The rating system has helped us become more sustainable and green

The rating system has helped us become more sustainable and green

CK Jain, Unit Head, Vasavadatta Cement, Sedam

THE Green Company Rating System has helped us in effectively communicating to our stake holders about our commitment to sustainable growth, to reduce consumption of natural resources without jeopardising growth of the company, says CK Jain, Unit Head, Vasavadatta Cement, Sedam. In an exclusive chat with Agith G Antony, Jain elaborates on various aspects of sustainability initiatives taken by the plant which is the first one to be awarded Greenco Gold, by the CII for the year 2012-15 under the GreenCo, Green Company Rating System. Excerpts from the interview.

What were the major objectives of going through with the GreenCo Rating System by CII?
One of the most important reasons behind applying for the rating system was to understand our environmental performance on various aspects of environmental sustainability. This includes areas such as energy efficiency, water conservation, greenhouse gas emission, waste management, material conservation, recycling and recyclability, green supply chain, product stewardship, life cycle analysis, other areas like ventilation, biodiversity preservation, innovation, etc. Another major objective was to frame a long term roadmap on going green.

What were the major challenges involved?
VC has always been a believer of sustainable growth and has taken several initiatives on the ecological front. These initiatives helped in achieving GreenCo certification. However, the missing component was the meticulous system of documentation required for GreenCo certification. The certification system helped us in documenting the initiatives taken.

The system presented a challenge that turned into an opportunity for us to record our savings in terms of energy savings, water savings, and GHG emissions mitigation and track the results on a regular basis. GreenCo system has been designed with 30 per cent weightage for systems and 70 per cent weightage for performance and results achieved. This emphasises the fact that just having systems in place is not sufficient and requires actual implementation of initiatives and consequent savings in terms of natural resource conservation.

What are the tangible advantages of the rating system?
GreenCo gives energy efficiency 20 per cent weightage (200 out of total 1000 points). Energy costs also account for approximately 45 per cent of our expenditure.

The system emphasises on the need to have an energy policy, formation of cross- functional energy management cell, energy metering and monitoring systems, setting internal, national and international benchmarks and equipment wise efficiency monitoring. All these initiatives have a direct impact on the energy consumption of the plant as well as energy costs.

The second parameter under GreenCo was, water conservation encourages companies to avoid competition and conflict with the neighbouring communities for shared resources like water. The rating emphasises on the need to have a water policy, water management team, targets for reduction and benchmarks for reduction in consumption. This has helped the plant in understanding and preparing itself for the future to ensure availability of water for both the community and the plant operations.

The plant also has to pay huge amounts of money for disposing hazardous waste. GreenCo encourages companies to reduce, reuse and recycle and practice sustainable waste management practices. For all the other parameters like GHG mitigation, material conservation, greening the supply chain, the rating has given us several tangible benefits.

The rating system has helped us in achieving our objectives of understanding our environmental performance on various aspects of environmental sustainability and in framing a long term roadmap on how to be greener.

Do you think it is a value addition in terms of your marketing strategies?
Yes, most certainly. GreenCo, the Green Company Rating System, has helped us in effectively communicating to our stake holders about our commitment to sustainable growth, to reduce consumption of natural resources without jeopardising growth of the company.

We have been in the cement industry since the year 1983-84, with a rich experience of more than 30 years. In these years, we have encountered all sorts of challenges. These challenges have made the organisation even bolder and determined in its journey to be the best in the country.

We have built faith and trust with our clients and builders by taking various initiatives on the ecological front. GreenCo has helped us in reiterating these initiatives to the near-by communities, our customers, stakeholders and employees.

To what extent has this rating system helped the company to become more sustainable and green?
It's the proud proclamation but not egoistic exaggeration that this rating system has helped the company to become more sustainable and green. Vasavadatta Cement keeps its eyes and ears always open and vigilant to international standards, conventions and treaties to grasp the spirit with mind and heart.

