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World Environment Day Series: TVS Motor’s commitment towards a greener future

Dr. S Devarajan, Senior Vice President – Production Engineering, TVS Motor Company shares the company’s approach and actions in this regard.

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TVS Motor Company, CII National Energy Efficiency Circle Competition, CII - ITC Sustainability Awards, Green Era Award for Sustainability at Lisbon, Srinivasan Services Trust, Biodiversity, Multi Roller Test Bench, Sustainable Sourcing, Automotive Quality Management System, TVS Apache, TVS Star City+, TVS Victor, TVS Jupiter, Reduce vehicle exhaust emissions, BS-VI norms, TVS iQube electric, Clean Technology, Nano technology, Automated washing machines, Packaging efficiency, Energy Management System, Renewable energy, Dr. S Devarajan

Embracing sustainable and green principles is no more a trend as we are on the brink of an irreversible change and the time for action is now.  With shrinking resources and growing population, the impact of unsustainable lifestyle has been evident on the green eco system. We currently need 1.7 planets to support all of humanity's demand on Earth's ecosystems, according to Global Footprint Network. 

Sustainability is the need of the hour in all business practices. We need more far sighted, innovative and creative solutions to address the environment challenges to ensure a cleaner and greener future for the future generation. To achieve long-term sustainability, we need to approach the environment, climate, economy and society as inseparable parts of the same entity. Making businesses more sustainable starts with being aware of the issue at hand and understanding just how important it is to make changes — both for the business and the planet. To avert negative impact on climate, the manufacturing industry, in particular, has a long-standing commitment to deliver energy efficiency and decarbonisation.

During 2019-20, to promote sustainability culture in TVS Motor Company stakeholders, a conference was organised with the theme “Sustainability in Manufacturing Supply Chain”. Policy makers, research organisations, environmental experts and other corporate leaders shared their learnings in the conference. The conference witnessed participation of 172 individuals from 55 organisations including suppliers, group company representatives and dealers.

TVS Motor Company manufacturing facilities have been certified under Integrated Management System (IMS). ISO 14001 (Environment Management System) and ISO 45001 (Occupational Health & Safety Management System) standards are integrated into a common system that meets the requirement of each of the standards. The integration makes the management system leaner and more efficient.

TVS Motor Company is committed to support the green mobility initiatives by developing suitable technology, products, and business solutions. The company has implemented various energy-saving projects for energy efficiency as well as for the reduction of the carbon footprint. As a responsible corporate, the company is focused on sustainable manufacturing, creating manufactured products through economically-sound processes that minimise negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources.

Manufacturing Sustainability
Renewable Energy
The renewable power contributes to 76% in overall share of power. These initiatives of renewable energy resulted in CO2 emissions reduction of about 60,000 tons during 2019-20.   TVS Motor Company has invested in group captive mode to the tune of 35 MW wind power and roof top solar power of 5.9 MW. 

Energy efficiency
Buildings are designed with natural lightings and ventilation with daylight harvesting to conserve energy. Replacement of LED lamps in all engine assembly lines has reduced power consumption by 30%.  The powerless lowering of lifts has resulted in a saving of 3,750 KW per annum. Occupancy sensors for fans and lighting, the auto cut-off for hydraulic motors and compressed air are implemented across the company and have resulted in energy savings and 56% reduction in energy intensity when compared to 2011-12.

Introduction of overhead conveyor for 3W-chassis transport from supplier to 3W plant has reduced carbon emission of 119 MT per annum. Compressed air optimisations; reduction of holiday power consumption; optimal utilisation of plant and equipment; IOT based 'Energy Management System', alternative energy sources usage, and natural ventilation, wherever possible, have contributed to the reduction of specific power consumption significantly. There has been a 75% reduction in direct GHG Emissions compared to 2011-12. All these initiatives resulted in 219,246 tonnes of CO2 emission prevention in the last seven years.

Packaging efficiency
The company has been proactive in reducing their packaging material consumption by instituting several practices to minimise consumption. For example - carton separator in engine packaging has resulted in reduction in paper usage of 6.5 tons per annum. Use of alternate material viz., recyclable plastics have saved 1,800 tons of wood per annum.

Waste Treatment
To conserve water consumption in canteen, the company has introduced dish washer which resulted in water saving by up to 20%. Automated washing machines have eliminated the manual washing of vegetables and rice thus resulting in water consumption reduction by about 45%.  The industrial effluent is recycled through Reverse Osmosis and reused back in the process. The treated sewage water is used for gardening within the premises and for toilet flush.  There has been a 47% reduction in specific freshwater withdrawn when compared to 2011-12 in manufacturing processes.

In process design, efforts have been taken to minimise the generation of waste by introduction of clean technologies. Water based paint application (cathodic electro-deposition), pre-treatment based on nano technology in powder coating have been adopted.  Robotic paint application is being continuously augmented towards enhancing paint transfer efficiency. During 2019-20, the robot paint application was introduced in HP plant which has improved transfer efficiency by about 20%. This also improved the plant productivity and energy consumption reduction. Virtual training facility has been established for training operators towards improving their painting skills without using paint and generating waste.

