Cleaner production initiatives are worthy enough to raise the industry to the competitive edge in terms of economic gains as well as environmental goals. This new approach has emerged against a backdrop of increasingly stringent environmental legislation, growing public awareness, globalization of trade and harmonization of standards, leading business to identify ways to mitigate and manage the environmental impact associated with their production activities, both for industrial safety / occupational health as well as for environment surrounding industrial activities. Normative environmental regulation has tended to push environmental protection towards end-of-pipe solutions rather than cleaner production.

Furthermore, such regulation shifts the responsibility for environmental protection on to the regulator rather than the regulated, whereas cleaner production requires management to take more responsibility for achieving environmental goals. Traditional regulation has not delivered the environmental improvements hoped for by governments, and businesses argue that the solutions which they adopt to meet environmental standards are not the most cost-effective way of achieving environmental objectives. Normative regulation is difficult and expensive to monitor effectively. Non-compliance is often attractive to enterprises. Pressure is building for deregulation, but alternative approach to environmental protection, by way of cleaner production initiatives need to but fully tested before environmental regulation can be relaxed. Businesses have utilized management system for health and safety and quality of their products for many years.

However, environment management systems (EMSs) have been developed more recently and consist of the organizational structure, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources which the enterprise uses to achieve its environmental policy.

Cleaner production, like EMSs, is a strategic approach to environmental protection. Cleaner production means designing industrial processes and products to prevent the pollution of media and to make efficient use of raw materials, therefore cleaner production approaches require enterprises to anticipate and mitigate the environmental impacts of their production processes. In general, production processes are retrofitted to control environmental impacts in response to legislation. Even normative legislation which gives preference to cleaner technology over end-of-pipe solutions is not normally heeded by industry.

Cleaner production initiative requires
businesses to be converted to their message: that it is cost-effective and beneficial for enterprises to manage their environmental performance proactively. Thus the cleaner production approach is the new and dynamic field, which aims to straddle the practical and theoretical as well as the international, regional, national and industry perspectives. In these
new emerging times and new challenges in the age of globalization, liberalization and open market competition both for developing and developed countries and from both small and large enterprises, it summons the call of “Pollution Prevention Pays” by Michel Royston in his book.

Particularly high pollution potential industries and using huge amount of water and energy for production are mostly in need of cleaner production initiatives for their own economic and environmental survival. For example paper and pulp industries, pesticides and agro chemical industries, dyes and intermediate industries, drugs – pharmaceuticals and intermediates industries, textile and manmade fiber industries, petroleum refining and petrochemical manufacturing industries and sugar and distillery industries are required for their own to conserve their resources in terms of water, raw material, energy and amenities. This can only be achieved by exploring the possibilities of cleaner production by innovative practices which ultimately guarantees the improvement in environmental safety and occupational health of the industries.

It would be worth while to refer to some of the illustrative example which are being explored by the enterprising industries to sustain themselves, yielding better production and least waste. For example, in paper and pulp industries maximum material and processed water can be reused or some of the value added by-products can be made like lignin, cellulose, sugars, enzymes and other bio-chemically important molecules. Particularly, in the case of dyes and dyes intermediates industries, it is a boon for making profit out of waste stream recoveries through innovative techniques for manufacturing by-products like spent acids, organic chemicals, salts and even energy from the high COD molecules by way of destructive degradation. Similarly, in pesticides manufacturing many more new molecules have arrived in the market and the same could also be manufactured by cleaner and environment friendly technologies.

Such kind of innovations can only be achieved by in house R&D and harnessing expertise from out side. This may be affordable to large scale units but it would be very difficult for small scale industries where people are mostly self employed and less qualified. The Government, at different levels, right from state to the national and international levels, has initiated to help such small entrepreneurs of all the sectors to come to the door of cleaner production centers.

Thus the cleaner production initiatives emphase basically on improving the efficiency by self check with the help of continuous mass balance, water balance and energy balance and to plug the loop holes where the thing gets lost and there is no scope for recovery. Where we can exactly apply the principles of thermodynamics and chemical equilibrium following Le Chatelier’s Principle suggesting reversible nature of chemical reactions.

Dr. GK Trivedi ( MSc, PhD)

Dr. GK Trivedi has worked with GPCB for last 25yrs & ahs been asociated with many important tasks including Effluent Monitoring, Emmission Monitoring, Hazardous Waste Monitoring & Receiving Body Monitoring for Air, Water, & Soil, Assessment of EIA Reports, Treatability Reports, Project Reports & Status Reports.

He has visited 11 countries of Europe for his advance study & particularly undergone on the job training for advanced Environmental Analytics in Germany.

He has participated as a Speaker in many National & International Level Seminars, Workshops, Training & Academic Courses of Universities in the Fireldof Environmenta Protection.