Adoption of Green Manufacturing practices is increasing
rapidly in our country and companies that have been the front runners are reaping
the benefits. The adverse impact that industrialization has had on the environment
has compelled companies to look at sustainable growth, that’s the triple bottom
line (Economic, Environment and Society). Companies are not only contributing to
environment and society by adopting Green Manufacturing practices but have also
reaped business benefits out of this initiative.
Frost & Sullivan is engaged in assisting companies in
their journey towards adoption of Green Manufacturing Practices through its Green
Manufacturing Excellence Awards platform and consulting support. Some of the
important parameters that highlight the performance of companies in Green
Manufacturing Practices are Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Water and Waste Management,
Emission Control, Material Conservation and Recycling, Impact on
Bio-diversity and Society, Occupational Health and Safety, and a Green Supply Chain.
This article is a compilation of the best practices on these parameters
followed by few of the Indian companies that have been the front runners in adoption of
Green Manufacturing Practices.
For successful deployment of any initiative, companies
have to a have a defined roadmap with a robust deployment and review mechanism.
Organizations that have successfully deployed and benefited from Green
Manufacturing initiatives have implemented the following practices in their businesses.
1. They have mapped their environmental footprint across
the supply chain (starting from raw material sourcing to end users) and identified
areas that have the maximum environmental footprint and opportunity for
business benefits. Based on this analysis, short- and long-term goals have been
2. These goals have a clear link to business benefits,
either in terms of competitive advantage or in mitigating long-term sustainability
risks. Projects identified for the society are based on stakeholder engagement that
helps understand the need of the society and its impact on the organization. Most
investment in CSR projects is aligned to the long-term challenges (related to
society) for the organization.
3. An organizational structure has been formed to deploy
projects and monitor the progress made on sustainability initiatives.
4. The goals are deployed down to a large section of
employees and targets on Green Metrics form a part of each individual KRA.
5. Internal and external stakeholders are trained on
Sustainable Manufacturing Practices.
6. Key management personnel are involved in monitoring
and review process to ensure successful completion of these targets.
a. Integrated software applications (like, Energy
Management System, Building Management System, SCADA, etc) are used for monitoring
and management of key Green Matrices, and generate monthly reports on
various relevant environmental parameters.
b. A Sustainability report is prepared and shared with
internal and external stakeholders to track and highlight performance on
sustainability parameters. GRI Reporting framework and Dow Jones Sustainability
Index are the most commonly used frameworks for reporting performance on
sustainability. Some companies have their internal framework for reporting.
There is no standard rule that only existing frameworks have to be used.
While the above are the key success factors for effective
implementation of Green manufacturing practices in organizations, the following
are the innovative and focused initiatives taken up by companies to reduce their
1. An advanced building automation system is used for
monitoring electricity consumption in each section of the plant. Timer based
controls are used for switching on/off lights and air cooling.
2. Energy consumption is tracked on absolute and specific
terms and trends are analysed to identify variations and projects for
a. Fuel and oil consumption for operations is
continuously monitored. Vehicle Oil and lubrication systems have been modified so as to
reduce fuel consumption.
3. Energy audit is done by an external agency and
improvement projects are deployed for energy conservation.
4. In one organization, there was more than 20 percent
saving in the lighting power consumption (which totals to 5 percent of total power
consumption). This has been achieved through both conscious usage as well as the
installation of CFL and solar lighting solutions. One-third of the campus is
to be powered by renewable energy.
5. The external wall is coated with 5 mm thick Renovo
Synthetic Plaster. It is good water proofing cum insulation material. It is water
repellent, resistant to mildew and insensitive to dust. It helps in reducing the energy
requirement for heating or cooling inside the building.
a. The roof is covered with an insulated material that
acts a good barrier for heat / cold resulting in reduced air cooling or heating
6. Turbo ventilators that do not require any electricity
for operation are used on roof tops for air ventilation.
7. Booster pumps with Variable Frequency Drives are used
in plant and utilities to reduce overall energy consumption.
8. Installation of high efficiency boilers and turbine to
generate more power from same amount of fuels. Companies are investing in energy
efficient equipment to gain long-term benefits.
a. Replacement of reciprocating compressors with Screw
b. Upgradation of welding transformers in a facility has
resulted in about 40 percent saving in power consumed for welding. (Saving the
idle-time consumption in a conventional transformer).
9. DC drives are being converted into AC drives for power
10.Bus bars have been provided in fabrication shops to
Non-Conventional Energy Sources:
10.The office building is air cooled using geo-thermal
energy. The unique design supplies the conditioned air to the office building
without energy requirement thus saving energy and reducing GHG.
12.Power is generated from waste and bio-fuels. Bio Gas
recovery through anaerobic digestion at the primary treatment stage in ETP plant is being
13.Canteen waste (biomass) that is produced at one ton
per day is being fed into a custom-designed biogas plant that provides a part of the
fuel for cooking.
14.Waste heat recovery system (WHRS) is used for
generating power in the plant. Pet-coke is used for generating electricity in the
captive power plants.
15.Installation of 10 MT/hr. bagasse drier to reduce fuel
consumption in boilers. Agro fuel is used extensively to reduce consumption of coal as
16.Solar water heater is used for meeting hot water
requirement of the canteen.
Solar steam concentrator is used for canteen cooking
17.Investment is being made into wind and solar energy by
companies. The units generated offsite are being transferred to the
Electricity Board Grid and same number of units offset from the units consumed onsite.
Companies have a longterm plan to have a specific percentage of their overall power
coming from renewable sources.
Monitoring and Regulation:
1. Carbon Footprint Mapping across the supply chain with
a target for reduction either in absolute or specific terms.
