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Air India and UNEP come together to protect the environment

Mumbai, September 5, 2005: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found a strong Indian ally in the form of Air India, India’s flagship carrier. Air India has established a corporate Environment Core Group under the Chairmanship of Mr. V. Thulasidas, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India. The Group will act as the focal point with whom UNEP would interact on various environmental issues. The Group is meeting in Mumbai starting today till the 8th of September, 2005 at Air India headquarters, Nariman Point, Mumbai to address environmental and social responsibility issues.

This new development has received a boost by this meeting of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) partners. GRI is an international multi-stakeholder process to develop guidelines for companies on how to do environmental and sustainability reporting (similar to their annual financial reporting). The GRI Guidelines is currently undergoing its 3rd revision process.

The working group comprises of about 30 participants, which includes global players like, Hewlett Packard, British Petroleum and Price Waterhouse Coopers, Shell and Indian companies like Tatas, ITC, Rallis, Essar, KPMG, Ambuja Cement, Ernst and Young, Confederation of Indian Industries. This will provide an ideal opportunity for Air India and other Global Compact company participants from India to be introduced to Corporate Social Responsibility management, reporting and the GRI.

In this regard, Mr. Thulasidas said, “As India’s national carrier, we are a part of our country’s effort to ensure ecological stability and environmental well-being of our country, and the world as a whole. As responsible global citizens, we have teamed up with UNEP to ensure sustainable development and progress of mankind.”

UNEP is a world body that is at the forefront of protecting the global environment. It works with governments, industry, non–governmental organizations and the public to set a flight path towards a sustainable future for all. Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director, UNEP, said, “UNEP commends Air India for taking a proactive role in raising awareness of environmental sustainability. The invention of the airplane remains one of humankind’s greatest achievements. With ingenuity and commitment, humankind broke free of gravity. With the same creative energy, we can overcome the challenges of environmental sustainability.”

This association with UNEP will give Air India the opportunity to meet other leading companies in the world and understand the environmental issues that they are addressing.

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