GreenCo Rating enhances the competitiveness of a company

GreenCo Rating enhances the competitiveness of a company

KS Venkatagiri, Principal Councellor, CII-Godrej GBC

GreenCo Rating System, the first of its kind in the world, provides a much needed holistic framework to evaluate industries on their environmental performance on these parameters. CII, through an extensive stakeholder consultation and interaction with experts, have developed the guidelines of GreenCo. This rating will act as a milestone for companies pursuing green to assess where they stand and help them in defining the path forward, says KS Venkatagiri, Principal Councellor, CII-Godrej GBC. In an exclusive chat with Agith G Antony, Venkatagiri throws light on the various aspects of GreenCo Rating and its benefits. Excerpts from the interview.

What were the major objectives behind introducing the GreenCo Rating System by CII?
We at CII strongly believe that in order to ensure human prosperity and a sustainable rate of growth, the Indian industry will need to focus on how to continue to grow the output while using less materials and energy at the input. Energy efficiency, water and material conservation, waste management, product stewardship and greening the supply chain are all agents of change that will play a significant role in facilitating a sustainable rate of growth.

In this regard, GreenCo Rating System, the first of its kind in the world provides a much needed holistic framework to evaluate industries on their environmental performance on these parameters. CII, through an extensive stakeholder consultation and interaction with experts, have developed the guidelines of GreenCo. This rating will act as a milestone for companies pursuing green to assess where they stand and help them in defining the path forward.

Since its inception, what has the response been, so far?
The response from industry has indeed been very encouraging and positive. Presently, CII is working with more than 60 companies across different sectors like FMCG, engineering, cement, paper, pharmaceutical, foundry, tyres, textile and service sector. As on date, 27 companies have registered and 7 companies are GreenCo- rated. Further, we have also conducted several open house, in-house training programmes and feasibility studies.

What are the major benefits that a company can get through this certification by the rating system?
Many business owners wish to adopt environmentally healthy practices but are not aware of what needs to be done. The rating system acts as an excellent guide for such businesses. Most governments are prescribing strict environmental compliance guidelines for companies. GreenCo rating enables the company to address future regulations. Companies that accept GreenCo rating will have a headstart in complying with these requirements and thus, have an advantage over non-complying competitors. The rating helps communicate the corporate commitment towards environmental sustainability to all stakeholders. It enhances the competitiveness of the company through resource conservation and improved efficiency.

With consumer awareness related to the environment growing at a fast pace, GreenCo rated companies will enjoy considerable consumer support and goodwill. As mentioned earlier, the rating also helps companies in assessing the present status on environmental performance and in creating a long term roadmap for sustainable growth for India.

Brief us on the different parameters of the GreenCo Rating System.
GreenCo provides a roadmap to improve further and drive excellence in following areas of environmental sustainability: Energy Efficiency- drives companies to achieve the status of the lowest specific energy consumer in the world.

Water Conservation- provides road map to implement 'beyond the fence' initiatives and achieve water positive status. Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation- provides road map to achieve carbon neutral status through implementation of renewable energy and sequestration.

Waste Management- identifies opportunities in waste management and facilitates achieving zero waste to landfill status.

Renewable Energy- Material Conservation, Recycling and Recyclability Product Stewardship- drives companies to reduce or eliminate toxicity in the process and product and to take up extended producer responsibility and design for environment initiatives.

Green Supply Chain- drives companies to create baseline of suppliers' environmental footprint and quantifies the benefits achieved in material, waste, toxicity, water and carbon. Life Cycle Assessment- encourages companies to perform LCA studies, reduce and declare environmental impacts through environment product declarations. Other areas like ventilation, access to public transportation, biodiversity and innovation.

Will you tell us a bit about the methodology?
GreenCo certification involves the following stages-Online registration at www.greenco.in Awareness and training programme- The objective of the training programme is to help the companies understand the rationale behind the various credit points, explain the credits that are relevant to the company and make the process of assessment easier for the company. Training programmes will also include case studies and best practices addressing various credit points.

Assessment visit-Subsequent to submittals of documents, site visit will be conducted by a team of independent assessors and representatives of CII.

The objective of site visit is to validate the data submitted as well as present to the company improvement areas, opportunities and way forward. The rating is valid for three years and at the end of the period, the companies will have to apply for the rating again. In between, if the company feels that they have improved their performance they can apply for a fresh rating.

Is this based on the LEED certification system?
We have followed the LEED methodology in terms of designing credits and intent of each credit but the parameters selected for providing a rating and the assessment process is very different.

How many cement companies have already been rated?
ACC,Thondebhavi Cement Works has been rated GreenCo Silver and Vasavadatta Cement, Sedam has been rated GreenCo Gold.

By the end of 2013, how many companies do you expect will enlist for the rating system?
We are looking at a hundred registered companies by the end of 2013. We are already working with over 60 companies and are positive that by the end of the year we will have a hundred GreenCo registered projects.Once the business case is fully demonstrated, GreenCo will propel on its own and deliver significant value to the companies.

Does the cost of getting rated act as a deterrent?
Cost has never been a deterrent. Companies today are looking much beyond cost and are willing to pay that extra amount to reap both the tangible and intangible benefits.

What are the major challenges according to you?
Concepts like extended producer responsibility, greening the supply chain, life cycle assessment are relatively new. The challenge lies in (a) Demonstrating the benefits of these initiatives.(b) The time frame required for the implementation of these initiatives. Reaching out to all the stakeholders on the need and importance of GreenCo is also a challenge. Another challenge lies in meeting the growing demand of professionals who can facilitate GreenCo rating. CII with the support of all the stakeholders is working towards transforming these challenges into opportunities.

GreenCo Rated Companies

  • ITC PSPD , Bhadrachalam, Gold Rating.
  • Vasavadatta Cement , Sedam, Gold Rating.
  • ACC, Thondebhavi, Silver Rating.
  • Bengaluru International Airport, Silver Rating.
  • Brakes India, Foundry Division, Sholinghur, Silver Rating.
  • JK Tyre, Kankroli, Bronze Rating.
  • HIL ,Golan, Gujarat, Gold Rating.

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