Policies & Issues

SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024

SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

SRK Empire and SRK House
SRK Empire, left, and SRK House, SRK Exports’ diamond manufacturing facilities, rank among the top five “green” buildings globally. Both have LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Mumbai— While the gem and jewelry industry as a whole has broadly embraced the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and taken many steps toward achieving them, one company seems to have edged slightly ahead. 
 
India’s SRK Exports recently announced it is on track to achieve the goal of net zero emissions at its two diamond manufacturing facilities by 2024, which will be no small achievement.  
 
SRK is a mega-manufacturer with nearly 5,000 employees. Its two facilities, SRK Empire and SRK House, together cover an area of over 250,000 square feet. 
 
“The natural diamond industry has an opportunity to make an incredible impact on the environment and global net zero goals; SRK aims to show how it can be done,” said industry veteran Govind Dholakia, founder and chairman of SRK Exports.  
 
“We’re leveraging every tool at our disposal to protect our staff, the planet, and the people of India and beyond.” 
 
This is no hollow claim.  
 
Recently, Shreyans Dholakia, SRK entrepreneur-brand custodian, and Rahul Dholakia, entrepreneur-SRK, released “Pure Impact,” the company’s sustainability report, at an industry event at Hong Kong.  
 
They said the report highlights the company’s “commitment to leadership in ESG and corporate social responsibility, acceleration of its net zero goals.”  
 
SRK’s commitment to sustainable growth goes back many decades. It can be traced to the early childhood experiences of its founder Govind, who was born in a simple farming family that strongly believed in a life guided by values and principles.  
 
In his autobiography “Diamonds Are Forever, So Are Morals,” Govind describes how though he lived in the “rugged and parched land of Kathiawar (in Gujarat), where people looked at modernity as something dangerous and aggressive,” he learned many valuable lessons before he entered the diamond industry in 1964.  
 
“I believe the world is like a diamond—a tough place to live in, but also inherently beautiful. In order to uncover its beauty, we need to work slowly, consistently, with responsibility and goodwill,” he stated in the Pure Impact report.  
 
He, and his family too, have put these words into practice. 
 
For example, the start of the company’s zero emissions initiative can be traced to at least a decade ago when SRK Empire received the coveted LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its design and use of ecofriendly techniques and technologies.  
 
A few years later, SRK House followed suit. 
 
Today, both are ranked among the five top-performing LEED-certified buildings in the world. 
 
Some of the unique features integrated into the design include a building management system to control and monitor energy efficiency; optimal use of natural air and light for cooling and illumination; and water recycling systems.  
 
The company has now added a slew of new initiatives to fast-track its achievement of the zero emissions target.  
 
SRK works closely with the Science-Based Targets initiative, following its emission reduction target guidelines, and in partnership with the Global Network for Zero
 
In May of last year, SRK hosted its inaugural SRK Sustainability Conclave, a multi-sector gathering that further explored best practices for transforming businesses across operations, the potential for cross-sector collaborations, and the critical role industries across sectors must play in meeting ESG standards and realizing a decarbonized world. 
 
Outlining some of the new ongoing measures, Shreyans pointed to the strict logging and monitoring, and subsequent analysis of, Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions that have been put in place.  
 
These include an ongoing waste management system that encompasses separate processes for food waste, paper and plastic waste, e-waste, and other waste. 
 
He elaborated, “We did a waste audit for both complexes and maintain daily records too. The functioning of the sewage treatment plant and water recycling plant are monitored to what we are saving and how much we can save of the offsite fresh water requirements.  
 
“And we have an operational solar power plant of 1 megawatt capacity and with an additional 6 megawatt plant that is moving towards completion.” 
 

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In the context of Scope 3 emissions, Shreyans pointed to campaigns undertaken among employees to promote bicycle use, rideshare, public transport, walking, and electric vehicle use.  
 
He added, “Additionally, we will install a solar-power electric vehicle (EV) charging station, convert all cars owned by SRK to EVs, create an app to track daily commute modes and practices by team members, and report.”  

All this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SRK’s multiple ESG initiatives highlighted in its Pure Impact report. 

They include education, healthcare, community development, tree plantation, rural development including enhancement of water bodies and supporting utilization of solar power, and traceability mechanisms with vendors and suppliers to encourage ethical mining practices and sustainable sourcing.  
 
The traceability mechanisms are based on the company’s PAS 7000 certification for “Supply Chain Risk Management,” an internationally defined framework of good practices.  
 
Many of the numbers are impressive. SRK Exports:   
  • Spent 4.5 percent of its average net profit each year on community welfare, with healthcare initiatives benefiting 3.5 million people;   
  • Invested $3.5 million in solar projects, including solar panels for 1,000 employees, 750 rooftop solar panels to service veterans, and solarizing the entire village of Dudhala, some 350 homes;   
  • Extended education benefits for 60,000-plus students; and   
  • Funded the construction of 100 dams in the Saurashtra region. 
Mahesh Ramanujam, of the Global Network for Zero, said, “SRK and Govind are making net zero strides faster and more effectively than many of us ever dreamed possible.” 
 
The end of 2024 will only be one milestone.  
 
Going forward, SRK said it will prioritize continued certification in perpetuity with proper ongoing compliance and maintenance and will focus on supporting and inspiring organizations across India to meet net zero targets and the establishment of a climate technology incubation platform to promote various decarbonization startups and advancements. 
 
Shreyans summarized the company’s efforts.  
 
“We are stewards of something much bigger than any single individual or product. Protecting what we have created thus far and preserving our ability to provide quality and transparency well into the future is rooted in one simple, but profound understanding—diamond craftsmanship cannot endure without decarbonization.”  

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