The company ensures that a portion of the used thinner is distilled and reused back in the flushing during paint application.  The solid wastes which are hazardous in nature viz., chemical sludge is used as raw material in Cement Industry [Co-processing]. Paint sludge is used for co-incineration in cement industry.

Using IT & IOT technologies, ambient air quality, ambient VOC (volatile organic compounds) and stationary emissions are monitored through online systems. Water & energy consumption is also monitored through online system. The forms and returns under applicable Environmental Acts and Rules have been made online.

Product Sustainability
Clean Technology
TVS Motor Company has developed motorcycles compatible with ethanol-blended gasoline, such as E85. For TVS Motor 3-wheeler, the CNG variant is already in the market to reduce CO2 emissions, as compared to conventional fuel variants. Towards achieving zero tailpipe emissions, TVS Motor Company recently launched electric scooter TVS iQube electric and ethanol based TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100.

In the product design stage, efforts have been made to increase product Reusability, Recyclability and
Recoverability [RRR] rate and is more than 94% currently.  To address the environmental concern, the company has worked on product to achieve weight reduction and thereby to conserve natural resources. To achieve weight reduction in vehicles, TVS Motor Company is using lighter materials like aluminium and plastics in place of steel, increasing fuel economy, thus conserving both raw material and fuel.  Action have also been taken to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions [HC, NOx] by up to 70% in all the company's products by adopting advanced technologies for weight reduction, friction reduction, and optimised fuelling for BS-VI norms. Furthermore, CO2 emission reduction up to 50% has been implemented from Q2 FY 2019-20 onwards.

Conversion of metallic parts to recyclable plastic and the use of recycled plastic is being continuously pursued in vehicles viz., TVS Apache, TVS Star City+, TVS Victor, and TVS Jupiter without affecting performance, durability, and statutory requirements.

Sustainable Sourcing
TVS Motor Company has taken many prudent initiatives to ensure sustainable sourcing. Towards localisation of sourcing, the company encourages suppliers [Tier-1s] to set up manufacturing facilities closer to the company's plant locations. The Tier-1 suppliers in turn source their requirements from smaller producers [Tier-2] located in nearby areas. The company has migrated to internationally recognised Automotive Quality Management System - IATF 16949:2016. Additionally, the company has encouraged its suppliers to get TS certification and ISO14001 certification. This will support suppliers to improve their sustainability and robustness.

Initiatives at Dealership
To reduce the paper usage at the dealerships, the company has implemented the "DIGI- Workshop" at 150 locations. This has eliminated the paper Job Cards and all the tracking registers. It will be horizontally deployed in other dealerships. Across 600+ dealerships, Multi Roller Test Bench [MRTB] machines have been introduced to confirm the mileage in place of the road test. This has helped in reducing the pollution load to a large extent. To conserve the natural resource viz., water by about 40%, automation is being implemented for vehicle washing at the dealer end.

Biodiversity
The company has consciously set aside and developed one-third of the area outside each of their factory buildings as green cover, creating a complex eco-system around the industrial units. They have a group of conservationists who work with them closely to restore the biodiversity in these habitats.  In all, 18 farm ponds support about 418 species of birds, animals, and insects – almost the same as a city zoo. Additionally, there are approximately 81,000 trees around the factories and 16,375 hectares under watershed management. As many as 443 species of vegetation thrive around the factories. The company premises are covered in 30% green cover and attract migratory birds. The breeding of birds and other creatures at the plant indicate a harmonious relationship with nature.

Srinivasan Services Trust
For over 20 years, Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company has been working closely with local communities to encourage wide range of conservation measures. These initiatives include creating awareness about the challenges of climate change in rural communities, teaching farmers better methods of drip irrigation to save water, encouraging planting of trees in denuded patches, teaching households in villages about waste segregation and better sewage disposal.

Accolades
During 2019-20, TVS Motor Company has won accolades in CII National Energy Efficiency Circle Competition including Best Application & Uses of Renewable Energy and Best energy efficient Case Study.

The company bagged two prestigious awards namely the Corporate Social Responsibility Award and Corporate Excellence Award at the CII - ITC Sustainability Awards 2018 held in Delhi for excellence in businesses that are seeking ways to be more sustainable and inclusive in their activities.  The Company has also bagged two International Achievement Awards for Quality & Business Excellence and Green Era Award for Sustainability at Lisbon, Portugal in February 2019.  These International Achievement Awards recognises the company's firm commitment to quality and its true global sustainability.

Sustainability is the way of life at TVS Motor Company. The philosophy of reduce, recycle, reuse is applied across all aspects of manufacturing. The company is committed to offering the best quality products to customers keeping sustainability at the core of all endeavours.  As a responsible organisation, the company is dedicated towards energy conservation and combating climate change with extensive measures to ensure cleaner, greener sustainable future.

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