NHAI Comes Out With Its First Sustainability Report On Environmental Responsibility

By Outlook Planet Desk June 06, 2023

The NHAI's sustainability activities have been beneficial for environmental and energy conservation

NHAI Comes Out With Its First Sustainability Report On Environmental Responsibility
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Suresh K Pandey/Outlook

According to a statement from the ministry on Monday, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has released its first "Sustainability Report for FY 2021-22," demonstrating its commitment to social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

The governance structure of NHAI, stakeholder involvement, and projects connected to the environment and social responsibility are all included in the report, which was released by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.

The NHAI's sustainability initiatives have had a favourable impact on energy and environmental conservation. Direct emissions decreased by 18.44 and 9.49 percent between FY 2019–20 and FY 2021–22 as a result of lower fuel usage. According to the statement, the company is still concentrating on lowering indirect emissions by switching to cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy sources.

The report notes a decrease in the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) caused by energy use, operations, transportation, and travel. 9.7% less was spent in the fiscal year 2020–21, and another 2% less was spent in the fiscal year 2021–22.

NHAI also increased the number of kilometres built throughout the reporting period while significantly reducing energy intensity, with reductions of 37% in FY 2020–21 and 27% in FY 2021–22.

The wide-spread use of electronic toll collection made possible by FASTag, which has over 97% penetration, has also greatly reduced carbon emissions.

For the past three years, NHAI has actively used recycled materials for building national highways, including fly ash and plastic garbage. According to the statement, recycled aggregates (RA) and recycled asphalt (RAP) are both being used more frequently.

In the last three years, NHAI has built more than 100 wildlife bridges across 20 states in an effort to safeguard wildlife and reduce man-animal conflict.

Additionally, the report highlights NHAI's dedication to environmentally friendly practices, such as planting trees alongside national highways. From 2016–17 to 2021–22, the group saw a huge increase in the number of saplings planted, with almost 27.4 million saplings planted to offset automobile emissions.

In order to organise plantation drives, NHAI has partnered with a number of stakeholders, including the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM), self-help organisations, CSR partners, and NGOs. A statewide plantation drive was carried out by NHAI in July 2022, planting around 110,000 plants in a single day at 114 designated spots all over the nation.

The NHAI has made progress in developing inclusive and responsible work practises in addition to sustainable development. The organisation has seen an upsurge in the employment of marginalised communities and women over the last three years.

A performance-based management approach has helped NHAI successfully promote gender diversity and minority hiring, which has led to a 7.4% rise in female hiring and a 3% increase in the workforce over the course of three fiscal years.