Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Industry takes green way out as energy costs skyrocket by Hindustan Times

Green is the new buzz in industry, which has rapidly veered towards eco-friendly and energy-efficient appliances.
Rising fuel costs have had a say in dictating the change of course by industry as well as people and the impact has been phenomenal.
According to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), awareness of energy efficiency labels increased from 0.5% in 2008 to 15% in 2011. Sales corroborate this. Around 60% sales, where BEE labeling is mandatory, are of higher energy efficiency appliances. All BEE-rated appliances have the potential to save up to 30-50% energy. In other cases, it is about 20%
Sale of green products for most companies is on the rise. “In percentage terms, it was 22% in 2008, 36% in 2010 and went up to 45% in 2012,” said Nirupam Sahay, president, Philips Lighting India.
Other household category companies such as Panasonic, LG and Godrej too have made environment and energy efficiency central to their business.
Money-conscious and increasingly eco-friendly Indian consumers are making sure that green sells.
In such a win-win situation, companies are also in the process of rolling out product-recycling initiatives, while reducing use of hazardous materials and components in the manufacturing process.
Not just white good makers, many other leading companies are focusing on green resources. For instance, more than 41% of energy consumed in ITC’s operations is from renewable sources.
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), a leading fast moving consumer goods company, has announced a sustainable living plan with an aim to double its business even as it recduces its ecological footprint.
“It has been challenging to find an economically viable way of collecting and recovering sachet waste due to its low weight. We have evaluated ‘technical proof of principle’ of turning flexible plastic waste into fuel oil at a viable cost, and are studying long-term techno commercial feasibility of different technology options to take this forward,” said an HUL spokesperson.
Shortage of coal and sagging power production have also made industry look to alternative sources of energy, especially solar energy. Many top companies are now saving around 10% of energy cost by installing solar panels. According to estimates by consultancy firm KPMG, solar power has the potential to meet almost 7% of India’s power needs by 2022.