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Environment Standards Provide Tools For Sustainable Growth: Arun Kumar Mehta, Additional Secretary, Ministry Of Environment, Forest And Climate Change

Mr Mehta urged industry to recommend means to make eco-mark an inclusive system

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“Environmental clearances and standards and eco marks were some of the areas on which the government is focusing on in order to facilitate sustainable production”, said Mr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, at the sixth technical conference on Life Cycle Management in India, organized in New Delhi on 9th and 10th October by FICCI. Over the last five years, ILCM has brought national and international experts together and engaged around 400 delegates across 19 countries.

Mr. Mehta said that “to encourage sustainable production, the parameters of environmental clearances were designed to lead to sustainability”. The government recognizes that under prescription or over prescription could prove to be adverse and therefore the focus was on prescribing balanced parameters for environmental clearances.

Speaking of the environmental standards, Mr. Mehta said that “the standards provided the tools for sustainable growth. Besides, a comprehensive eco-mark system was being developed which would cover a wide range of products with a specific process for each product”. He urged industry to recommend means to make eco-mark an inclusive system.

Alluding to the need for creating awareness about sustainable development, Mr. Mehta said that “strong outreach programs were needed for implementation on the ground”. He added that “industries need to engage in dialogue among themselves and with those who have not yet embraced technology”.

In his keynote address, Mr. Janardhanan Ramanujalu, Vice President and Regional Head, South Asia & ANZ SABIC, said that “circular economy should be the model for future with improving materials, making things more efficient; using things more efficiently, making things last longer, and more of recycling serving as the five pillars to develop sustainable solutions. Earlier, the linear economic model had delivered unprecedented prosperity for billions of people; amazing innovation and global supply chains. But the linear economic approach to natural resources cannot deliver continued economic growth and address sustainability, social and environmental challenges”.

In his special address, Dr. Amir Safaei, International Project Manager, Ecoinvent centre, said that “since 2014, Ecoinvent is the partner of the project Sustainable Recycling Industries (SRI), an initiative funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). SRI develops basic life cycle inventory data for industrial, agricultural and other activities in Brazil, Egypt, India and South Africa. These will form a reliable pool of data for these countries and regions for use in LCA and environmental assessments. To support the component, expertise building and training events will also take place in these countries and the surrounding regions”. He added that “Ecoinvent and FICCI have partnered to organize knowledge sharing events”.

Ms. Rita Roy Choudhury, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI, said that “life cycle approaches were now playing an increasingly important role in guiding and shaping business operations worldwide to improve overall sustainability performance. A growing number of corporates are using Life Cycle Management as the new business approach to counter environmental impacts along with, and not at the cost of business growth and performance.”

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ficci ecoinvent seco environment