Airbus India has installed three biogas plants in the Nilgiris this year as part of a long-term programme to support biodiversity efforts of tribal communities in western Tamil Nadu.
The 13th Airbus India expedition to the Nilgiris saw volunteer employees work closely with the Paniyan, Kurumban and Kattunayakans communities to build the biogas plants that will produce sustainable gas for cooking and heating. The two-week expedition concluded on January 30.
“The biodiversity project in India is a great way for Airbus volunteers to help communities and to learn how to manage natural resources in an eco-efficient way. At the same time the project generates income for local families thus changing the lives for the better," said Andrea Debbané, Executive Director Airbus Foundation.
The project started as an eight-year initiative from 2010 to 2017 under the aegis of Airbus Foundation and in partnership with United Nations Development Programmes, the Ministry of Environment & Forests, India, the Centre for Tribal & Rural Development Trust (CTRD) and other non-governmental organisations. The initiative has now been extended till 2020.
"As a responsible corporate citizen of India, Airbus is committed to making a positive impact on as many lives as possible by contributing towards protecting the environment. Making cleaner energy easily accessible in the ecologically important Nilgiris is one such step aimed at improving livelihoods today and building a better future for our children,” said Anand E Stanley, President & Managing Director of Airbus India & South Asia.
So far more than 50 biogas plants have been installed by Airbus employees in the Nilgiris. These plants have benefitted more than 50 tribal households. With each household saving around 15 kg of firewood per day the greenhouse gas emission is reduced by 11.6 tonnes of CO2 annually. Overall, the total reduction of CO2 emission is about 580 tonnes.
“The biodiversity programme is a transnational initiative that engages employees in promoting renewable energy through biogas plantations. We thank our partners for their continued support to this initiative and hope to continue this association for future projects as well,” said Suraj Chettri, Human Resource Director of Airbus India.
The Airbus India biodiversity project can be scaled to benefit 5,000 households and has the potential to conserve as much as 27,500 tonnes of firewood per annum and correspondingly reduce about 58,300 tonnes of carbon emission.
About the Airbus Foundation
The Airbus Foundation, chaired by Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, includes Airbus, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space as founding and contributing members. It is the company’s vehicle for corporate philanthropy, using the group’s resources, aeronautics and space products, competencies, diverse workforce and culture for driving innovation to address societal issues. In particular, the Foundation supports the global humanitarian community and inspires and prepares young people for the challenges of tomorrow. Since its launch in May 2008, the Airbus Foundation has facilitated more than 60 relief or goodwill flights to numerous destinations around the globe.
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