Maruti Suzuki, the leader of the automobile industry in India, also boasts of the largest manufacturing facilities in the country. Although both the manufacturing facilities work at full capacity, the company ensures that this does not harm or damage the environment. Over the years, MSIL has taken special initiatives to minimize the carbon footprints of its manufacturing facilities, products, and supply chain operations. The company believes that investing in environment friendly technologies makes business sense as it shall bring good results in the medium to long term. Keeping in line with this vision, MSIL has always remained ahead of the environment regulations and improved its products, manufacturing and supply chain operations to minimize environmental impact of its business operations on society. The country’s industrial ecosystem is relatively young, but the given the promise of rapid growth, the company has chosen a sensitive path. The company is going ahead with investments in environment friendly technologies and waste minimization to make its operations greener and environment friendly going forward. Although the initial investment is high, the company has realized that in the long term, it gives a better return of the investments made. The company is investing and implementing such initiatives/processes in both their manufacturing facilities in various verticals. Maruti Suzuki has the distinction of being the first automobile company in India to register a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)*.
Since manufacturing is the core aspect of the company, the company has maintained a special focus on this. MSIL follows the SMC’s basic philosophy of smaller, lighter, shorter and neater facilities. The company has identified five focus areas for protection of the environment and optimum utilization of resources.
The initiatives undertaken can broadly be classified under the following verticals:
Material use and weight reduction
Air emissions reduction
Material use and weight reduction
MSIL has embarked on to improve its processes for efficient use of resources. It continued with its “one gram one component” program to reduce material consumption through re-engineering and design modification of existing vehicles. With this program in place, MSIL is aiming to reduce overall raw material consumption. Saving and efficient use of raw material does not stop here, MSIL has further implemented a system to use the scrap generated from their press shops. The scrap generated in press and casting operations is sent to vendors who manufacture child parts or for use in their manufacturing of relevant products. The company focuses on yield improvement to conserve resources. The scope of this activity was extended from their traditional sheet metal to plastics, electrical and casting operations. In 2011-12, 287 yield improvement proposals were implemented, resulting in a total saving of over 2000 Tonnes.
In any manufacturing plant, energy consumption is a major vertical for costs and carbon footprints. Even in this aspect MSIL has been taking initiatives to reduce costs and carbon footprints. Both the facilities run on captive power plants that use natural gas, clean & green fuel. The newly commissioned plant at Manesar has been designed to use maximum use of natural light, thereby reducing the need for artificial lighting in day light. Specific to the plants, in Gurgaon, the following steps have been taken:
Installed waste heat recovery boilers and steam turbine generators to generate power from waste heat recovered from existing gas turbines at Gurgaon plant.
Introduced a new generation electro-deposition (ED) paint coating that operates at low voltage and consumes less energy in paint operations.
Aerodynamic energy-efficient fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) blades replaced the standard blades at the cooling towers for lower energy consumption.
The voltage in the shops was optimised for lighting and motor loads.
Desiccant-type air dryers were introduced to reduce energy consumption.
In Manesar, the following steps have been taken:
Installation of LED lights at the newly commissioned second plant, making it the first car manufacturing plant in India to use LED technology entirely. (A normal tube light uses 50 watts of electricity and the initial purchasing cost is around Rs. 60. An LED light uses 22 watts of electricity and costs around Rs. 1,500.) Through the initial investment is high, an LED light consumes half the electricity used by an ordinary fluorescent light. Seeing the success of this initiative at Manesar, LED lights are being installed in Gurgaon as well
Installation of Gravity conveyors in wield shop of second plant to transfer body panels thereby eliminating the need for electrical motors. In addition to this, energy efficient motors installed in utility equipment.
Regular energy audits of vendors to reduce energy consumption and costs by sharing its best practices and benchmarking.
Water is another scarce resource and MSIL is making all efforts to conserve & promote efficient use of it. The company has achieved a “zero discharge status” since 2003-04 in Gurgaon and since 2006-07 at Manesar. The company uses canal water for most of its manufacturing processes to conserve ground water. The total water consumption in 2011-12 for both the Gurgaon and Manesar plants was 1,801,322 m3 comprising 1,495,754 m3 canal water, 305,018 m3 tube well water and 550 m3 rain water. Other water saving initiatives of the company includes:
A total of 1,234,767 m3 of water was recycled and reused in 2011-12, accounting for 41% of the total water requirement of both manufacturing facilities.
The company has achieved zero waste water discharge status at its manufacturing facilities
Introduction of direct cooling systems for air-conditioning. Use of air-cooled dryers instead of water-cooled dryers in the compressed air plant
Use of recycled water instead of raw water in paint shop in Gurgaon plant.
Installation of air-cooled condensers in place of water-cooled condensers in Gurgaon and Manesar plants.
A total of 1,234,767 m3 of water was recycled and reused in 2011-12, accounting for 41% of the total water requirement of both plants. Use of recycled water increased from 41% to 44% in the Gurgaon plant in the reporting year. The Company used 462,049 m3 of treated effluent water, after ensuring that it met the necessary water quality standards, for horticulture. Waste minimisation and process innovation have enabled the Company to reduce per car water consumption by 61% in the last decade in the Gurgaon facility and by about 56% in the last five years in the Manesar facility. The charts above provide indexed figures on water consumption per car for both plants over the years.
Air emissions reduction
The major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission at Maruti Suzuki is the combustion of fuel for power generation and process requirements, accounting for over 90% of the Company’s total GHG emissions. The total GHG of both plants was 3,14,355 T (CO2) for 2011-12. GHG reporting has been done as per Scope 1 and 2 of the WBCSD/WRI Protocol. Ambient air quality and stack emission parameters (SOx NOx, SPM etc.) are monitored regularly by a government approved external agency. The monitored values are well within the prescribed limits of the Pollution Control Board.
Initiatives to reduce emissions that were undertaken in the reporting year include:
A special fluidized bed type incinerator installed for cleaning of paint booth gratings instead of a direct burning type incinerator
Improvement in the operational efficiency of gas turbines.
The hazardous wastes produced as by-products of manufacturing operations at Maruti Suzuki include paint, phosphate and effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) sludge, incinerator ash and used oil. The used oil is sold to authorised recyclers. Maruti Suzuki has been sending paint sludge, phosphate sludge and ETP sludge to the cement industry for co-processing since 2010-11. This has eliminated the need for incineration and land filling. The saleable solid wastes such as metal scrap and glass waste are sold to recyclers. All in-process and vehicle related e-waste is disposed off through authorized recyclers only.
The hazardous waste generated during the reporting year was 4,227 T and used oil was 406 T. The existing landfill is being emptied out gradually by sending the waste to the cement industry. In the reporting year, 5,663 T of hazardous waste was sent to the cement industry for co-processing. There has been no significant spill inside the plants, as secondary containments are provided wherever there is a possibility of spills
Maruti Suzuki as a responsible corporate strongly believes that this is the right time to put the foot on the pedal and scale up its sustainable growth programs. With this resolve to make the company and its value chain more sustainable, the company moves ahead in their journey.