Kanish Malik, President, Operations, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and SV Veerramani, Founder and Chairman, Fourrts India, explain the philosophy behind their sustainability efforts.
Implementing the 3Rs principle
Eleven of our manufacturing facilities are ISO 14001:2004 certified, while five facilities are OHSAS 18001:2007 certified. Our facilities are approved by regulatory bodies such as the US FDA, MHRA UK, WHO-GMP, Canadian TPD, South African MCC and ANVISA of Brazil.
We endeavour to continually take initiatives broadly pertaining to the following areas: decreasing water footprint, reducing our emissions, increasing the energy efficiency of our operations and efficient waste management. In addition to this, we have aligned our commitment to provide a safe working environment to all our employees, which apart from meeting the moral and legal obligations, also leads to enhanced productivity and workplace satisfaction.
Glenmark has taken a number of initiatives to reduce the amount of freshwater drawn and waste water discharged by our facilities. We have imbibed the principle of 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), which has helped us reduce our specific water consumption year after year.
Reducing stress on natural sources of water, adopting a less carbon intensive path.
We recycle about 98 per cent of the waste water generated at our facilities. Collectively, all these initiatives have helped us save more than 215 million litres of water during the FY 2015-16.
In order to reduce the stress on natural sources of water, we have built rain water harvesting structures at our facilities in Goa, Taloja and Mahape, and set up groundwater recharging systems at Indore, Nalagarh and Baddi.
We have adopted a new high pressure water cleaning system that reduces the water consumption for equipment cleaning by more than 40 per cent. By shifting to plate heat exchanger for the generation of hot water and by capturing the steam condensate, we have been able to reduce the water required for the process by 20 per cent.
We have installed waste water recovery systems at our plants in Dahej, Ankleshwar, Aurangabad and Mohol, which has brought down our fresh water requirement. Our state-of-the-art systems employ technologies like Reverse Osmosis (RO), Multiple Effect Evaporator (MEE) and Agitated Thin Film Drier (ATFD). The recovered water is used for flushing, gardening, boilers and cooling towers. Currently, we are in the process of installing these technologies at our Kurkumbh plant and have established it as a norm for all our future plants.
As part of our environmental responsibility, we continually identify opportunities for adopting a less carbon intensive path as we grow as a company. This is being done by adopting a two pronged strategy. Firstly, we have begun to diversify our energy mix by including low or no carbon emitting sources such as biodiesel, solar and hydro power. Secondly, we continually upgrade our equipment and processes to the latest energy efficient systems, thereby bringing down our specific energy requirement. More than 10 per cent of our electricity demand in the reporting year was met by electricity from renewable sources like solar and hydro power. After successfully introducing the biodiesel-based boiler at our Nashik plant, we extended this project to our Mohol and Kurkumbh plants, thereby substituting a total of 435.4 kl of High Speed Diesel (HSD) with biodiesel.
Implementation time consuming, challenging in the short term but desirable and beneficial to society in the long term. Implementation is a time consuming process, but as an environmentally conscious drug manufacturing company, we strongly feel that adopting green initiatives is the right thing to do and it is the new way forward. We strive to fulfill our mission of enriching lives of our employees, our neighborhoods, the global community and the future generations. In short term one may find this approach challenging but in the long term it is desirable and beneficial to the society at large.
Three major benefits of sustainability strategy
- We saved 215 million litres of water through our water conservation efforts. It roughly amounts to annual drinking water requirement of more than 1,17,000 people in rural India.
- Around 5300 Megawatt-Hours saved, which can light up more than 55,000 rural households for one year
- 110 metric tonne co-processed which is equivalent to more than 18,000 trees planted
- More than 3.6 per cent of our electricity demand in the reporting year was met by electricity from renewable sources like solar and hydro power
- A total of 435.4 kl of HSD was substituted with biodiesel at our Nashik, Mohol and Kurkumbh plants.
Sustainability measures being implemented
At Fourrts, wind power is utilised for plant operation. Fourrts has entered into strategic equity participation with an organisation engaged in the generation of power using wind mills.
This organisation is also exploring the possibility of generating power using solar energy. And soon Fourrts will be using power generated from replenishable energy sources only. Apart from cost advantage of about 25 per cent, we derive the satisfaction of participating in the national interest of conserving energy.
ETP and STP
Fourrts has set up state-of-the-art Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) to treat the waste generated in the formulation process. It is a zero discharge effluent treatment plant. The Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) treated water is utilised for gardening purpose. The ETP treated water is utilised for cooling tower and boiler and RO reject water is sent for mechanical evaporation and salt is collected in the solar panel.
Strategically planned rain water harvesting to increase ground water table level
In Fourrts, sub-surface water recovery is done by laying natural water conserving system beneath the building foundation in order to avoid seepage of water inside the building during rainy season. The sub-surface water generated through this system is collected in sumps and utilised for cooling purpose. In strategic location, rain water harvesting is done to increase the ground water table.
For all heat requirements, Fourrts has set up boiler using non-fossil fuels like agro wastes instead petroleum products like furnace oil which is highly polluting. The use of boiler for heat requirements saves cost and reduces dependency on conventional power from electricity board. By installing indigenously designed bio-reactor the steam-fuel ratio is improved and the soot discharge into atmosphere is minimal.
Air Handling Units (AHUs)
In Fourrts, AHUs function in a very environment-friendly manner by using replenishable energy for cooling. Fourrts has set up heating and cooling system for its HVAC by adopting vapour absorption system. The advantage of this system is that energy source is renewable and using natural refrigerant namely water, which does not harm the atmosphere like TFC or substitutes. In this system, the usage of convention power consumption is reduced substantially by Rs. 5.5 per TR (Ton of refrigeration). The bleed air from AHUs is
filtered through 0.3µ HEPA filters to protect the environment. We use LED/CFL light fittings for reduce power consumption. All machineries and utility motors are running with Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) to reduce power consumption.
The flying dust generated from the process are captured into scrubber which ensures the dust generated is completely sent to ETP by water spray technique which is inbuilt with machines.
The machines installed at Fourrts are state-of-the-art and environment friendly. The processing machines have silencers and acoustic insulation in-built.
Flue gases from the boiler and generator are periodically monitored to prevent air pollution.
Three major benefits of sustainability strategy
- Power saving
- Prevention of land pollution
- Prevention of air pollution