Insights in India's Chemical Industry

Tata Chemicals: A Scientific Approach to Sustainability

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Green Chemistry and Sustainability

With environmental alarms constantly being raised, the concept of green chemistry is an ideal initiative for the chemical industry. Mukundan observes, “India accounts for 3 per cent of the global chemicals market and is responsible for almost 20 per cent of global effluents. Hence, it is important for chemical engineers and research scientists to design materials that would curb the release of toxic chemicals into the environment and enable sustainable development.”

In this context, Tata Chemicals has upgraded its technologies for effluent treatment and has imbibed sustainable practices in its operations. He further states, “Green chemistry is here to stay and favorable to chemical manufacturing companies. The green approach will propel the Indian chemical industry to greater heights.”

Commited to Sustainable Business

Since the organization is committed to a sustainable way of doing business, it has initiated several programs on climate change and environment protection, besides constantly striving to improve its ecological footprint with a policy of ‘avoid, reduce and reuse’. “It has embarked on a program to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 per cent by 2020. With the growing need for climate change mitigation, it has invested in the development of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel and bio-ethanol to reduce environmental impact,” he affirms.

This is not all; the company has been exploring many other avenues to attain environmental goals. The setting up of a non-governmental organization in 1980 – Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) that works towards holistic community development and conservation of environmental resources – is an example. At the Mithapur plant, it has introduced the state-of-the-art water management technology that recycles wastewater for operational purposes. This has significantly reduced the plant’s dependence on the scarce groundwater resources.

Safety and Health Aspects

By adhering to world safety standards, promoting product and operational safety and encouraging active participation of every employee, the company has created a healthy work environment that complements its superior product line. It invests a large amount of resources to minimize workplace accidents. “The 5-star rating from the British Safety Council indicates that employees have incorporated the concept of behavior-based safety, and safe working has become a way of life,“ asserts Mukundan. All its plants are certified with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.