Mjunction launches environment friendly purchase solution

Kolkata: In an age where most companies are eyeing a reduction in supply costs and improvement in public perception, mjunction today announced the implementation of greesourcing- an online ‘environmentally conscious’ purchase solution in Kolkata.

The move is targeted at companies across diverse industries that have recognised sustainable development through optimum resource utilisation as the objective.

The launch is significant in terms India’s commitment to reduce emission by 24 per cent by 2020 made at the Copenhagen Summit in December last year.

Viresh Oberoi, managing director, mjunction Services, said, “Our planet is heading towards a mercurial climate change which threatens grave consequences if we do not respond immediately. Business entities need progressive initiatives to propel a greener system into their practices. Natural resources constitute the backbone for all industries and sustaining our ecological reserves is crucial for sustainability of businesses. Green Sourcing is an emerging strategic business imperative. It offers a smart solution for industries to reap rich dividends while conserving natural resources.”

In the past, mjunction had taken initiaves for a green supply chain such as the the online procurement of goods and services of over Rs 10,500 crore through online sourcing services.

Source : Business Standard. 26/04/10

 

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Clean tech gets a leg-up

With India committing itself to a goal of 20-25 per cent cuts in its carbon emission intensity by 2020, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced a slew of measures to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the long run and promote clean energy technology, as well as check pollution.

In his budget speech today, Mukherjee announced that a National Clean Energy Fund for funding research and innovative projects would be established. He proposed a clean energy cess on coal produced in India, as well as on imported coal. ‘Polluter pays’ will remain the basic criterion, he said in his speech.

In addition, he announced a series of customs and excise duty cuts for photovoltaic and solar thermal power units. He said this in keeping with the government’s resolve to implement the National Solar Mission. As part of this thrust, he proposed reducing central excise duty on LED lights from 8 per cent to 4 per cent.

He has proposed a nominal duty of 4 per cent on inputs and components used for electric cars, an energy-efficient means of transportation. And, a concessional duty of 4 per cent for the ‘soleckshaw’, an environment-friendly alternative to manually-operated rickshaws, developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Its key parts and components are also being exempt from duty.

Central budgetary allocation for the ministry of environment and forests has risen by about 10 per cent, from Rs 2,129 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 2,351 crore in 2010-11. However, the allocation for Project Tiger, a key programme to save the rapidly-dwindling tiger population in the country, has been cut by about Rs 30 crore.

With climate change on top of the government’s list of priorities, pollution control has seen a substantial increase in allocation. The allocation for control of river water pollution programmes has gone up.

Source : Business Standard. 03/03/10

Going green: Tata’s new mantra

MUMBAI: If globalisation was the driving factor for Tata Group in the last decade, going green may well be the buzzword for the present one. From being on the fringe, the green movement is gaining momentum within the group. India’s oldest industrial house is stepping up efforts to reduce its carbon footprint across the value chain — from manufacturing processes to distribution networks to eco-friendly consumer products.

For instance, Tata Steel aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at its Jamshedpur plant from the current 1.8 tonne to 1.7 tonne per tonne of liquid steel made by 2012. The ideal global benchmark though is 1.5.
Tata Motors is setting up an eco-friendly showroom using natural building material for its flooring and energy-efficient lights. Tata Motors said the project is at a preliminary stage.

The Indian Hotels Company, which runs the Taj chain, is in the process of creating eco rooms which will have energy-efficient mini bars, organic bed linen and napkins made from recycled paper. But there won’t be any carpets since chemicals are used to clean those. And when it comes to illumination, the rooms will have CFLs or LEDs. About 5% of the total rooms at a Taj hotel would sport a chic eco-room design.
One of the most interesting innovations has come in the form of a biogas-based power plant at Taj Green Cove in Kovalam, which uses the waste generated at the hotel to meet its cooking requirements.

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata had said during Swatch launch, a low-cost water a low-cost water purifier made from natural ingredients: “We have embarked on a group-wise initiative to create awareness and implement eco-friendly processes wherever it is possible and, in fact, look at some of our older processes to see how we can ensure that they are in compliance with the state-of-the-art exhibits. This is going to be a long and expensive journey and we are fairly committed to it.”

