Environment: OEMs can lead the way, here’s how

The manufacturing industry has steadily migrated to renewable energy, especially wind and solar, to bolster clean energy competitiveness.

Updated: Jun 05, 2021 8:42 AM

 

The Earth has been healing itself while we stay locked down in our houses during the pandemic. It is essential to know that significant short-term changes that can be reversed often have a minor impact. Complete environment restoration is a long-term journey, and slackening at any point may have dire consequences. Large organisations will have to play a pivotal role in conserving the environment, apart from civic bodies. With extensive real estate and workforce, the manufacturing sector can implement various sustainability measures and set an impactful example. At TVS Motor Company, we have multiple success stories of how consistent and strategic interventions can have a long-term impact on environment preservation.

Impetus to biodiversity

Rapid industrialisation has threatened and disrupted the lifecycle of many species, as also the ecological balance. However, for years, TVS Motor has effectively preserved the biodiversity and wildlife in and around its factories in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. We have 18 farm ponds that support 424 species of birds, animals and insects. There are thousands of trees on the premises and a one-of-a-kind bird sanctuary, believed to be one of the largest breeding colonies for the Painted Stork. It’s a habitat for water birds such as the Spot-billed Pelican, Purple Swamphen, Common Coot, etc.

Renewable energy

The manufacturing industry has steadily migrated to renewable energy, especially wind and solar, to bolster clean energy competitiveness. It has reduced its dependence on fossil fuels to operate heavy machinery and equipment for production and industrial usage. Our efforts towards reducing carbon footprint started in 2013 with the reduction of emissions, followed by incorporating renewable energy (wind and solar) towards the ideal state image of RE 100. We have reduced specific power consumption by 15% and specific fuel consumption by 20%. During 2020-21, renewal energy contributed to 82% of the company’s power consumption and reduced CO2 emission by about 8% compared to the previous year. Even the canteen waste is collected, segregated and composted to be used as manure for gardening daily.

Recycling of water

Manufacturing plants consume a large amount of groundwater, surface water and harvested rainwater; to avoid depletion of these resources, manufacturers adopt innovative measures for reasonable use and reuse of water. The company has built a dedicated dashboard for accurate accounting of the withdrawal and consumption of water. Rainwater harvesting and recycling industrial effluent through reverse osmosis has helped the company achieve 21% reduction in water consumption in 2020-21. Our plant in Hosur has established a fully automated reused water vehicle wash system that has reduced water requirement by 60% in the last decade. Today, the total quantity of rainwater recharged into the aquifer exceeds the total groundwater withdrawal.

By S Devarajan
(The author is Senior Vice-President, Advanced Manufacturing, TVS Motor Company)

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