The CII-GBC national awards for excellence in water management (2007)

The awards are an important step towards encouraging, supporting and applauding industry efforts to conserve water and reduce toxic effluent discharge

As India's economic boom gathers more and more momentum with each passing year, industrial water and energy use and related environmental impacts are going to be among the most critical factors in resource sustainability debates in the country and elsewhere. The companies portrayed represent a wide spectrum of industry: paper, metals, agro-processing, synthetic fibre, petroleum, transport, cement, energy, fertilizer, soft drinks and more.

Made available to us by the CII, the presentations offered here describe in detail just how these varied companies have undertaken wide ranging and often innovative eco-friendly modifications to equipment and procedures both within the their plants and in the townships around them. Technical parameters, financial implications and gains/savings are all clearly documented, making them valuable resource materials for study amongst the industrial community in India and elsewhere. While specific industries can of course gain from the sector specific innovations, there is also a wealth of material on ideas whose utility cuts across sectors, potentially benefiting industry as a whole.

 

As a major user of water and generator of effluents, the corporate sector has a tremendous impact on India's water and sanitation situation, especially in the current context of accelerating growth and industrial development.

While it is good to look at the environmental and resource use dimensions of corporate activities - as indeed of any sector of the economy - with a critical eye, it is also important to acknowledge efforts made by this sector to behave in an ecologically responsible manner, whatever their limitations might be. Here are several such corporate initiatives from some of India's leading domestic and multinational, public and private players.
   
Note: The presentations are large in size (greater than 20MB in most cases) so we have provided short writeups to help you decide which will be most useful for you.

Best practice case studies

A close examination of the presentations reveals certain emerging trends and commonalities. Here are some of them

  • Improving cooling tower operations
  • Efficient effluent treatment and usage of waste
  • CSR activities in water harvesting and watershed interventions
  • Attitudinal and awareness drives like water audits

These varied approaches to the urgent task of making Indian industry water efficient can go a long way towards limiting the draft that factories make on our limited resources, thereby releasing more for primary domestic and agricultural needs. Given the willingness and enthusiasm that India's industry leaders are showing for the cause, perhaps it's time to go a step further and explore the possibility of mandating at least a few such process and equipment modifications so that they become baseline industry standards. One way could be to name certain innovative techniques after the companies that have implemented them on a voluntary basis through in house efforts. It would be a way of further recognizing good initiatives and spreading their application. Any takers?

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