Grundfos, Cognizant, Corporate Social Responsibility, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Water and sanitisation, Lake Restoration, Sembakkam lake, Care Earth Trust, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, The Nature Conservancy

Cognizant and Grundfos join hands to restore Sembakkam lake

The two companies are partnering with The Nature Conservancy, Care Earth Trust and Indian Institute of Technology Madras to restore the 100-acre lake

Cognizant, one of the world’s leading professional services companies, and Grundfos, a global leader in advanced pump solutions and water technology, announced their funding support for the restoration of the Sembakkam lake in Chennai. Cognizant will contribute more than Rs 2.7 crore and Grundfos will contribute Rs 1.7 crore and up to Rs 7.5 lakh (in kind) for civil work, wastewater treatment, and landscaping to rejuvenate the 100-acre lake that flows into the Pallikaranai wetland, one of South India’s last remaining natural marshlands.

The two companies will collaborate with the India chapter of The Nature Conservancy (one of the world’s largest conservation organisations), Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and Chennai-based Care Earth Trust, a non-governmental organisation that works in the area of biodiversity conservation.

Expected to be completed in 2021, the project will help clear the lake of solid wastes, silt and invasive plant species, improve the lake’s storage capacity by 50%, enhance groundwater recharge and improve water quality. It will benefit over 10,000 households living around the lake and conserve the local biodiversity consisting of around 180 plant species (including 11 aquatic species) and more than 65 bird species. One of the goals of the project is to provide a natural recreational space to the local community and involve them in the maintenance of the water body.

In addition, after the COVID-19 situation improves, volunteers from Cognizant Outreach, Cognizant’s employee-led volunteering program, and Grundfos, together with project partners, will run a range of community engagement and awareness initiatives, expert talks, lake festivals and tree plantation drives ― to ensure long-term impact of the restoration project.

Poul Due Jensen, group executive vice president, CSO, Grundfos, said, “We are committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #6 (Water and Sanitation) and we have set very ambitious and concrete goals for ourselves. By 2030, Grundfos will save 50 billion cubic metres of fresh water through efficiency and treatment and will have contributed to providing safely managed drinking water to 300 million people in need. Our support towards the restoration of the Sembakkam lake is aligned to delivering on these objectives.”

Muthu Kumaran, global head of Delivery for Cognizant Digital Business and the head of Cognizant’s Chennai operations, said, “We believe this initiative has the potential to become an inspiring example of how the coming together of various stakeholders for a rejuvenation project of this scale can redefine the future sustainability of urban ecology. We congratulate Care Earth Trust, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, The Nature Conservancy, and all individual as well as corporate contributors to the project for their remarkable work towards restoring this vital lake to its former glory.”    

Other experts involved in this project are the Consortia of FINISH society, Indian Leather Institute Foundation (ILIFO), The Solutions Centre (TSC) and Oasis Designs

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