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BW Businessworld

Sustainable Industrial Practices: A Wake-up Call To Save Environment

This World Environment Day, BW Businessworld is putting the spotlight on some industrial practices which are, both quantitatively and qualitatively, substantial steps towards sustainability and a better environment

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Every year on the 5th of June, World Environment Day is observed with the aim of promoting environmental consciousness and taking steps to safeguard nature on a global scale. Environmental pollution, a long-standing issue, has had severe consequences for both humans and all living organisms.

The primary culprits behind these environmental problems are human activities such as urbanization, industrialisation, mining, and exploration. These activities have resulted in various forms of pollution, including air, water, soil, noise, thermal, and radioactive pollution. Extensive research has shown that industrial pollutants are the main cause of nature's deterioration.

Considering that industries play a crucial role in the economy, completely eradicating this grave problem is not feasible. However, it is crucial to adopt "sustainable industry practices" as a wake-up call in order to secure a greener future for our planet.

What Are Sustainable Industrial Practices?

Sustainable industrial practice is an operation that unionises concern for the environment, profitability, and goodwill for nature’s good in front. It is all about decoding how an industry or organisation can introduce the best possible practices for saving the nature or affecting it in the least possible way. 

This World Environment Day, BW Businessworld is putting the spotlight on some industrial practices which are, both quantitatively and qualitatively, substantial steps towards sustainability and a better environment.

Renault Nissan Automotive’s (RNAIPL) initiative which includes a carbon neutrality goal unveiled in February this year aimed at crossing several sustainability milestones by 2030. Commenting on the sustainable practice Keerthi Prakash, Managing Director of RNAIPL said, “At RNAIPL, we have set ourselves on an ambitious roadmap to carbon neutrality by 2045 and this goal underlies our drive towards utilisation of green energy, optimisation of energy consumption and technology upgrades”. 

Cisco India is also making efforts to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, commenting on its sustainability practices, Daisy Chittilapilly, President of Cisco India & SAARC said, “At our Bangalore campus, we are making significant strides in our sustainability efforts primarily relying on renewable sources”. 

“As of FY2022, we have achieved, a total renewable electricity usage of approximately 77 per cent in India, with projects in the pipeline to increase renewable energy usage to 90 per cent by 2024”, Chittilapilly added. 

The tech majors are also not behind in their sustainability initiatives, Alok Lall, Sustainability Lead, Microsoft India said, “Technology holds immense potential in addressing the pressing global challenge of climate change, and we are dedicated to harnessing its power to forge a more sustainable world. Microsoft’s sustainability journey, which commenced in 2009, has driven significant strides in reducing its carbon footprint. By 2030, we aim to transcend carbon neutrality, becoming carbon-negative, water positive, and achieving zero waste”.

“As part of our objective to run 100 per cent on renewable energy by 2025 and help our customers and partners on their sustainability journey, we have collaborated with ReNew Power to establish a renewable energy agreement of 150 MW”, Lall added.

Chittaranjan Meher, the Country Leader for IBM Sustainability Software and Technology Sales in India & South Asia, proposed an innovative and sustainable solution. He highlighted that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a transformative tool capable of expediting sustainability initiatives. Meher suggested that by embracing AI and harnessing its power for sustainable solutions, India can lead the path toward a brighter and more environmentally friendly future. He emphasised the need to acknowledge the vast potential of AI and allocate the required investments to ensure a greener and prosperous tomorrow.

Meanwhile, plastic waste is another grave industrial pollutant disturbing the natural ecosystem and according to the Marico Innovation Foundation report, India generates 3.4 million tonne of plastic waste annually, with only approximately 30 per cent of it getting recycled.

Commenting on plastic pollution, Deepak Sharma, Zone President- Greater India & MD & CEO, Schneider Electric India said, “As of Q1 2023, we have reduced nearly a 52 per cent of our plastic waste, increasing our green material content in products by 20 per cent”.

On similar lines, Priya Agarwal Hebbar, Chairperson, Hindustan Zinc and Non-Executive Director at Vedanta said, “In line with this year’s theme of beating plastic pollution, at Vedanta, we have stopped the use of single-use plastics across our business units and also successfully managed to be the first company to introduce electric vehicles in underground mining”.

Paneesh Rao, Global Head of Sustainability, LTIMindtree underlined the company’s successful doing away of single-use plastics by 100 per cent and engagement with authorised third-party vendors for the recycling of waste from packaging.

Mid-cap IT players are also integrating green technologies and embracing green energy sources. Commenting on this eco-friendly practice Aurobinda Nanda – President, Operations & Deputy Chief Executive Officer, PES, Happiest Minds Technologies said, “Through our innovative initiatives and conscious efforts, we are reducing our carbon footprint, promoting sustainable solutions across the value chain including suppliers and our practices prioritise resource efficiency, waste reduction, and responsible consumption, fostering a circular economy minimising environmental impact”.

Joining in on the conversation of environment, Clover Infotech CEO Kunal Nagarkatti said, “We have been using our resources judiciously and have been designing processes to optimise the consumption of electricity, water, paper, etc. We have moved our own financial systems to the cloud in our endeavour to reduce the per-user carbon footprint”.

Meanwhile, Rajesh Kabra, Managing Director, RR Parkon spoke about the company’s smart parking systems that help in reducing carbon emissions and mitigate environmental degradation. He said, “By revolutionising how we approach parking, we address the pressing challenges of urbanisation, resource depletion, and air pollution”.

Underlining the energy sector's greenhouse gas emissions Atanu Mukherjee, CEO of Dastur Energy said, "The energy sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels. By embracing sustainability, the sector can significantly reduce carbon emissions, thereby Dastur Energy is committed to sustainable energy solutions and has won several projects for its eco-friendly practice".

The tourism industry is also fostering the sustainability mission. Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb's General Manager for India said, “Building a sustainable business in tourism entails promoting conscious and responsible travel practices. We at Airbnb are supporting local homestay models, a responsible and conscious practice to save nature”.

Rikant Pittie, Co-founder, EaseMyTrip said, “To promote sustainability, we have partnered with digibank. Together, we introduced the green debit card, from 99 per cent recyclable plastic, thereby minimising its environmental impact”.

Many more small and big organisations shed light on their sustainable industrial practices: