Sustainable growth: Nurturing green manufacturing in India

  • Articles
  • Feb 06,24
Amidst the discussion around sustainability Bheemsingh Melchisedec presents this article which aims to unravel the significance of green engineering in the multifaceted realm of economic growth, health preservation, and environmental impact mitigation.
Sustainable growth: Nurturing green manufacturing in India

The Indian manufacturing sector, renowned as a catalyst for economic growth, has consistently propelled the nation forward. India's manufacturing prowess is gaining global recognition, fuelled by skilled resources and bolstered by factors such as quality production and robust domestic and export demand. However, as the industry continues to surge, the pressing need for green manufacturing practices has come to the forefront. This article aims to unravel the significance of green engineering in the multifaceted realm of economic growth, health preservation, and environmental impact mitigation.

Green engineering's holistic approach

Green engineering, often synonymous with green manufacturing, focuses not only on economic growth but also on health and environmental impacts of human and other ecosystem in the planet through sustainable business practices in the manufacturing processes. Beyond the policies and practices, the advent of technology, digital transformation, and strategic business initiatives collectively propel the manufacturing sector into green engineering. The emphasis is on reducing direct emissions and embracing sustainable practices that foster positive corporate images and enhance organisational reputations globally.

Crafting carbon-neutral strategies
The term "carbon neutral" takes centre stage, representing the neutralisation of carbon emissions across the manufacturing life cycle. A comprehensive framework is essential, including specific objectives and targets for achieving green goals and carbon neutrality within defined timelines.

Practical tips for SMEs to embrace green engineering
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while facing unique challenges, can adopt green engineering with helpful tips:

  • Innovative design with low-carbon emission materials: Design products with materials that contribute to lower carbon emissions. Focus on sustainable resource management in product development, adopting value engineering concepts.
  • Energy management system implementation: Implement a systematic and scientific energy management system to optimise consumption.
  • Energy aspect study for optimisation: Conduct energy aspect studies on machines and equipment to identify potential optimisation opportunities.
  • Performance indicators for energy efficiency: Set energy performance indicators to continuously improve efficiency, analysing consumption data using online monitoring systems. Drive energy management programs across the organisation, identifying and addressing significant energy use areas.
  • Renewable energy adoption: Embrace renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, replacing fossil fuel-based energy.
  • Transition to battery-operated equipment: Replace fossil fuel-operated equipment with energy-efficient battery-operated alternatives.
  • Rainwater harvesting enhancement: Strengthen rainwater harvesting systems, both industrial and external, to maximise water collection.
  • Green initiatives like tree plantation: Drive green initiatives like tree plantation both within and outside the organisation, aligning with CSR programs.
  • Supply chain alignment: Engage with suppliers to promote sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, establishing green supply chain management. Collaborate with suppliers or service providers practicing green manufacturing.
  • Adopting paperless operations: Introduce paperless document management systems to conserve natural resources and enhance operational efficiency.
  • Effective waste management system: Establish a robust waste management system, adhering to "Reduce – Recycle – Reuse" principles and statutory requirements.
  • Employee awareness programs: Conduct awareness programs among employees, educating them on sustainable business practices and their benefits.
  • Certifications and audit engagement: Inspire others by engaging third-party certifications and audits, regularly reviewing and publishing results. Conduct regular air, energy, and process audits to prevent energy loss and identify improvement opportunities.
  • Role of modern technologies and automation
    Cutting-edge technologies and automation in products and services significantly boost process efficiency in manufacturing sectors. Digital transformation has evolved and is now seamlessly integrated into numerous processes, unlocking opportunities to improve reliability and enhance productivity, as well as health and safety measures. The incorporation of Industry 4.0 technologies, along with IIoT devices for real-time monitoring and optimisation of energy and resources, aids in planning improvement actions for efficient energy and resource management. Adopting sensors and IoT devices enhances our ability to monitor and make informed decisions/actions to improve energy management systems.

    As India charts its course for industrial growth, green manufacturing emerges not just as a strategy but as an imperative. The adoption of sustainable practices offers not only economic resilience and global competitiveness but also underscores a commitment to environmental stewardship. In navigating this transformative journey, India's manufacturing sector can become a beacon of sustainable progress, harmonising economic prosperity with ecological preservation for generations to come.

    About the author
    Bheemsingh Melchisedec serves as the Director of Operations at ELGi. In his previous assignment, he served as the President and Board of directors for Rane Light Metal Castings America Inc, USA, where he led the company's operational turnaround. He was instrumental in winning the Deming Grand Prize for Rane Brake Lining Limited. He was with the Rane group for over 16 years before joining ELGi. He holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from OUBS, UK. He also did courses in the field of manufacturing excellence, strategy, and leadership from IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, ISB Hyderabad, and NUS, Singapore. Before the Rane group, he was with the Murugappa group and MRF Ltd.

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