Painting the World Welspun “Green”

December 21st, 2017

At Welspun, protecting the environment and conserving resources is part of our DNA. Plain and simple. That’s why, before releasing any new product, we take the time to consider the impact it may have on the environment. Same goes for our operations—from start to finish, our processes are designed to be environmentally sustainable too.

You may be thinking, Sure, they all say that. We’re happy to share specifics! After all, the green initiatives we support are something we’re very proud of here at Welspun.

Energy and Climate Change

We believe the threat of climate change is real. So we’re being both judicious and efficient when it comes to using the resources required to run our business. Minimizing our energy consumption and making our business sustainable in the long run are high on our priority list. Through research and innovation, we’ve been able to do just that. Here are a few of the measures we’ve successfully implemented.

Heat Recovery. We do this in two ways:

  • Condensate heat recovery systems. This technology is used in our manufacturing operations. The system reuses water and heat, resulting in significant energy and resource savings.
  • Heat recovery through cooling water collection. This heats water using energy that would otherwise be wasted.

Energy Efficiency. By reducing energy consumption, we have reduced our carbon footprint. How?

  • Traditional lights have been replaced with energy-efficient LED lighting.
  • Welspun has invested in a new, energy-efficient centrifugal compressor. Trust us, this is a good thing.
  • We’ve made tweaks in processes to reduce energy consumption.

Water and Effluents

Welspun’s entire business depends on water, so it’s important that this precious commodity is reused and recycled whenever possible.

  • Human lives depend on water. Keeping this as a backdrop, we monitor the water used minutely for our processes. A “Wastewater Recovery” plant at Anjar has multiple treatment stages for the management of liquid waste, including wastewater, thus reducing water pollution and the health risks associated with it. We also set up a Sewage Treatment Plant with a capacity of 30 million liters per day at Anjar that recycles wastewater from neighboring areas. This recycled water is then used for our process, almost reducing our freshwater consumption to zero. The treatment plant reduces our dependency on freshwater, making it more accessible to those who really need it, as we use recycled wastewater from neighboring areas.
  • 93% of water we use is recycled and reused during our textile manufacturing process.
  • New products are designed to require less water use during the manufacturing process.
  • Manufacturing facilities are located away from protected areas or regions with a diversity of plants and animals.
  • We closely monitor the wastewater discharge from our factories.

Waste Management

Welspun focuses on intelligent recycling of wastewater and other by-products of our operations. A few examples:

  • We reuse coal ash waste to make bricks, which are used to build houses for our workers. These bricks are stronger than traditional bricks.
  • Our biogas plant in Anjar converts biodegradable waste to energy that fuels our canteen stoves.
  • We upcycle factory waste to make contemporary products through our SPUN™ initiative.
  • Food waste from Vapi canteens is converted into compost for plants.
  • PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is ugly and we know it. That’s why we send PET bottles from our corporate office for recycling, ensuring no PET goes into landfills.
  • Employees are encouraged to bring any e-waste (electronic waste) generated from their homes to our office to enable safe disposal.

Chemical Management

  • We go beyond local compliance when it comes to choosing chemicals. Instead we use chemicals as per REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations.
  • In our bedsheets processes, we make use of bioscouring, which replaces chemicals with enzymes for the desizing and pretreating of cotton fabric.
  • We are actively working on reducing and/or replacing the use of chemicals, since less chemicals used = less chemicals discharged = less chemicals used to treat wastewater.
  • We follow the Restricted Chemicals List to ensure no hazardous chemicals are used in our processes. We also follow the MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substance List), which is a step ahead of RSL, as it restricts hazardous substances potentially used and discharged into the environment during manufacturing, not just those substances present in finished products.

Environmental Impact Initiatives

At Welspun, we’re committed to managing and minimizing our environmental footprint. We are tirelessly working to explore and implement various strategies to minimize energy consumption across all our operations, as well as protect and boost the environment.

For example, we have implemented many energy-efficient projects and continue to explore more ways of reducing our consumption.

To understand the impacts of our products on the environment, we carried out a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for our products. So when it comes to choosing a raw material, making a product, producing new stuff and writing labeling instructions, we use the results of the LCA as a blueprint.

We also have monitoring systems that measure progress against our targets and report our environmental impact with more precision, keeping us honest and accountable. And we’ve planted more than 100,000 trees in hopes to improve air quality in the communities where we operate.

We believe good products are now defined as sustainable products. We work very closely with our customers to reduce negative impacts on our planet like reducing packaging material, practicing responsible sourcing, using sustainable chemicals and replacing virgin raw materials.

SPUN™ Project

The SPUN™ project is geared toward the economic empowerment of women and reducing environmental waste in the rural communities where we operate. The initiative promotes the recycling of factory scrap waste, which is reused (thus avoiding the landfill) and made into beautiful works of art by traditional village artisans as part of our Spun™ Waste Not collection.
Through the SPUN initiative, we bring economic opportunities to communities in need and empower underprivileged women and their families, while preserving the country’s traditional arts and crafts. This recycling also helps to protect and preserve the environment. It’s a win-win!

Sustainability: The New Normal

Through certified sources and partnerships, Welspun practices sustainable sourcing. Our primary objective is to implement sourcing that also positively impacts the lives of the farmers who grow the cotton we use. For example, we procure a specific amount of cotton from BCI- (Better Cotton Initiative) certified vendors. By ensuring the cotton we use is responsibly sourced, environmental impact is reduced, leading to improved livelihoods and economic development in the cotton-producing areas of India.

Supporting Our Farmers

Welspun is in the process of implementing of an organic farm project in the Wardha District (Samudrapur and Arvi block) of Maharashtra. Plus, BCI farm projects in two locations in India—the Wardha District in Maharashtra State and Nakhatrana in the Kutch District of Gujarat State.

The following are some of the benefits our farmers experience through these initiatives:

  • Better technical know-how of cotton cultivation practices, thereby increasing income.
  • Reduced production costs by the collective purchase of inputs and farming equipment like micro-irrigation, pump sets, etc.
  • Reduced dependence on local moneylenders.
  • Better nutrient, pest and disease management. Above all, a feeling of oneness among the Farmer Group’s (SHG/LG) members.
  • Buy-back guaranty of harvested cotton, without the interference of middlemen and traders.

The farming community is evolving in a sustainable manner, where dissemination of knowledge and training are key in creating economic value with measurable results. It’s inspiring to see how a simple yet integrated idea generates opportunity for growth and sustainability that impacts all stakeholders.

Committing to green initiatives is not always easy, but it’s rewarding. Investing heavily in earth-friendly initiatives that support our communities, our environment and our customers’ values will always be at the heart of what we do. To us, it’s about building a responsible business. It’s our promise to you and the planet.