Asian Paints minimizes environmental impact and maximizes new operational efficiencies

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Courtesy of IHS

Asian Paints Ltd. operates in 22 countries around the world. It maintains 27 paint manufacturing facilities and serves consumers in 65 countries. As a truly global enterprise, Asian Paints is aware of the impact its operations have on the environment and is strongly committed to following the latest best practices for “green productivity.” Specifically, the company is working to assure environmental compliance and sustainability by focusing on waste minimization and water conservation at all of its plants across India.

To achieve this goal, Asian Paints’ team of environmental experts recognized that they needed to find a better way to track water parameters and hazardous waste from the point of generation to disposal and monitor reuse and recycling processes across their plants. Assuring continued compliance with all applicable water and waste management mandates was a major challenge for such an expansive enterprise.

In the past, data regarding water consumption and quality, gas emissions and the production waste (corrugated cardboard, waste oil , empty drums, used solvent , etc…) was tracked using separate processes based on paper, electronic documents, and spreadsheets. The result was hundreds of separate documents that made data analysis and process improvements difficult and laborintensive.

“We are always striving for zero-emission zero discharge and zero generation goals,” says Dr. Rajan Sharma Senior Manager of EHS at Asian Paints. “All of the parameters were being monitored, but somebody had to spend a lot of time getting those individual data points correlated and then generate a final report.”

The team quickly concluded that Asian Paints needed a net-based system that would allow all of their environmental data to be tracked and audited from a centralized location. They chose IHS Essential Suite® software to achieve their goals of efficient waste management and water conservation.

Essential Suite lets environmental compliance managers at Asian Paints’ collect all of the information they need for improved auditing and records management. The online system also provides a centralized database for easy access and analysis of data. To date, the company has used the system to upload tens of thousands of audit checklists.

“We can take our month-end reports and create a consolidated picture of waste and water management across the company that is saved in the IHS system and serves as the basis for continued progress,” says Mr. Maulik Desai, Senior Manager for Systems Development. “For example, now we can ensure that water is recycled and then eventually used for things like toilets and gardening. Essential Suite software has now become the backbone of this system.”

The IHS software platform now plays a key role in company-wide initiatives that range from installation of upgraded effluent treatment facilities and reverse osmosis plants to implementation of more effective recycling and reuse schemes, and the building of India’s first Total Water Management Center at its Bhandup manufacturing facility. Taken together, these programs have substantially reduced the company’s total environmental impact.

Asian Paints’ Decorative Business Units (DBU) has focused on all aspects of their environment: air, water and land. Waste minimization efforts include elimination, reduction at source, recycle, reuse and finally disposal. Waste solvent recovery plants have been installed to recover and reuse solvents. All the DBU paint plants maintain zero effluent discharge capabilities. Incineration units at each plant handle solid hazardous waste and residual ash is used to manufacture bricks for construction or is sent to India’s Central/State Pollution Control Board approved landfills.

Ultimately, water and energy consumption per unit of paint production represent the top key performance indicators for the company’s environmental score card. Water and energy consumption levels are monitored on a daily basis with continual efforts made for conservation. As a result of the company’s comprehensive management efforts over the past ten years, which include its use of IHS software, water consumption per liter of paint manufactured has been reduced by 54% and energy consumption has been reduced by 17%.

Asian Paints’ commitment to “green productivity” earned all six of its India facilities ISO 14001 certification for environment management standards.

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