Greening of industry is a method to attain sustainable economic growth and promote sustainable economies. It includes policymaking, improved industrial production processes and resource-efficient productivity.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) can be given credit of coining the term Green Industries Initiatives. A few years back, UNIDO coined the concept ‘Green Industry’ to place sustainable industrial development in the context of new global sustainable development challenges. Green industry means economies striving for a more sustainable pathway of growth, by undertaking green public investments and implementing public policy initiatives that encourage environmentally-responsible private investments.
Green Industry Initiatives create awareness, knowledge and capacities about what is sustainable. UNIDO works with different governments to support industrial institutions that in turn provide assistance to enterprises and entrepreneurs in all aspects relating to the greening of industry. As an organisation, UNIDO extends support for integrating corporate social responsibility, water management, energy and promotion of eco-friendly processes into the policy framework of an industry.
On the other hand, industrial pollution is generally referred to the undesirable outcome when factories emit harmful by-products and waste into the environment such as emissions to air or water bodies (water pollution), deposition on landfills etc. (land pollution) or emission of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.
Earth’s atmosphere is a dynamic system of natural gases that are necessary to sustain life, and while it has a defence mechanisms to absorb small quantities of air pollutants, high levels of gases can cause ozone depletion and other problems for living organisms. The main sources of gaseous air pollutants are fuel combustion in stationary sources, such as coal-burning power plants, as well as emissions from automobiles. While these gases are not the only ones contributing to air pollution, they are regarded as dominant sources of this world-wide problem.
Carbon oxides: Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas, dangerous due to its lack of odour and colour that is released into the atmosphere with the incomplete combustion of fuels, such as coal, wood or other natural sources, as well as exhaust from automobiles. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the greenhouse gas widely considered the main air pollutant in the earth’s atmosphere. Despite the fact that carbon dioxide is essential to support living organisms, it is considered a dangerous air pollutant caused by human activities such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels.
Responsible for more than half of the global warming trend, carbon dioxide restricts infrared radiation leaving the Earth’s surface, causing the “greenhouse effect.”
Nitrogen oxides: Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are air pollutants that contribute the most contaminants to the earth’s atmospheric. Like carbon oxides, vehicle emissions are a major source of nitrogen oxides, and these air pollutants are easily recognizable by the brown plume or haze that forms over areas with high concentrations of the gases. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is one of the most prominent and dangerous air pollutants, and this toxic gas is easily identifiable by its reddish-brown color and distinctive, sharp odour.
Sulphur oxides: Sulphur oxides (SOx) are another group of gases polluting the earth’s atmosphere. Of particular concern is sulphur dioxide (SO2), one of the major components of smog and a primary cause of acid rain. While sulphur dioxide is naturally produced by erupting volcanoes, the combustion of sulphur-containing fuels such as petroleum oils and coal have caused this gas to become a dangerous air pollutant that is eating away at the Earth’s fragile atmosphere. Dangerous to both plants and animals, sulphur oxides can injure organic matter when deposited in high concentrations and cause respiratory problems by irritating air passages and lungs.
On November 8, 2017, Delhi earned the unenviable distinction of becoming the most polluted city on Earth. The pollution surged so high that some monitoring stations reported an Air Quality Index of 999, way above the upper limit of the worst category, hazardous. (An extra-sensitive air quality instrument at the US embassy got a reading of 1,010, as you can see in the chart).
The airborne particles and toxic chemicals that make up the smog had choked the 19 million residents of the metropolitan area, where merely breathing the air was, at its worst, like smoking 50 cigarettes in a day. Hospitals reported a 20 percent surge in patients with pollution-related illnesses, and doctors had declared a public health emergency.
We are bringing out a classic case before the readers just to point out that what reckless industrialisation can bring out. In the entire spectrum of pollutants, automobiles cause the highest pollution then comes the power generating plants and close to that is cement industry. Therefore it is pertinent that cement industry initiates green initiatives.
Why to take green steps?