Situated on the banks of river Tungabhadra in South India, some five hours drive from Bangalore, the mill is a part of the Aditya Birla group. The unit has a turnover of Rs 150 crore. It employs some 1,670 people and produces 70,000 tonnes of rayon grade pulp per annum. Rayon grade wood pulp is the basic raw material used in the manufacture of viscose staple fibre. Production of rayon grade pulp with totally indigenous resources was a great stride towards import substitution, saving enormous amounts of foreign exchange.
But the company is not just about numbers. It has a very well defined environmental policy. In fact, it has environmental cells both at the company and the facility levels. A separate environmental department at facility level is headed by a deputy general manager (production), guiding a team of environmental, chemical and mechanical engineers and other plant operating personnel. The environment department is supported by the technical cell, safety department as well as quality systems. To integrate environmental management practices with that of other plant activities, the environmental department is represented by a manager in the monthly progress review and daily coordination meeting.
On the ground level, the company has taken several steps to control pollution to create an environmentally clean industrial enterprise since the inception of the mill in 1972. During the last 10 years alone, 146 projects were implemented in this area. The steps implemented over the years have helped in bringing down chemical consumption by 52 per cent, energy purchase by 41 per cent and reduction in effluent generation by 35 per cent. A key element has been the modernisation of the manufacturing process with clean production practices to minimise generation of waste at the source itself.
The implementation of these measures cost the company Rs 39 crore over the years. And today the company saves Rs 14.30 crore per annum by way of reducing chemical inputs, energy consumption, and improved productivity.
Given its green record, its a little wonder that Harihar Poly Fibres received the ICMA (Indian Chemical Manufacturers Association) Award for environmental control strategies and safety in chemical plants in 1991.
Harihar Poly Fibres was ranked second in Category III (companies with an annual turnover of more than Rs 500 crore) by the TERI Corporate Environmental Awards last year.