India: Textile units set ‘zero discharge’ target

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GURGAON: The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has made it mandatory for all textile industries to treat and recycle discharged water in order to stop pollutants from flowing into the Yamuna and turn each of them into a ‘zero discharge unit’.

The textile units, which release more than 25KLD (kilo litres water per day), have been given about 16 months (till December 2016) to put in place the required infrastructure. The board has instructed each unit to install an ETP (effluents treatment plant) and also put in place a reverse osmosis (RO) plant to re-use the discharged water. There are nearly 40 textile manufacturing units in Gurgaon, spread across Manesar and Udyog Vihar.

Last year, the National Green Tribunal instructed regulatory authorities in the state to issue guidelines to the industrial units on the setting up of ‘zero discharge units’. According to the green court, a ‘zero discharge unit’ is the one that does not discharge any amount of liquid effluent, not even treated effluent.

According to HSPCB, textile industries use a lot of water in washing and dyeing and it is one of the major contributors of pollution in Yamuna. “Though the amount of water used by a unit depends on its size and scale, a medium- to large-scale textile manufacturing unit, on an average, discharges 1 to 1.5 lakh litres of water per day. The discharged water flows into the Yamuna through the Najafgarh drain and it also affects the quality of groundwater in the area,” said a senior HSPCB official.

However, Animesh Saxena, president of Udyog Vihar Industrial Association, said ‘zero discharge’ was not possible. “In India, there is no technology to put in place zero discharge from a textile manufacturing unit. About 5% of water will per force be discharged,” Saxena said.

Besides, according to city-based hydrologist Rekha Bajaj, the cost of installing an ETP is somewhere around %Rs 4-5 crore, which may not% be commercially viable for many units.

But Bajaj was appreciative of the HSPCB initiative. Bajaj said toxins released from dyes remain in water for a very long time. ”

This affects the water quality and hence the entire ecosystem of a river. Also, direct exposure to toxins can cause respiratory illness and skin disease among people living close to drains and rivers,” Bajaj said.

Experts said installation of an ETP takes 4 to 6 months. The board has already issued orders to the industrial units. “We issued the directions this month so that industries get enough time to put in place the treatment plant and recycling mechanism. If directions are not followed by any unit, they will be sealed immediately,” the HSPCB official said.

Source: The Times Of India, India, 09-Jul-2015


Birla Cellulose Wins ‘Challengers Award – Large Business’

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Sustainability – we often hear about this, but what does it really mean? It means changing the way we think about how we use our resources and make small changes that have a big impact on nature and community. To this cause and with a mission ‘to assist the adoption of Green Manufacturing Practices across Indian Manufacturing Companies’, Frost & Sullivan held its 2015 Edition of ‘India Sustainability Summit’ on 22nd May, 2015 at Hyatt Regency, Mumbai.

The summit started with a full day of presentations from eminent speakers across different businesses who spoke about their companies’ initiatives and vision on sustainability. This was followed by an exciting evening of awards where Birla Cellulose was awarded the ‘Challengers Award – Large Business’ in the 2015 Green Manufacturing Excellence Awards (GMEA) category.

Based on the assessments conducted at Birla Cellulose’s Kharach site and subsequently whetted by the Executive Committee of Frost & Sullivan’s Green Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2015, Birla Cellulose was awarded Challengers Award – Large Business. Mr. HK Agarwal (COO for Pulp & Fibre business and Mr. Vinay Bhalerao (Unit Head of Kharach unit) were there on the stage to be felicitated with this prestigious award for Birla Cellulose.

Mr. Gowtham S of Frost & Sullivan welcomed the guests and explained the Assessment Model and Methodology of GMEA 2015. He explained that the assessment model is realigned within four major areas and 13 parameters with each having a weightage of 100 points, totalling to 1300 points. The model also took into consideration global sustainability reporting frameworks such as the UN Global Compact. The assessment for Birla Cellulose that concluded had its basis in their GMEA Assessment Model that in turn derived its inputs from the team’s interaction with unit’s personnel, observations in the plant and documents seen/provided to them. The Kharach unit had a score of 823 for the entire facility. The parameters on which the assessment was done covered business strategy, governance & ethics, waste & emission, biodiversity, energy & water, materials, human capital, sustainability, supply chain, society and customers.

