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Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER)

The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006, issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, as amended from time to time, prescribes the process for granting prior environment clearance (EC) in respect of cevoain development projects/activities listed out in the Schedule to the Notification.

Sustainable development has many important facets/components like social, economic, environmental, etc. and these components are closely interrelated and mutually re-enforcing.

Therefore, the general structure of the EIA document, under Appendix-III to the notification, prescribes inter-alia public consultation, social impact assessment and R&R action plan besides environment management plan (EMP).

Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 deals with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Schedule-VII of the Act lists out the activities which, be included by companies in their CSR Policies. The concept of CSR as provided for in the Companies Act, 201: and covered under the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014 comes into effect only in case of companies having operating projects and making a net profit as also subject to other stipulations contained in the aforesaid Act and Rules.

The environment clearance given to a project may involve a situation where the concerned company is yet to make any net profit and\or is not covered under the purview of the aforesaid Act and Rules. In such cases, the provisions of the aforesaid act and Rules will not apply.

In the past, it has been observed that different Expert Appraisal Committees / State Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs/SEACs) have been prescribing different formulation of the Corporate Environment Responsibility (CER) and no common principles are followed. Several suggestions have also been received in this regard which inter-alia states that Greenfield projects and Brownfield projects should be treated differently; no CER should be prescribed whereas there is no increase in air pollution load, R&R, etc., streamlining percentage of CER.

The Ministry has carried out a detailed stakeholder consultation which inter-alia included meeting with Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Ministry of Power, Chairmen EACs, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry amongst others.

In order to have transparency and uniformity while recommending CER by Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) / State level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) / District level ExpciL Appraisal Committee (DEAC), guidelines are issued:

  • The cost of CER is to be in addition to the cost envisaged fo-the implementation of the EIA/EMP which includes the measures for the pollution control, environmental protection and conservation, R&.R, wildlife and forest conservation/protection measures including the NPV and Compensatory Aforestation, required, if any, and any other activities, to be derived as part of the ETA process.
  • The fund allocation for the CER shall be deliberated in the EAC or SEAC or DEAC as the case may be, with due diligence subject to a maximum percentage as prescribed below for different cases:

# Capital Investment / Additional Capital Investment (in Rs) Greenfield Project — % of Capital Investment Brownfield Project — % of Additional Capital Investment
1 =<100 crores 2.0% 1.0%
2 >100 crores to =<500 crores 1.5% 0.75%
3 >500 crores to =< 1000 crores 1.0% 0.50%
4 > From 1000 crores to =<10000 crores 0.5% 0.25%
5 > 10000 crores 0.250% 0.125%

The activities proposed under CER shall be worked out based on the issues raised during the public hearing, social need assessment, R&R plan, EMP, etc.

The proposed activities shall be restricted to the affected area around the project.

Some of the activities which can be carried out in CER are infrastructure creation for drinking water supply, sanitation, health, education, skill development, roads, cross drains, electrification including solar power, solid waste management facilities, scientific support and awareness to local farmers to increase the yield of crop and fodder, rainwater harvesting, soil moisture conservation works, avenue plantation, plantation in community areas, etc.

The entire activities proposed under the CER shall be treated as a project and shall be monitored. The monitoring report shall be submitted to the regional office as a part of the half-yearly compliance report and to the District Collector. It should be posted on the website of the project proponent.

The EAC can vary the above percentage of CER subject to proper diligence, quantification and justification. The EAC based on appraisal should clearly suggest the activities to be carried out under CER.

This CER is not applicable in a name change, transfer and amendment involving no additional project investment. In case of amendment in EC involving additional expenditure, CER will be applicable only on the additional expenditure as per the table above

JNPT initiatives under CER

Dredging Project

As compliance to Environmental Conditions MOEF Environmental Clearance letter No. 10- 54/2016-IA.III. dated 31st March 2017 JNPT has identified and initiated the following areas as brought out in the public hearing report and subsequently, it has come in the environmental conditions as under

  • Protection wall to Elephanta Island
  • Protection wall at Panje village
  • Boat landing jetty at Nhava Island

Additional Liquid Cargo Terminal Facility

As per MOEFCC office memorandum dated 1st May 2018. The fund allocation for the Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER) should be 0.75% of the capital investment for the brownfield project. The total project cost for the proposed additional liquid cargo terminal facility at the JNPT is around Rs. 309.12 crores proportionately CER will be about Rs. 231, 84,000/.

Proposed Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER) Activities

# Proposed activities
1 Drinking-Water Supply, Sanitation, and health.
2 Roads
3 Cross Drains
4 Electrification including Solar Power
5 Solid Waste Management Facility
6 Rain Water Harvesting
7 Avenue Plantation
8 Plantation in the Community Area