India Celebrates World Environment Day

June 5 marks World Environment Day, and India is also celebrating in innovative ways. Here are several stories of how people and organizations are marking this day:

The show will present the journey of short listed candidates who will perform various time bound tasks and the winner, chosen through public voting under the guidance of a panel of eminent judges, will be declared as India’s Environmentalist during a 24-hour telethon, which will be a part of NDTV’s nationwide environment campaign later this year. The entries for the reality show will be open between June 5 and July 5, 2008.

The website http://www.green.ndtv.com, will enable visitors to write and read articles, view environment specific messages from eminent personalities and download environment collateral, screensavers and wallpapers. The website will also have a dedicated section on India’s Environmentalist, where people will be able to file their entries for the reality show.

  • Biker and creator of TreeCycle Project Shrenik Rao is partnering with UNEP to bicycle around India, from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. He will “interact and discuss issues relating to the environment and global warming with individuals from all walks of life” along the way. Individuals wishing to support this journey can pledge to plant trees as part of UNEP’s Plant A Billion Trees campaign.
  • SOS Children’s Villages partnered with Coca-Cola India to hold painting competitions around environmental topics in 31 villages across the country with hundreds of children.
  • YES BANK, a new age private sector bank, today announced the launch of YES COMMUNITY, an innovative Responsible Banking initiative to be executed through micro-events being organised at the Bank’s retail branch network nationally. In the first year of its inception, YES COMMUNITY has adopted the theme of ‘Planet Earth’ for the Financial Year 2009. [Source: Moneycontrol.com]

Evening Edition

  • Agriculture: Politicians are expected to focus much of their rhetoric and polling towards the upcoming elections on issues near to rural agrarian sectors of the population. Amidst fears for price increases on basic goods, both Minister for Food and Civil Supplies C. Divakaran and Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar said the the centre will take necessary steps to minimize such rises. Pawar went as far as to say that the country will import wheat if necessary. Pawar said such after flying to Punjab and Haryana to examine the state of the wheat crop in that area.
  • Natural Resources and Water: Protestors have successfully forced the Asian Development Bank to pull out from the Phulbari mining project. In Varanasi, the District Minister has started investigating Coca-Cola with regard to water pollution.

Evening Edition

  • Water and environment: Cross-state water supply link will not be stopped by political maneuvering, says CM. Moving to Varanasi, the National Water Conference is underway. Finally, in protest to the company’s water usage and other environmental abuses, a UP community shuts down Coca-Cola Plant.
  • Research: First government funded stem cell research center established in Tamil Nadu
  • Government Pay: Armed Services chiefs target the Pay Commission’s recommendations. Railway workers intend to do the same.
  • Foreign Relations and Olympics: India continues to play it safe with regard to Dalai Lama and China, urging the spiritual leader to not ruffle any feathers.
  • Health: Predictions have the HIV-AIDS population to be 15% of total in Asia by 2020 without stepped up action
  • Energy: Biogass power plant to be built in Oddanchatram

Coca-cola to go water-neutral

As reported by GreenBiz.com,  Coca Cola plans to reshape its water consumption practices for its beverages in order to operate in a more socially responsible manner throughout the world.

 The report, “Drinking It In: The Evolution of a Global Water Stewardship Program at The Coca-Cola Company” follows the company’s efforts to achieve “water neutrality” across its worldwide operations while facing challenges from global water quality, availability and access.

Using surveys at various points along the product stream, Coca Cola has developed an integrated strategy to address their water usage.

This year, the company has set a goal of becoming the most efficient company in the world in terms of water use in the beverage industry. It plans to be fully aligned with global wastewater treatment and reuse standards by the end of 2010. It will support projects and investments that focus on rainwater collection, reforestation, protecting water sources and local access to them and the efficient agricultural use of water.

CSR for Coca-Cola: $10 million to be allocated

From Avashya

The Indian arm of the world’s largest soft drinks company Coca-Cola India is all set to come up with an India specific arm for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities this year, starting with a corpus of $10 million.