The very word corporate social responsibility is an integral part of the corporate philosophy of the Merlin Group which is entwined with its ethics and shared values of integrity, inclusive growth and sustainable development. Merlin as a group firmly believes in giving back to the society and in inclusive growth of the community along with the growth of the company.
According to Saket Mohta, Founder of I am Kolkata, the CSR arm of the Merlin Group and MD, Merlin Group, “We are committed to contribute to the formation of green cover with a view to reduce carbon footprints. Last year, we contributed to such plantation initiatives in the Rajarhat area and also collaborated with the Kolkata Corporation. We have also adopted mangrove plantations to protect the Sundarbans from future cyclones like Amphan.”
The group has so far focused on a plethora of community development activities including education, skill development of construction workers, healthcare camps at construction sites, dengue relief camps, book distributions and several other welfare activities.
The ‘I Am Kolkata’ initiative has focused on initiatives that include environmental protection, promotion of health and hygiene, promotion of art and culture, education and all-round development of children, skill development of unemployed youth, sports, environment and community and livelihood development and care for the elderly population. As part of the initiative, the Merlin Group has planted three hundred saplings in Mohar Kunj and another two hundred saplings at the Calcutta Medical College. I Am Kolkata has also undertaken a plantation zone in the New Town area in association with PRSI and Green for Life Foundation.
Abartani is another key CSR project of the Merlin Group in collaboration with Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage. Commenting on the initiative, Saket Mohta said, “Through this initiative, we are promoting awareness about the importance of waste segregation at source and recycling the waste into environmentally friendly products thus reducing a portion of carbon footprints. Proper segregation reduces the amount of waste going to landfills while the dry waste collected provides raw materials for upcycled products. We started the work with 16 women now we are working with 58. Previously it was `400 per month now it is around ` 3,800 per month for each. Now we are thinking to replicate this project to our residential housing."
Waste Collected till date:
Newspapers: 122kgs Cloths: 168kgs
Metal Waste: 18kgs Glass Bottles: 40kgs
List of products converted into
usable material till date:
Tea Tables: 5 Door Mats: 89 Chairs: 124
Center Tables: 91 Executive Files: 75
Designer Bowls: 96 Key Rings: 367
Flower Vase: 28 Total: 875 Items
The project encompasses waste segregation in urban households. It involves the utilisation of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to create recycled products from solid waste and also aims to generate income for the economically marginalised sections from sale of recycled solid waste. This project has found traction with the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBHIDCO) and New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) – the nodal developmental and administrative agencies in New Town, Kolkata which granted a waste museum to the Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage to showcase their recycled products.