What is VC's stated goal of reducing your carbon footprint?
The plant has a target to reduce GHG emissions by 2-3 per cent every year for the next ten years. The following initiatives have been identified and implemented or are in process of implementation -

  • Installation of new lime-crusher (capacity 1400 tph) in mines to reduce transportation of vehicles and fuel consumption;
  • Increase of fly ash injection in PPC;
  • Increase of PPC production;
  • Installation of hot disc to consume WDF, AFR.

The plant has also adopted the following policies and guidelines-

  • Energy policy.
  • TPM policy.
  • Mission on sustainable growth.
  • Green procurement policy.
  • Green transport policy.
  • ISO 50001 and SA 8000 are under implementation

Could you brief us about the use of AFR in the plant?
We recently installed hot disc to consume all types of AFR like municipal solid waste, tyre, plastic waste, carbon black powder, etc. This will help the plant in reducing emissions from usage of conventional fuels.

Tell us about the thrust on renewable energy sources.
The plant has implemented solar heating system for industrial canteen (steam cooking) and uses wood/agro-waste in cement kiln/CPP. In addition, the plant also has plans to install solar lighting for 100 kw at new ADM building, and install waste heat recovery system for cooler and PH exit gases. There is possibility of 17 mw power generation with WHRS.

Vasavadatta Cement is very determined to implement WHR as soon as completing up gradation of all the four clinker coolers. We have finalised the site and layout for installation of WHR Squeesed techno commercial matters with different vendors.

What can you tell us about high efficiency pollution control equipment used for cement kilns, raw mills?
The plant has taken initiatives on fugitive emissions management using mist spray and effective mines management to ensure minimum impact in the surrounding areas. For kilm and raw mills U-III and IV RABH, Unit-I, ESP to bag house is under commissioning. For Unit-II, ESP to bag house conversion is under progress. All coal mills have bag filters. All power plants have ESPs.

What are the steps initiated to reduce water consumption in your plants?
Water mist sprays are used for dust suppression, where specially designed stainless steel nozzles are used with potential water savings of 85 cubic meter per day. 65 per cent of the water used in the plant is sourced from rainwater harvested in four storage ponds of 44,00,000 m3 capacity.

The company has a target to meet 99.9 per cent of its water needs from rainwater harvesting in the next five years.

  • Unit-III & IV raw mills considered for roller press with finish grinding which needs no water.
  • Effluent water is used for cooling bed ash (U-2) in CPP.
  • Recycling of DM water to CT sump IN CPP.
  • Recycling of back wash water.
  • Reutilisation of waste water for process and gardening.
  • Air cooled condenser for U-IV and V captive power plant.
  • We also received the National Award for Excellence in Water Management in 2012.

Green Initiatives

The plant has one of the best specific energy consumption figures in the country. VC also adopts cradle to cradle approach to environmental sustainability as recommended by GreenCo. The plant has taken the following initiatives -

  • Installation of limestone crusher at mines about one KM from plant which has resulted in fuel savings.
  • Installation of roller press for raw mill finish grinding which saves power does not require water.
  • Installation of bag filters for all production centres.
  • Friction drive kiln without girth gear.
  • Deo flex burner for U-III&IV.
  • SF cross bar cooler for u-III &IV.
  • Combi flex drive for cement mill-III&IV no girth gear.
  • Open wagon loading facility for cement.
  • Bulk loading facility for trucks as well as wagons.
  • All major equipments installed with VVFD (Plant-300 & CPP-125) & SPRS.
  • Water harvesting at mines and CPP total capacity of 44 lack M3.
  • We are in the process of implementing projects for further improvement identified during GreenCo assessment. This will enable us to achieve our ambition of GreenCo Platinum, thus making Vasavadatta a world class cement plant.

Resource Management Initiatives

Water conservation -
Celebration of Leak Detection week.
Usage of water mist spray used for dust suppression.
Rainwater harvesting in 4 storage ponds of 44,00,000 m3 capacity.

Energy conservation -

Formulation of energy policy and cross -functional energy management cell.
Performance evaluation of all energy intensive equipment
Suggestion schemes by employees.
Various energy efficiency projects.

Material conservation-
Substitution of high grade limestone with low grade limestone.
Usage of fly ash up to 32 per cent.
Usage of waste as alternative fuel.

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