At Essar companies, growth is related to decline — in emissions, in water usage, in energy consumption, in their carbon footprint!
Every Essar company has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Essar Oil is the leader in carbon management best practices in the energy sector in India. Essar Logistics Limited (ELL) undertook a complete carbon mapping of all its trucks, dumpers, trailers, etc. for emission levels, overhauling vehicles, where necessary, to bring emission levels within standard levels. Alongside, Essar Steel follows the World Steel Association methodology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Essar Steel India plants at Hazira, Visakhapatnam and Kirandul have been recognized by the reputed Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) as being among the most energy-efficient steel manufacturers in India. As part of its Green Rating Project (GRP), a project sponsored by the Ministry of Environment & Forest and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), CSE analyzed 21 of the top steel makers in India to establish 'how clean and green' their operations are. Essar Steel was ranked second; the Essar Steel Hazira plant was found to be the lowest greenhouse gas emitter.
Lower energy consumption
The energy-efficiency measures taken by Essar Energy's Bhander plant at Hazira have become industry benchmarks. Essar Projects has introduced energy-efficient measures in laying pipelines in Gujarat. The Essar Steel Hazira plant commissioned a heat recovery power plant that uses waste heat — utilizing heat generated from the hot briquetted iron (HBI) manufacturing processes and surplus steam form blast furnace boilers — as fuel to generate electricity that ensures zero wastage at the plant site. Not surprisingly, Essar Steel has an efficiency level of 100 per cent in reusing materials, while the world average is 97.7 per cent.
Essar Steel has also instituted its patented technology to charge Hot DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) in order to reduce electricity consumption.
Diminished water usage
Essar Steel, along with Essar Oil and Essar Power, has also won the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) National Award for Excellence in Water Management. Its water use efficiency — largely through recycling initiatives — is in line with the global average of 2.06 cubic meters of water per ton of steel produced.
At the Essar Steel Hazira plant, several water conservation initiatives have been launched, foremost among them being reduced consumption. In 2008, Essar Steel launched its water policy to give the company strategic direction towards conservation of water. In the same year, the company switched entirely to the use of effluent water, replacing fresh water, for the requirements of its cooling tower. In 2008-2009, the company installed infrastructure for rainwater harvesting at the plant and township in Hazira, thus creating an alternate source of water for operations.
These initiatives led to a huge dip in consumption of water and in 20011-2012, Essar Steel emerged as one of the lowest specific water consumers among global steel players. In a move to bring down consumption further, Essar Steel installed fin fan coolers in the steel complex, replacing the conventional cooling towers.
Decreased consumption also leads to increased replenishment of groundwater and local water bodies. But environment protection apart, such conservation strategies make tremendous economic sense for the companies. Essar Steel has recorded savings from its water conservation and energy efficiency measures while Essar Logistics and Essar Shipping have gained from the modal shift from road transport to the more energy-efficient railway and sea transport. But, overall, reduced emission levels and more efficient use of resources means that Essar operations become more sustainable, benefiting not only itself but also all stakeholders and communities linked to itself.