2. One of the process industries has installed a
state-of-the art continuous ambient air quality monitoring station in the plant and society
to record and check the effect of plant emissions on people living in the
3. Online monitoring system for stack monitoring is being
used in a few industries.
4. Online system for monitoring fuel leakages is
installed and used. Reduction:
5. Air conditioners are retrofitted with refrigerants
that do not have ozone depleting substances.
6. Installation of dust extraction system with bag
filters for reducing suspended particulate matter in the air.
7. Equipment is modified to run on alternate fuels. For
example, furnaces are converted to use CNG (green fuel) resulting in reduction
8. Transport route optimization to save fuel and the
overall emissions. Use of concepts like Milk Runs to reduce the number of vehicle
trips and distance travelled.
9. CDM projects are being identified and implemented to
reduce the overall CO2 emission and also get monetary benefits.
Water and Waste Management:
1. Water consumption is monitored separately for process
in (Kl/Units) and for domestic application in (Kl/Person).
2. Drip irrigation is used to reduce gardening water
3. Rain water harvesting is done at various locations in
the facility and changes in the water table properties of the area are monitored.
4. Open grid pavement system has been used to ensure rain
water does not go out of the facility.
5. Timer based control taps, waterless urinals are
installed for water saving in the plant.
6. RO plants are used to treat the ETP / STP water for
use in processes to reduce consumption of ground water.
7. ETP / STP water is used for toilet flushing and
gardening to reduce fresh water requirements.
8. Coolant water is reused in turbines and mills after
cooling in cooling tower resulting in water saving. Hot condensate is
re-circulated after cooling for sugar processing.
9. For controlling water pollution, a facility has
upgraded its STP with Fluidized Bio- Reactor method and double effect forced circulation
10. A reed bed waste water treatment process is used,
which uses specially selected plants with high microbial cultures. The treated water is
used for gardening resulting in the reduction of fresh water requirement.
This is a natural way of water treatment.
Eco-Friendly Waste Disposal:
10.The solid waste from ETP is mixed with distillery
effluent to produce organic fertilizers for use in fields.
11.Cement companies also offer co-processing solutions to
local municipalities and industries alike to dispose-off their hazardous and
non-hazardous wastes in their kilns in the most environmental friendly and ecologically
sustaining manner. Materials:
Eco-Friendly Material Processing/Usage:
1. Packing is modified to eliminate use of thermocole and
laminations on cartons. Bio-degradable plastics and lead free painting on boxes
is used as a part of ecofriendly packaging.
2. All the products manufactured in this facility are
RoHS compliant. Suppliers have been evaluated and certified for supplying same standard
3. Companies are working towards eliminating hazardous
substances from their products and processes. For example –
a. Eliminating the use of Cadmium in jewellery
b. Elimination of lead based soldering.
c. Use of advanced paint technology ‘Tec Talis’ results
in energy efficiency and reduction in generation of hazardous waste.
4. Critical path analysis is being done for all projects
to reduce lead time and optimize the usage of resources to accomplish a job.
5. An engineering company in Mumbai works on a constant
vision to produce greener and eco-friendly products. There have been
instances where product material usage is reduced by more than 75 percent in one
6. Multi-layer shell technology for vessels not only
reduces material requirement (for the same technical specifications) compared to
single layer shell, it also reduces energy required for processing.
7. Spare parts from dealers (post servicing) are being
collected and disposed in an eco-friendly manner. Third party has been involved in the
collection and disposal of spare parts.
8. Packing materials received from suppliers is re-used
for packing goods being supplied by the plant.
9. Bio-waste and other waste minerals sources like marble
kanda are used to substitute fly ash and mineral ore in a cement plant.
Marble slurry is used to replace the requirement of ore in another cement plant.
10. Waste of the power plant and steel industry is used
as input materials in the cement plant.
Bio-Diversity and Society:
1. Bio-diversity studies are done to identify the species
of flora and fauna and efforts are made to preserve bio-diversity in and around the
2. In an effort to increase awareness on environment
protection, ‘Euro Enviro Quiz’, India’s only national environmental quiz for school
children and reaches over one lakh children in over 160 schools across India is
3. Euro School of Environment: 3-day course conducted on
how a citizen can be an eco-friendly is being conducted by this organization.
4. Educating the society about good hygiene practices and
providing basic infrastructure in the villages.
5. Collaboration with the Government in running
Industrial Training Institutes to create a pool of people to meet the plant’s requirement
of technical people.
6. Companies are eliminating use of plastics in campus
and in nearby villages. One facility has created a plastic free village through their
“Green Soldiers” initiative.
7. Sustainable mining practices are followed by the
organization. Used mine areas and landfills are protected from soil erosion through
plantation of Jatropha and Mango trees.
8. Check dams have been built for conservation of soil
Green Supply Chain:
1. Suppliers are educated on sustainability and joint
projects are taken to reduce environment impact.
2. Suppliers share their performance on Green Metrics
with the customers and targets for improvement are set.
3. Suppliers are evaluated on green metrics and are also
rewarded for good performance.
4. Internal procurement policies are modified to ensure
products with hazardous substances are not procured.
5. Energy efficiency and life cycle cost is considered
during procurement of new equipment to reduce environment impact.
1. Paints with low volatile organic content are used to
reduce VOC exposure to occupants and better living comfort.
2. Eco-friendly chemical is used for routine cleaning
resulting in no water pollution and impact on soil.
3. Health check-up is done for employees. Employees are
counselled to adopt healthy living habits to improve their health conditions.
Hindustan Unilever uses a unique concept, vitality index, to monitor health of
4. Ergonomic studies are conducted and actions have been
taken to reduce operator fatigue. Operators are also trained on ergonomics.
By Nitin Kalothia, Deputy Director, Manufacturing and
Process Consulting Practice, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia & Middle East