While the company may find it tough to counter the government's ire against the tobacco industry, state governments are lining up to rope in ITC for its work in watershed projects and other Sunhera Kal programmes.
Vaidyanath informs: "We have been working with governments in Andhra Pradesh (in social forestry), Rajasthan (for water-shed projects) and Madhya Pradesh."
The company knows that in the long run, consumers, especially the business-to-business ones, will settle for an environmentally-conscious company. The business customers prefer the carbon-neutrality in ITC's packaging and paper businesses, which are produced through the elemental-chlorine-free technology that is kind on the environment.
"When we talk to international customers such as Wal-Mart, they question us on sustainability, which has now become a qualifier," says Dhobale. Similarly, adds Sarin: "The awareness of what the company does today is much higher than in our time. I think ITC is now respected even more."
Image: Former chairman of the US Green Building Council, James.E.Hartzfeld (L) presents the Platinum Green Building Award to ITC Green centre director S S H Rehman (R) as former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam (C) looks on. | Photograph: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images
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