One tree, one act of kindness, started a movement.
And behind that movement is Ankit Singh.
Ankit, Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) lead in Sahibabad, India, always has been fascinated by sustainable practices.
“From a very young age I was aware of the lack of resources in our country,” Ankit said. “India is a country of 1.36 billion people. With so many needs, and so few resources, we had to conserve what we had, and use it wisely.”
That early concern for the environment, and his ability to identify ways to better use precious resources, was perfect training for his professional life in EHS, where he combines a keen sense of improvement with the company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility strategies and outcomes.
“Sustainability is central to our mission to make the world more productive and more sustainable, and to our promise of expanding human possibility,” Ankit said. “What I do is a small part of the overall mission. My leaders offer me liberty and autonomy in my work, so I can use creativity as a catalyst to inspire others.”
One Sapling, Hundreds of Hours
“As children we planted trees to help keep our homes cooler in the blistering heat of summer,” Ankit said. “That long-term thinking – looking at what can be done now to create a better environment in the future – became the foundation for how I look at problem solving and ways to add positivity to society.”
And that brings us back to the tree.
For World Environment Day, Ankit organized a ceremony where employees wrote their names on pots made from scrap material and planted a small tree in the area. As they cared for their trees, employees also started to feel more ownership and individual responsibility for larger EHS initiatives.
“That one act created a wave of excitement and employees realized that yes, they can make a difference,” Ankit said. “People started to share this work on social media, take ownership of the results, and volunteer to do more.”
The employees focus on basic needs in underserved, rural areas. Three current projects are:
- Habitat for Humanity homebuilding partnership
- Solar power initiative to help remote families get electricity
- Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education support
Employees have helped build three homes for families facing significant hardships; provided solar power to 500 remote homes in villages with no electricity; and, adopted eight schools for underprivileged children where volunteers now teach those students about STEM.
“It is part of our roles as a citizen of India and employees of Rockwell Automation to build the lives of others, which will elevate us all,” Ankit said.
And there’s another benefit.
“Anyone considering joining a company should look closely at how that employer supports the community,” Ankit said. “Many of the places where we spend our time and resources are in rural areas, far from our offices, but this is where we can make the most difference for people. Our work started small with one act created a commitment to do whatever we could to make the world better for our fellow citizens.”
The commitment of the India team to improve the lives of those around them reflects the work culture they treasure.
“We want to be the place where people can and want to do their best work,” Ankit said. “We create trust and belonging for everyone and treat each other with respect. And we reflect and support the communities where we live and work.”