its inaugural ‘Sustainability Report for FY 2021-22.’ The report encompasses NHAI’s governance framework, stakeholders, and initiatives pertaining to environmental and social responsibility. The esteemed release ceremony was conducted by Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways.

‘Sustainability Report’ by NHAI

The Sustainability Report highlights the positive outcomes of NHAI’s diverse endeavors in environmental and energy conservation. Between FY 2019-20 and 2021-22, direct emissions decreased by 18.44% owing to reduced fuel consumption. NHAI remains committed to further reducing indirect emissions by transitioning to cleaner and greener energy sources.

  • While the Sustainability Report of NHAI is not obligatory as per SEBI guidelines, it is a voluntary undertaking that showcases the organization’s commitment to sustainability.
  • The ‘Sustainability Report’ has been prepared in accordance with the reporting guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and has undergone external assurance by a third party following the International Standards on Assurance Engagements.
  • This significant initiative by NHAI is expected to create opportunities for infrastructure financing through “Green Finance,” in alignment with the framework established by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
  • NHAI has implemented substantial measures to embrace sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, such as incorporating renewable energy sources, advocating for green highways, and adopting effective waste management techniques.
  • Looking ahead, NHAI maintains its steadfast commitment to ensuring that its projects are not only economically feasible but also socially conscious and environmentally sustainable.

Sustainability Initiatives taken by NHAI

The measurement of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in Metric Tonnes CO2 equivalent per kilometer for energy consumption, operations, transport, and travel showed a reduction of 9.7% in the fiscal year 2020-21. Furthermore, in the fiscal year 2021-22, there was a 2% decrease in these emissions.

  • Similarly in operations, energy intensity in Giga Joules/km reduced by 37% in FY 2020-21 and 27% in FY 2021-22, while the kilometers constructed through the reporting period has risen steadily.
  • With over 97 percent penetration, Electronic Toll Collection through FASTag has contributed to reduce the carbon footprint.
  • Apart from this, NHAI has been using recycled materials for National Highway construction. Use of fly-ash and plastic waste in construction has increased over the last three years.
  • NHAI has  been encouraging use of Recycled Asphalt (RAP) and Recycled Aggregates (RA) in the National Highway construction.
  • In order to ensure sustainable environmental growth, more than 100 Wildlife Crossings were created in three years across 20 States as a measure for wildlife protection and conservation to reduce man-animal conflict.
  • Over the years, NHAI has been undertaking plantation drives to develop eco-friendly National Highways.
  • There has been a significant increase in number of saplings planted from 2016-17 till 2021-22. Around 2.74 crore saplings were planted till 2021-22 to offset direct emissions from the vehicles.
  • NHAI has partnered with different stakeholders such as State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM), Self Help Groups, CSR partners and NGOs to collaboratively organize plantation drives.
  • In July 2022, NHAI organized a nationwide plantation drive and planted around 1.1 lakh plants in a single day through simultaneous plantations at 114 identified locations across the country.

Inclusive Work Practices by NHAI

The report emphasizes the commitment of NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) towards sustainable development and the promotion of inclusive and responsible work practices.

  • Over the past three years, NHAI has made significant progress in enhancing the employment opportunities for women and marginalized communities.
  • By implementing a performance-based management system, NHAI has effectively fostered gender diversity and increased the representation of minority employees.
  • During this period, there has been a noteworthy rise of 7.4 percent in female hiring and an overall increase of 3 percent in the total workforce across three financial years.


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What is the 'Sustainability Report' released by NHAI?

The 'Sustainability Report' is NHAI's inaugural report highlighting its commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible practices.

What does the Sustainability Report cover?

The report encompasses NHAI's governance framework, stakeholders, and initiatives pertaining to environmental and social responsibility.

Who conducted the release ceremony of NHAI's Sustainability Report?

The release ceremony of the report was conducted by Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways.

Is the Sustainability Report mandatory for NHAI?

The Sustainability Report is not mandatory as per SEBI guidelines but is a voluntary undertaking that showcases NHAI's commitment to sustainability.

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