This year’s GMEA 2015 summit had an enhanced coverage of all elements of sustainability and it focused on bringing and promoting awareness among the manufacturing units across industry verticals, through best practices shared by thought leaders who are establishing the ‘Green’ mindset in their business as a means to sustainable growth. Distinguished leaders spoke on diverse topics on sustainability. The keynote speakers from Birla Cellulose were Mr. Ajay Sardana (Vice President & Head – Sustainability) and Mr. Rohan Batra (Special Projects) who spoke about Birla Cellulose’s initiatives regarding its commitment towards a sustainable company.

Mr. Batra presented on ‘Product Life Cycle Management’. He spoke about the company’s efforts regarding sustainability. He said, “By 2017, pulp and fibre business of Aditya Birla Group endeavours to become the industry leader for sustainable business practices across its global operations balancing economic growth with environmental and societal interests.” He further said that sustainable efforts at Birla Cellulose are tested through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which assesses the environmental aspect impact associated with product, process or service. At Birla Cellulose, it is conducted from cradle to factory. He proudly said “Birla Spunshades is the most sustainable product in the market that uses a unique dyeing technique. In this dyeing technique, for 100 kg fabric, water savings are upto 70 lts/kg, effluent load is reduced by 70 per cent, power is saved upto 3.5-4.0 KW and time is saved by 6-8 hrs per batch, ultimately reducing processing costs with better production quality and profits.”

Mr. Ajay Sardana presented on ‘Employee Sustainability Initiatives’. He said, “Employees are a key driver in driving Aditya Birla’s sustainability initiatives. Our company is an exciting world of global opportunities for professional growth with human care. The way we do business is just as important as the business itself.” He concluded by saying, “For a sustainability programme to be credible and successful, the alignment, engagement and enthusiasm of employees – both managers and the workforce – is essential”.

**This post first appeared here.

India’s National Green Tribunal shuts 739 textile units in Rajasthan

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Source: Jaipur Travels
Image Source: Jaipur Travels

JODHPUR: The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) circuit bench of Jodhpur has ordered the closure of 739 textile units in Balotra and its surrounding areas of Jasol and Bithuja till July 9. It has also ordered the trust operating the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) to renew the Consent to Operate the plant and obtain the hazardous waste disposal authorization from the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board.

The orders by the tribunal comprising judicial member UD Salve and expert member DK Agarwal followed a joint CETP inspection report by the Central Pollution Control Board and Rajasthan Pollution Control Board submitted in the court on Friday in pursuance of the order by the tribunal on March 19.

The report said that the CETP has not been functioning in adherence to the norms laid by the pollution control boards as far as the Consent to Operate and disposal of hazardous waste of the industries is concerned.

The joint report has also recommended installing adequate capacity RO plants immediately with a view to reuse the treated water in the member units and procure land for the evaporation of RO rejects.

A report had been submitted to the Central government by the CETP trust but the trust has not received sanction for the same. Keeping this in mind, the tribunal has also directed the MoEF to expedite the process so that the CETP trust could install the plant sooner.

Besides the tribunal has also directed the “Prabodhan Samiti”, chaired by the district collector to regularly monitor the CETP and address shortcomings with regard to its operation and compliance of the rules.

The tribunal has also sought an affidavit from the district collector to the effect that the water being used by these industries is not being drawn from the areas notified as Dark Zones.

A similar report on the sources of water to the textile industries in Jodhpur and Pali has also been sought by the tribunal on Thursday. This report is to be submitted on July 9.

Besides, the tribunal has also ordered closure of those units in Pali, which have been operating without renewal of Consent to Operate from the Pollution Control Board.

**This post first appeared in Times of India here.

Unravel: Story In Focus This Week

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When people in the West throw their clothes away, their cast-offs often go on a journey east, across the oceans, to India’s industrial interior. In her film Unravel, Meghna Gupta traces a humanising path through this little-known phase of the global supply chain.

Source: Unravel
Source: Unravel

From the Kutch District of western India to the northern city of Panipat, garment recyclers turn into yarn the huge bales of clothes that come from people and places distinctly strange. Sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ludicrously large, the fabrics leave them curious about the people who threw away their clothes ‘practically unworn’.

With little exposure to Western culture other than the Discovery Channel, the garment recyclers rely on their imagination and the rumours that travel with the cast-offs to create an an intriguing perspective on the West.

Crafted with humour and compassion, and featuring a vibrant original score from Eleni Hassabis, Gupta’s film won awards at the Brief Encounters Short Film FestivalRiverRun International Film Festival and Women’s Independent Film Festival, among many others.