Tata Chemicals undertakes a plethora of initiatives to conserve natural resources and reduce emissions and waste at its operations, across geographies.
Energy is a key aspect of Tata Chemicals' operations across geographies. At the Babrala plant energy generation sources include natural gas with co-gen facility. Mithapur uses coal with co-gen facility and a small quantity of wind power in its township. Babrala also contributes to energy conservation endeavours by harnessing solar power. The cement production plant at Mithapur and the fertiliser plant at Babrala both in fall under the Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme.
The company uses highly efficient state-of-the-art product transporting modes such as Lupa Bulkers and ISO tankers. Energy cost is a critical differentiating factor between synthetic soda ash and natural soda ash.
Tata Power Renewable Energy has commissioned a 25 MW solar power plant at Mithapur township which already harnesses wind power.
Emissions are critical to the organisation as they have impact on climate change and air quality. Emission-related goals are measured against Balance Score Card and Responsible Manufacturing Index. Over the years, TCL has introduced internal norms to provide a safer and better environment for the surrounding communities. The stacks are monitored as per the schedule made under ISO 14001 and results are well within the limits. Furthermore, all environmental regulations are being adhered to, and in-house monitoring is done on a daily basis. Half-yearly external monitoring is also done by a third party. The organisation measures emissions from the combustion processes using continuous emission and opacity monitors. Combustion of natural gas and coal for electrical and steam generation result in NOx and SOx emissions.
Haldia monitors total fluorides instead of gaseous fluorides. Emissions at Mithapur are reduced by taking up initiatives like MUW FBD and vacuum system modifications, utilisation of effluent solids in cement manufacturing, renewable energy generation by wind mill and increase of production of bicarbonate.
Water being a significant natural resource, is an important issue for Tata Chemicals. All measures to reduce water usage are implemented and water sources are metered and monitored regularly. The organisation has set forth stringent targets year-on-year to reduce water consumption, and reviews them on a weekly basis. TCL, India carried out a detailed water footprint and sustainability assessment as per the Water Footprint Network Netherlands methodology. Direct product water footprints and site water footprints were established for blue, green and grey water.
Babrala is situated on the River Ganga basin. Thus ground water availability through deep bore wells is high but no significant impact is being observed due to its distance from the river. Babrala has been recycling most of plant effluent water within the system and the rest is treated and reused along with domestic sewage for irrigation in the green belt areas. Haldia meets its water requirement through two deep tube wells and the state Public Health Engineering Department (PHE), which supplies treated river water from Geokhali. TCL, Mithapur has sustained its zero dependence on ground water by adopting various in-house water conservation measures as well as management of the rain-fed lakes and innovative seawater desalination technologies. More than 99 per cent of all water needs at Mithapur are met by seawater due to its effective process integration and water pinch analysis. Mithapur recycles more than 90 per cent of water utilised.
Babrala conserves and recharges water by collecting rain water and making recharge pits.
Haldia reduces fresh water withdrawal and recovers phosphates by recycling most of the effluent generated from various plants. 3 Company has developed structures for rain water storage in new housing development in Mithapur township. It has strengthened rain water collection system and created new rain water collection ponds.
TCSRD (Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development) has been implementing various water conservation projects especially in Mithapur region, where non-availability of quality water is a big concern.
Tata Chemicals focuses on effective integration with the basic philosophy of resource optimisation, use of alternative sources and maximisation of “recycle and reuse” by innovation. Waste tends to degrade the environment if not managed suitably.
Hazardous and non-hazardous waste
Minimising the amount of waste produced is the key objective of Tata Chemicals from both an economic and an environmental perspective. We have implemented on-site segregation of waste at all the sites. As per the classification, all hazardous and non-hazardous waste across locations is sold to authorised and registered dealers and organic waste is composted.
Climate change concerns
Tata Chemicals’ sustainable enterprise strategy has always focussed on green technologies and used clean development mechanisms. Tata Chemicals has adopted the Climate Change policy issued by the Tata Group, which includes mapping carbon footprints and creating an abatement strategy for sustainable manufacturing. TCL’s strategy includes identifying opportunities for carbon abatement, investing in low carbon growth and tapping into opportunities presented by the emerging low carbon technologies. It has also adapted its businesses to become energy-efficient, use less water, and innovate with new chemicals, fertiliser products and agri-services for carbon conscious growth.
We have in place processes that help transcend mere compliance, ensuring that we continuously improve to manage and address risks including those arising out of climate change. The improvement projects focus on specific energy consumption, emission reduction, water consumption reduction, etc., which reduces not only the carbon footprint but also the costs.
In the absence of mandated carbon emission cuts, TCL has chosen a path which balances the imperatives of growth while ensuring measurable action on climate change; it leads to a carbon-managed future. We have drawn a three-pronged strategy, which includes identifying opportunities for carbon abatement, investing in low carbon growth and tapping into opportunities presented by the emerging low carbon technologies. We actively monitor our existing products and services, and also invest in developing new climate-friendly products through innovation and research.
We are also addressing energy efficiency issues directly by waste reduction initiatives and novel technological advances which offer the prospect of utilising low grade heat, further enhancing energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions.
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an international, not-for profit organisation providing a global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage, and share vital environment related information. It works to transform the way the world does business to mitigate the effects of climate change and protect our natural resources. TCL is responding to CDP since FY 2008-09 for climate change and has achieved 99 score with 2nd position in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) for FY 2014-15.
As per Natural Capital forum, natural capital can be defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things.
It is from this natural capital that humans derive a wide range of services, often called ecosystem services, which make human life possible.
The most obvious ecosystem services include the food we eat, the water we drink and the plant materials we use for fuel, building materials and medicines. There are also many less visible ecosystem services such as the climate regulation and natural flood defenses provided by forests, the billions of tons of carbon stored by peat lands, or the pollination of crops by insects. Even less visible are cultural ecosystem services such as the inspiration we take from wildlife and the natural environment
Tata Chemicals plant in Haldia used to import its total requirement of sulphur as raw materials for our sulphuric acid plant. Since the last couple of years, we have established a system by which we purchase waste molten sulphur from nearby industries.. We are now gradually increasing the use of molten sulphur for feeding our sulphuric acid plant, replacing the import of solid sulphur.