Another eco-friendly consumer product that is in the works is Indica EV, an electric car that will run on polymer lithium ion batteries. Tata Motors plans to introduce the Indica EV in select European markets this year. The group’s large companies such as Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Chemicals and Tata Consultancy Services contribute 80% of the group’s overall emissions and a panel, headed by Tata Sons director JJ Irani, has been formed to address this issue. Several companies have already or are in the process of implementing clean development mechanism (CDM) projects. Tata Steel said it is currently working on more than 17 CDM projects with Ernst & Young and these projects are at various stages of approval at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Tata Power has said that of the total power it would generate in the next 10 years, 25% would be from renewable energy sources.

Tata Motors is collecting environmental and energy data across its dealer and supply chain to compute their carbon footprint and identity opportunities for cutting down on carbon dioxide emission. This initiative will enable sharing and deployment of ideas throughout the value chain, said a Tata Motors spokesperson.

A source in Indian Hotels said that all of its domestic and international hotels would be certified by Green Globe, an international agency by the end of 2010.

Source : TNN  04/01/10

‘Cell phone waste, the next big threat to environment’

NEW DELHI: Sporting a new mobile phone may be fashionable in these well-connected times, but the discarded old handsets could poison the evironment, as a whopping 8,000 tonne of cell phone waste is estimated to burden the earth by 2012. As per a whitepaper by global consultancy Deloitte, there is a growing need to better manage the rising cell phone waste, as it is posing a threat to the environment.

Replacement sales predict that more cell phones would be retired every year with rapid changes in technology and product designs discouraging mobile repairs and increasing demand for new mobiles and disposal of old ones. “With the absence of a proper recycle and reuse programme, about 8,000 tonne of toxic cell phone components are estimated to be dumped in landfills by 2012. The resulting contamination will have far reaching consequences for the environment and all living beings,” Deloitte Consulting India regional managing director Parag Saigaonkar said.

The problem begins when retired handsets end up in landfill sites or if they are dumped illegally, leading to toxic substances seeping into the groundwater, making disposal of old cells a problem for the world, the report revealed. “As India is one of the fastest growing markets in the world in terms of mobile phone subscribers, we need to be more aware of the threat and strict government guidelines should be created to deal with it,” Mr Saigaonkar added.

Source : Economic   Times.  02/11/09

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IFC proposes to invest $20 mn in Cleantech fund

Mumbai: International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has proposed to be an investor in South Asia Clean Energy Fund (SACEF) by investing $20 million (around Rs 97.6 crore), according to a company statement. SACEF aims to raise $200 million (around Rs 976 crore).

The fund will target companies located in India and will also eye regions like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. The principal sponsor for SACEF is GEF Management Corporation, a US-based company dedicated to invest in the energy, environment and related sectors since 1990.

The fund is an Alberta, Canada limited partnership and will be managed by South Asia Clean Energy Management, based in Mauritius. The fund manager will be advised by a core team of investment professionals who will be based in Mumbai.

Cleantech investment had seen a hit due to the global slowdown. However, analysts are saying that the investment in cleantech segment has seen a rebound in the second quarter of 2009.

According to the preliminary second quarter results for investment in clean technology, the Cleantech Group-— that tracks clean technology investment — Indian cleantech companies raised $131 million (around Rs 640 crore) in seven investment rounds (of which one deal amount was not disclosed), an increase of 167 per cent from the previous quarter and up 161 per cent from the same period last year.

The largest deal was a $42 million round for Hyderabad-based Ramky Enviro Engineers which specialises in recycling and waste. The most active investor was IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services) which invested in two deals. Other investors in the quarter included Blue Run Ventures, DFJ, Mumbai Angels, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Axis Private Equity.

Private equity and VC investments increased nearly 10 times from $30 million in 2006 to $300 million by 2008, says a report by Ernst and Young. It further said PE/VC players had invested $527 million in the sector — 24 per cent of the total transaction value in India for the period January 2005 and 21 July 2009.

“Growth in this segment will not just be driven by business rationale, but also be necessitated by serious environmental concerns. However, a lot depends upon the extent of government’s fiscal and policy support to this sector,” adds Kuljit Singh, partner and transactions advisory leader for infrastructure, real estate and government, Ernst & Young.

Source :Business Standard  19/08/09

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