World Environment Day: Tata Motors' holistic approach
Tata Motors' spokesperson shares how the company is marching ahead on the path of green manufacturing.
Please tell about the steps that the company has taken towards green manufacturing?
Environmental performance is an important focus area for Tata Motors (TML). Our Top Management has articulated its commitment and approach to Green Manufacturing through our Environmental Policy, Climate Change Policy and Environmental Procurement Policy and we deploy this through a structured top-down approach with clearly defined metrics, ownership, resource allocation and review mechanism.
Review mechanism includes the Safety, Health & Sustainability (SHS) Committee which oversees the performance at Board of Director level, , while the SHE Councils review at Business Unit level, and are supported by SHE Apex Committees at Plant level. All Plants have a dedicated Environment Department which drives Environment Management Programmes.
All TML plants are also certified to ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management System Standard and OHSAS 18001:2007 - Safety and Occupational Health Management System Standard. All our CVBU Plants are also certified to ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management System.
All 6 TML Plants have been rated on the CII-GreenCo environmental rating framework, and 2 Plants are rated Platinum, 3 are rated Gold and 1 Sliver.
Our Plants have been consistently recognized as "National Energy Leader" and "Excellent Energy Efficient Units" at the Annual CII National Award for Excellence in Energy Management.
Steps towards green manufacturing
Green manufacturing is incorporated at planning stage by selection of energy efficient technology, equipment and machines. This ensures optimal resource consumption and minimal waste generation during the use-phase. For example - Regenerative Thermal Oxidisers recover waste heat from Paint Baking Ovens. Energy efficiency rating is evaluated in selection of new machines and equipment’s.
To mitigate air emissions, we have moved from liquid fuels to gas fuel for process heat generation wherever supply was available.
Tata Motors is signatory to RE-100, is a collaborative, global initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. We have consistently improves our consumption of power generated / procured from renewable sources. This has been achieved through in-house roof-top solar PV and through Power Purchase Agreements with off-site solar and wind power generators.
Energy Conservation (ENCON) has always been a planned and budgeted activity to conserve energy. These include innovative approaches like the installation of LED fixtures for illumination through OPEX models.
3 of our Plants have Reverse Osmosis Plants in place to re-cycle treated effluent and re-use the permeate back in the manufacturing process. Almost all Plants have developed water bodies on-site using the local catchment and created wetland habitats for biodiversity conservation. Our Plants also practice rainwater harvesting either through groundwater re-charge, storage in artificial reservoirs or through dynamic harvesting. This helps reduce the impact on the groundwater resources and minimizing our fresh water consumption.
Our Plants drive “Value-from-Hazardous-Waste” (VfHW) initiative to Create Value from Hazardous Waste and consequently reduce the environmental burden due caused by landfilling/incineration. Some highlights include: *Process modifications in Paint Shop– recovery and re-use of sealants instead of wiping off the excess, improved paint transfer efficiencies, reduced tank draining, scheduling color-wise painting operations leading to less frequent set-up changes, etc. Aggregate Shops have implemented projects related to – extending useful life of coolants and cleansers, increased recovery of neat oils for re-use, in-house cleaning and re-use of cleaning material, etc. Focused efforts on waste segregation at source across all Shops has also led to a significant reduction in the amount of hazardous garbage destined for incineration. Supply Chain function has carried out right-sizing the packaging size of containers to enable complete utilization of raw material and ensure zero residue is left over – which renders the containers as ‘hazardous waste’. Supply Chain is also working on the systematic elimination of flexible plastic packaging used for bought-out auto parts. Plastic is being completely eliminated where possible and if not suitable alternatives are being sourced.
While plastic packaging used for dispatch of auto parts between Plants and to Warehouses has been significantly reduced, work is on-going for plastic packaging used by our Suppliers. This is being done by elimination of plastic packaging where feasible and converting expendable (single-use) plastic packaging to returnable (multiple-use) packaging.
Where waste generation is inevitable they are converted to useful materials, which can be re-used in process for similar if not lower end uses. Re-cycling of paint sludge into casting sealer paint, black epoxy paint, etc, distillation of spent flushing thinner, re-use of powder from powder coating operations, reclamation of rejected core sand in in-house foundries for in-house use, etc are all such examples.
Tata Prolife business division remanufactures auto components which have reached the end of their useful life. Aimed at commercial vehicle (CV) owners, Tata Prolife extends the life of vehicles and aggregates through systematic overhaul that leads to optimum performance while also adding to the life of the products.
What are the company’s targets in this regard?
TML sets targets for environmental parameters such as water, GHG emissions and hazardous waste, based on current achievements, comparable benchmarks
The Energy / Environment targets are set for Business Unit and Plant level for Specific GHG (Scope 1 + 2)emission, Specific Water consumption and Specific Waste generation with a ‘top-down’ approach.
How is the company training its staff in different ways to achieve these targets?
TML has established Tata Motors Academy, which addresses development needs of various segments of its workforce through a structured approach. Individual employees also identify specific training requirements which are then facilitated through internal / external resources.
We have a Energy and Environment page on our intranet which is regularly up-dated with relevant data for wider dissemination.
Our energy & environment teams constantly upgrade their knowledge from Industry fora, associations, specialist conferences, visits to other Plants, and other sources.