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India’s Industrial ECO-Awakening

“The Indian government is pushing with targets and policies on renewable energy, reduction in carbon intensity, plastic waste management rules, clean access to water and mangrove conservation among others,” writes Ramnath Vaidyanathan, AVP and Head of Environmental Sustainability– Good & Green, Godrej Industries Group.

Picture a land where temperatures soar high, but people thrive. A place where 18 per cent of humanity finds their home yet manages to sustain with just 4 per cent of the world’s water resources. Yes, it grapples with pollution, but it is also a hub of innovation striving to build a cleaner and greener future. The place is no other than India.

Despite challenges, India is among the few fast-growing economies that is also setting ambitious environmental goals and is on track to achieve them. Environmental issues need the combined efforts of the government and private sector to come together with collaborative solutions. The Indian government is pushing with targets and policies on renewable energy, reduction in carbon intensity, plastic waste management rules, clean access to water and mangrove conservation among others. Indian business sectors have also stepped up and made progress on environment-related initiatives.

Manufacturing industry

The Indian manufacturing sector contributes about 15 per cent to India’s GDP but it is also a big contributor of the country’s emissions. The manufacturing sector has been adopting sustainable technology and practices aimed at reducing energy use, switching to renewable sources of energy, efficient water use and lower waste. The Godrej Industries Group currently uses over 65 per cent of our energy from renewable sources with an aim to 70 per cent renewable powered by 2025.

Textile industry

India is among the top 3 largest producers and exporters of textiles. However, textile processing generates a large quantity of effluent posing serious environmental challenges. Several textile manufacturers like Welspun India have implemented Zero Liquid Discharge norms ensuring they don’t discharge any wastewater in the environment. Moreover, textile companies are adopting green chemistry processes and switching to environmentally friendly dyes and fabrics.

Automobile industry

India’s automobile industry is set to multiply by threefold in the next few decades. The automobile industry is transitioning towards electric vehicles (EVs), backed by government policies to support the electrification of mobility and the development of a nationwide charging infrastructure. Two-wheelers companies like Hero MotoCorp are introducing flex-fuel models that can run on a blend of gasoline and ethanol, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and cutting down emissions, while developing electric vehicles.

Pharmaceutical industry

Indian pharmaceutical industry is booming and is on its way to triple by 2030. However, the manufacturing process is a major environmental pollution contributor that releases pollutants in air, water and soil. The pharmaceutical industry is embracing green chemistry to minimise their waste and reduce their energy consumption. Companies like Syngene are creating APIs through more sustainable methods of development and manufacturing. The Indian government’s focus on environmental sustainability is a step in the right direction. To ensure that this path remains on track it is crucial that along with policies, support and systems are in place for Indian industries to lead the way in sustainable development.

About The Author- The author of this article- Ramnath Vaidyanathan is AVP and Head of Environmental Sustainability at Good & Green, Godrej Industries Group.

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