Champions of sustainability
The Tata North America Sustainability Awards recognize Tata employees in North America who do their bit to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
The philosophy of corporate sustainability is at the core of Tata group ethos. For Tata companies, environment and community are key factors to consider when it comes to making profits and how to use them.
In 2016, Tata Sons established the Tata North America Sustainability Awards to acknowledge the contribution of employees who strive to live out the Tata values of giving back to their communities and the environment. Now in its third year, the awards showcase the remarkable achievements of countless Tata employees across the region, embodying the environmental, social and ethical principles that have become synonymous with the Tata name.
The Sustainability Awards were initiated with four key objectives in mind:
In September, Tata Sons announced the winners of the 2018 Sustainability Awards. The following individuals and teams were recognized for their efforts to sustain the Tata tradition and advance Tata’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Rahul Das, Tata Consultancy Services
Rahul Das of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has shown unflagging support of his Tampa Bay, Florida, community in areas spanning health, education and the environment. Rahul has galvanized hundreds of his Tata colleagues to get involved and volunteer at over 500 local events, embodying Tata's values and culture of giving back. Rahul's efforts have created pathways for TCS Tampa Bay associates to fight hunger, support voluntary health organizations, and help local community members after disasters.
Thanks to his commitment and persistence, Rahul was able to generate 582 volunteer opportunities for his TCS colleagues between April 2017-2018. Two of the most significant volunteering events were with national partners of TCS — the American Heart Association and American Red Cross.
TCS brought 150 volunteers for the American Heart Association Heart Walk, raising funds and awareness to help prevent the leading cause of deaths in the United States. The group also supported the ‘Go Red’ movement, which focuses on promoting heart health awareness among women.
Thanks to Rahul’s leadership, TCS was able to bring the local American Red Cross chapter onsite for a disaster response training session followed by a disaster kit assembly. The group was able to donate 500 assembled kits to the local chapter.
Last August, Rahul worked closely with the non-profit ‘Feeding Children Everywhere’, bringing together 112 associates on a Saturday morning to pack 20,000 non-perishable meals.
Rahul also helped lead TCS’s involvement when supporting a client’s own Global Volunteer Day, helping signal TCS’s alignment with the client and reflecting the company’s values and culture of giving back. One hundred plus volunteers contributed more than 400 hours in initiatives like Feeding America, Tampa Bay State Parks clean-up, Homeless Empowerment programs, and supporting school STEM programs or building / restoring homes in local communities.
Rahul’s efforts worked towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of ensuring good health and eliminating hunger.
"Don't stop. Keep moving and continue making a difference," urges Rahul.
Patrick Gibson, Joshua Dennard, Donna Rodgers, Sarah Steele And Kyle Heythaler, Tata Technologies
Patrick, Josh, Donna, Sarah and Kyle of the Tata Technologies’ CSR team have dedicated themselves to ensuring an inclusive and quality educational environment for all in their community. Their team leads Tata Technologies’ STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Youth Literacy Program in the Detroit Public School system, where they were successful in distributing almost 2,000 STEM books, providing hands-on special sessions and events, as well as organizing a field trip to the company’s North American headquarters in Novi, Michigan.
Unfortunately, many schools in the Detroit Public School education system face daily struggles with a lack of supplies, educational material and on-the-ground support. These challenges put the students in this district at an enormous disadvantage. Through Tata Technologies’ STEM Youth Literacy Program, this winning team helped provide more than 1,700 STEM books for Detroit elementary students.
In the fall of 2017, the Tata Technologies team organized a ‘STEM Zone’ event at three different Detroit elementary schools, where students received STEM books and participated in a variety of hands-on activities, from electrical engineering and human anatomy projects to sound wave tests.
Throughout the rest of the school year, the program focused on the 5th graders at JE Clark Prep Academy on Detroit’s east side. The curriculum included monthly distributions of age-appropriate STEM-related titles and reading / writing assignments to the students to promote and encourage the development of reading and writing skills. As well as hands-on activities related to that month’s topic, introductions to STEM literature and careers (ie, coding, robotics, automotive, aerospace, medical, etc) was a recurring theme.
There were also special sessions / events included in the program throughout the year such as a session for female students to interact with female engineers, to promote gender equality and empower girls specifically in STEM fields. Other sessions featured activities to promote good hygiene, healthy living, etc. The students also made one field trip to the company’s North American headquarters in Novi, Michigan, where engineers, designers and technical support staff discussed steps they can take to pursue a career in STEM.
The program will continue next year with plans to expand to the entire JE Clark Prep Academy.
The initiative is aligned with the company’s corporate social responsibility mission of ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning, and in turn supported the UN Sustainable Development Goal to help every child obtain a quality education.
“Having started this in Detroit 5 years ago, the STEM Youth Literacy Program has become a personal mission of mine as I have watched many of these students grow up, longer than my own children have been alive,” says Kyle. “I see the impact that it makes, coming back year after year, with the personal growth of these kids yearning for that STEM knowledge. The excitement from the kids when they see me walk into the classroom reaffirms the decisions and sacrifices I make to be a part of this amazing initiative.”
Matt Miller, Ed Moss And Mike Savopoulos, Tata Steel
Matt, Ed and Mike of the Tata Steel pickling optimization team have played instrumental roles in pioneering effective ways to promote environment responsibility and reduce waste. Their team is behind the dramatic decrease in hydrochloric acid and water consumption used in pickled steel. Through their efforts, the use of outside storage tanks and shipping reclaimed material on a hazardous waste manifest have also been reduced significantly.
