WED Special: Let environment bounce back
In the absence of human activities due to COVID 19, environment is bouncing back. As we celebrate World Environment Day (WED), industry leaders voice their concerns and suggest some sustainability measures.
Since 1974 World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on June 5th to create awareness about pressing environmental issues and bringing together all the stakeholders on one platform to find solutions for these challenges. While COVID 19 pandemic has led to economic crisis across the world, it has proved to be benign on the environment.
In the absence of industrial activities and human interventions, pollutions are very low helping the Nature to showcase its splendours like cleaner water of Ganga river, visibility of Himalayas from far-off city of Jalandhar in Punjab, Dolphins are visiting Mumbai shores, etc. These positive changes are aligned to the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, ‘it is time for nature’.
Help nature thrive again
The COVID 19 pandemic situation has given enough time for mother earth to heal and evolve once again. Saravanan Panneer Selvam, General Manager, Grundfos India, said, “The current scenario clearly shows us that with the decrease in human activities, the environment is bouncing back - rivers are cleaner, air is more breathable and animals are thriving. These positive changes are coincidently aligned to the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, ‘it is time for nature’. While it is absolutely critical to have the economy up and running, I think it is time for all of us to pause and see how much we can change the way we live and work. We need to look at how we can be more responsible towards nature and sustainable by reducing our carbon footprint to help nature thrive again.”
Grundfos sees sustainability as a continuous endeavour that positively impacts millions of people and their lives through its products and solutions. Saravanan Panneer Selvam, explained, “Working in this direction, we made a few ambitious commitments in 2019. Globally, we set out to reduce water consumption and energy emissions by 50 per cent by 2025 in comparison to our levels in 2008. Through our solutions, we hope to save 50 billion m3 of water and help over 300 million people across the globe access clean drinking water by 2030. In the last year, we have been able to positively impact the environment by reducing our CO2 emissions by 12.2 per cent. It is also our aspiration to be climate positive by the end of this new decade.”
Need for holistic approach
The year 2020 has posed as a wakeup call for the entire world. With the current state of events the theme ‘Time for Nature’ this World Environment Day is totally apt and also a need of the hour. “It is absolutely crucial for all of us to make a change and contribute in whatever way we can. We at GP Petroleums are committed to holistic development encompassing Environment, Health & Safety. We understand the importance of reducing carbon footprints especially in the lubricant sector and the role played by every individual in contributing towards global warming. There is an urgent need for good quality eco-friendly fuels and lubricants to ensure vehicles operate with optimum efficiency and reduced emissions,” said Prashanth Achar, CEO, GP Petroleums Ltd.
The introduction of BS VI norms this year is in the right direction and GP Petroleums is ready with its new range of lubricants that will be suitable for BS VI compliant vehicles in the Indian market. Achar said, “Our approach to sustainability involves integrating innovative economic, environmental and social business practices into our operations to deliver long term sustainability solutions to our internal and external stakeholders. We aspire to create growth opportunities that bene?t not only our business partners, clients and economies, but the environment and society as well.”
Collaborate for low-carbon growth plan
According to Ravichandran Purushothaman, President Danfoss Industries Pvt Ltd (India Region), the COVID 19 pandemic has brought about a wave of transformation that people world-over are grappling with. At the same time, although inadvertently, the lockdown has brought about a remarkable reduction in overall carbon emissions and pollutions levels. While the restrictions are being lifted, the industry should be encouraged to step back, reassess and realign its strategies towards uplifting the economy in a sustainable manner, he recommended.
Danfoss India, an industry leader focused on energy efficient solutions, is a 100-percent owned subsidiary of Danfoss Group. True to its promise of energy efficiency, the 500-crore manufacturing facility at Danfoss’ Oragadam (Chennai) campus is a LEED Platinum rated facility with an on ground solar installation and has a focus on R&D and also houses an application lab. The focus of this centre is to design and innovate products for climate and energy for both India and outside market.
Ravichandran Purushothaman believes that it is no longer rational to delink economic growth from environmental sustainability and caring for the nature, which presses the need for the government and the industry to collaborate on a low-carbon high-growth recovery plan. “In the coming months, public-private partnerships (PPPs) should play an effective role in setting and achieving targets that re-look at the efficiency of food, infrastructure and industry ecosystems. With the right approach, the myriad of energy efficient technologies available to us can be leveraged effectively to drive profitability and create new avenues for job creation,” he opined.
Keep environment at the centre
Fresh water is slowing becoming a scarce commodity due to polluting river basins and neglected water streams. Companies are looking at various ways to reduce water consumption. For example, Aequs has been successful in saving over 17 million litres of water annually by adopting various recycling measures. Aequs is a global engineering and manufacturing company which specialises in precision manufacturing, forging, sheet metal fabrication, surface treatments and assembly for aerospace and allied industries.
Rajeev Kaul, MD and CEO, Aequs Aerospace, explained, “At Aequs, sustainability is at the core of what we do, and we have been working towards establishing strong sustainability measures over the past few years. Besides integrating wastewater treatment across our SEZ, we have ensured that Aequs’ special processes facility is a zero liquid discharge unit. These recycling efforts have helped us save over 17 million litres of water every year.”
Additionally, other initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint have resulted in successfully saving over 2138 MWh every year. “A recognition of our environmental initiatives is the ISO 14001:2015 certification for all the units in our SEZ. This certification is awarded to organisations with a strong environmental policy and an enhanced environmental management system with tangible positive outcomes,” Kaul informed.
Additionally, it has been a tradition at Aequs to plant saplings in its SEZ and empower our communities every World Environment Day. The company has planted over 3000 trees across the SEZ and 1000 saplings in the surrounding communities till date.
Rajeev Kaul opined, “Over the past couple of months, we have realised that while the COVID 19 pandemic is having a profound and lasting impact on our economy and society, consequently, the lockdown has some positive effects on the environment. There has been a significant reduction in air pollution and carbon emissions across the world. This is a reminder to realign our focus and priorities, keeping the environment at the centre for a better future.”
Engineering a better world
In recent months, the world has witnessed several catastrophic events from the Australian wildfire to the COVID 19 pandemic. Hence, there is a need for concerted action on climate action, bio diversity and health, which has been encapsulated perfectly by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
In line with this, Tata Technologies firmly believes that business growth and sustainability can coexist together. “Our vision of ‘Engineering a better world’ has constantly propelled us forward, with our capabilities in full vehicle design, right-weighting, smart manufacturing and electric vehicles enabling our customers to design, develop, manufacture and realize better products. We believe in creating products that are safe, have a low carbon footprint and deliver better experiences,” says J K Gupta, Chief Financial Officer, Tata Technologies Ltd.
Tata Technologies has also undertaken several initiatives for water conservation, waste management and energy conservation. This, along with the drive to improve overall green forest cover through tree plantations, has only re-affirmed its focus on the ecosystem and environmental conservation. “The World Environment day is a timely reminder to businesses that they need to take care of the environments they operate in and back it up with decisive action. This will go a long way in ensuring that we progress towards a future which is not only driven by profitability and growth, but is also a place where our planet truly thrives,” said Gupta.
Lockdown triggered by COVID 19 pandemic has given the environment time to rejuvenate due to decline in CO2 emissions and air pollution levels across the world. As the industrial activity restarts in the country, companies will have to continuously work towards balancing economy and ecology by committing themselves to sustainable development for a better future.