CII to gauge companies on a Green Index

How green is your business? This may well be CII’s poser to Indian companies as it readies to rate them on the environment friendliness of their practices and processes.

The Confederation of Indian Industry will use a set of eight-nine parameters to rate the companies in the manufacturing and services sectors, with the rating process covering not just their operations but their supply chain too. The rating system is expected to be launched by September-October this year.

The idea to have a green rating for businesses followed the success of CII’s green building rating. Though a number of companies have had some progress on energy efficiency and water management, a more complete approach to the environment is still missing in the industry. This reason has laid the foundation for CII launching the green rating of businesses.

Also, as more companies go global, they will need to meet more stringent environmental norms in the West. If they get themselves audited under the Green Rating concept, it will help them in the global markets as and when tighter norms are introduced. The rating will be done on the following parameters: energy efficiency, water management, use of renewable energy sources, greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction, recycling, green supply chain, product stewardship and miscellaneous.

If a company gets 400 marks out of 1,000, it will get a Green certificate, and if the marks cross 750 it will be designated a Green Leader or a platinum rated company. The CII is training nearly 100 people across the country to audit the companies that want to get themselves certified. The benefits of the rating are that it will help companies improve their image and the perception in the market.

The rating process will look at the percentage of renewable energy usage within the premises and outside. On site usage of renewable energy can be for solar water heating or rooftop solar panels to generate electricity or biomass gassifier and off-site can be by generating electricity for their consumption through renewable energy sources. While measuring the green house gases emitted by a company, the CII would first like them to prepare their greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory. High GHG emission will be viewed as a liability for a company and steps will have to be taken to reduce the emission levels. For instance, if an IT company wants to get itself Green rated, its carbon footprint in transporting its staff will be quite high and it will have to take steps to correct this. Waste reduction in the audit process will cover solid and liquid waste in the whole process. Recycling waste water will enable a company score high marks.

The Green rating audit will also look at the recycling component in the product or service – that is the use of recycled material or how much of the material used can be recycled. Taking this a step further, CII will also audit a company’s supply chain, how much of toxic chemicals are being used both in the product and in the process, and how quickly they can be eliminated.

The product stewardship aspect, a new concept for India, will look at whether a manufacturer of a product, say a mobile phone, takes complete responsibility for the lifecycle of that product and also takes it back when a consumer wants to dispose it off.

CII is getting ready to gauge companies on a green index. Are we prepared?

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