The steel pickling optimization team’s effort:
- Reduced the amount of hydrochloric acid consumption per ton of pickled steel from 26 gal/ton to 4.2 gal/ton.
- Reduced the amount of waste acid generated by 2.5 million lbs per year.
- Reduced water consumption on the pickling line by 33 percent.
- Eliminated the use of outside storage tanks.
- Eliminated the need to ship reclaimed material on a hazardous waste manifest.
By addressing the waste challenges posed in the pickled steel process, the team was able to help reach the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Ed explains, “We went through several rigorous cycles of planning and checking and acting until we produced our material with the lowest levels of hydrochloric acid possible, while still maintaining quality.
“Essentially, all of our work comes back to the lean effort that we were trained on years ago. Today, quality standards and environmental standards are inextricably linked and we continuously use the resources we have in a way that maximizes both to our benefit. It’s not just about the environment or the product, it’s about doing the right thing, and we’re passionate about making a better mousetrap.”
Tami Wood, Jaguar Land Rover
Tami Wood of the Jaguar Land Rover North America team has gone above and beyond to connect her colleagues to volunteer opportunities that help promote under-represented groups in STEM to educational and career-focused programs. She has been a key figure in fostering her company’s standing with the community at large.
Over the last five years, Tami has built relationships with Girls Inc, Code2040, iUrban Teen, ChickTech and the Rosewood Initiative, which is a local Portland community program that helps youth and young adults with career guidance. Thanks to Tami’s efforts, Code 2040, Girls Inc, iUrbanTeen and many more workshops in Portland, Oregon, have all had programs led by Tata staff. She has brought representatives from these organizations to Jaguar Land Rover’s offices for workshops consisting of career panels, technology demos, mentoring, and collaborative hands-on activity, all of which have incorporated JLR staff.
Tami has also supported local entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities through the Jaguar Land Rover Innovation Labs Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program.
The work she has done with these programs has also bled into her personal life. She currently sits on the executive council for iUrban Teen and is regularly asked to contribute to events and conversations around diversity, inclusion, and values in the Portland tech community.
Tami's work helps support the UN Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and the goal to help all children obtain a quality education.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by Tata for the work I’m doing with STEM education. But it’s an even greater honor to be able to do the work I do. Watching a kid’s eyes widen and their mouth gape when they see a car door open from the push of a button, or see them skipping snacks to huddle around a computer to keep working on something they just learned, or when I see them come through the door for the third year in a row… that’s the real award. I could not do what I do without my awesome co-workers volunteering their time to these activities. I am so thankful and appreciative of every single one of them,” reveals Tami.
Lily Milutinovic, Tata Steel Americas
From day one of joining the Tata team, Lily Milutinovic of Tata Steel Americas has fully immersed herself in contributing to local charities and participating in community service projects. Lily channeled her experience in caring for her daughter who was born with a congenital heart defect into helping other newborns and their families facing similar situations.
After sharing her family’s story with the Americas team, they unanimously voted to support Lily’s cause, The Pediatric Congenital Heart Association of Illinois, and have since raised over $1,500 for the organization through two separate volunteer days. These contributions will fund more research to find causes and possible cures, build more care packages for the families that will hear the news that there is something wrong with their baby’s heart, and help spread awareness about congenital heart defects.
Lily’s dedication not only assists families in need, but also helps fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goal to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being.
Lily elaborates on her cause, “Please let me start out by saying thank you for nomination and for the award. This is a cause that is very dear to me, as I have a beautiful little girl named Alyiah who was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect when I was 4 months pregnant.
“Alyiah had her first open heart surgery when she was only 3 months old. During this tough time, Pediatric Congenital Heart Association (PCHA) was my savior. They gave me all the necessary tools to deal emotionally and physically with this issue. They also made sure I was aware of what my daughter was going through and how she would be able to live a healthy and normal life. PCHA helped me take necessary measures that seemed small but had a huge impact on my daughter’s health and happiness.
“Our kids may not look sick, but they fight the battle of life every day. I thank each one of my coworkers who took the time out of their day to come experience PCHA and get educated in something that so many people don’t know about. Their contributions will help be the voice for our babies’ futures.”
Hanna Sebhat, Gloria Striggles, Robert Gilman, Shamia Hutchins and Elsie Wade, Tata Global Beverages
Hanna, Gloria, Robert, Shamia and Elsie of the Tata Global Beverages Landover Team have taken on a number of local charitable causes, completing over 200 hours of community service projects for the year 2017-2018.
The Tata Global Beverages Landover team has volunteered with several local organizations and schools to support the Tata sustainability objectives, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For the year 2017-2018, the winning team has completed over 200 hours of community service in wide-ranging areas such as homeless support, hurricane Harvey relief, and school supply drives.
The team’s commitment to a broad scope of issues touches on many UN Sustainable Development Goals, including ending poverty and hunger, supporting quality education for children, and the reduction of inequalities.
“The Eight O’clock Coffee team strives to have an impact on the people and communities in our area, from helping the homeless during the cold winter months to assisting the youth with much-needed school supplies and mentoring. We remain committed to being a pillar of compassionate strength in our community. Participating in sustainability initiatives keeps us engaged and brings our team joy. We don’t give to get, we give to inspire others to give!” affirms the team.