Resource Optimization Initiative
  Projects of ROI  
  Ongoing Projects  

Environmental Analysis of Cluster of Foundries in Samalkha, Haryana

India is one of the leading producers of castings in the world. The foundries in India are mostly located in clusters and usually, each cluster is known for catering some specific end-use market. In Samalkha, a small town in the district of Panipat (Haryana), there are approximately 30 foundries out of which 22 are big and 8 are small. The main products manufactured by this cluster are chaff cutters and cane crushers but also other implements such as pump sets, pulleys, machine parts etc.

Chaff cutters70%
Cane crushers15%
Valves and automotive parts9%
Source: Base line study done by Foundation for MSME Clusters, 2010

Because of globalization and growing environmental concerns, these foundries need to become more competitive. Foundation for MSME Clusters (FMC) has been working with this cluster since 2008 to improve competitiveness of this cluster. In two years, FMC has significantly improved productivity and collective economic benefits. Most of the simple blast cupolas have been replaced by divided blast cupolas. The Samalkha Industrial Association has been revived in order to encourage collective work and discussions between the foundry owners.

Fig. 1: Molten iron from a blast furnace

Molten iron from a blast furnace

ROI has already worked on a similar project with the cluster of foundries in Haora, West Bengal. In the current project ROI will (i) develop a precise Resource Flow Analysis (RFA) of the cluster using STAN software, (ii) create a Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) for cast iron produced by this cluster (ii) analyse the composition of slag and sludge from the Air Pollution Control Device (APCD) to quantify the amount of hazardous material that they contain and assess the feasibility for making bricks out of this unused resource. The RFA will highlight the amount of unused resources (waste) discarded by the cluster. The LCI will be used by FMC as a guideline to implement strategies that will reduce environmental impacts due to the production of cast iron. The inventory will be added to the growing Indian LCI database. ROI is an active member of the India LCI Network that Ecoinvent has initiated. The India LCI Network consists of expert organizations that will collaboratively collate LCIs for products manufactured in India. Information on the hazardous content of the wastes produced by the foundries will inform strategies on their safe management and handling.

This study is partly funded by the Foundation for MSME Clusters.


Industrial Waste Inventory for Jigani and Bommasandra Industrial Areas, Bangalore, India

Around the world there is remarkable opportunity to transform industrial development to reduce environmental impacts caused by manufacturing facilities. In most cases there are simultaneous economic benefits as wastes are valorized to produce value added products that can be sold in the market. In India, ROI's previous work has found that reuse of industrial wastes either (i) within the facility where they are generated, (ii) by nearby industrial facilities or (iii) through the largely informal recycling markets has conferred economic value to industries. However, there are several types of industrial wastes that are also currently disposed. The purpose of this investigation is to assess the amount and types of industrial wastes currently being discarded by industries in the Jigani and Bommasandra Industrial Area, south of Bangalore.

Fig. 1: Jigani and Bommasandra Industrial Area, South India

Industrial Waste Inventory for Jigani and Bommasandra Industrial Areas

This investigation is in collaboration with the R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore whose students have collected production data from companies in Jigani and Bommasandra Industrial Area. Analysis of this data will highlight strategies for industries to collectively valorise their wastes. Successful implementation of selected strategies can significantly transform the Jigani and Bommasandra Industrial Area to a model industrial region where resources are conserved and cycled. With the rapid expansion of industry in India, such initiatives have the potential to harmonize environmental sustainability with economic growth, and create jobs and new enterprises that are essential to making balanced growth a reality.

This study is funded by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).


Potential Changes in Biomass Flows due to India's Biodiesel Policy: A Comparative Material Flow Analysis of the Jatropha curcas and Prosopis juliflora Economies in Tamil Nadu, India

India's current biodiesel policy mandates the use of non-edible oilseed feed stocks grown exclusively on 'wastelands', the country's term for degraded and marginal lands. In recent years, the Government of India has heavily supported the use of Jatropha curcas as a biodiesel feedstock because of its alleged ability to thrive in marginal landscapes. However, India's wastelands are often rich in local biomass resources that support a host of livelihood and industrial activities.

This study compiles a comparative resource flow analysis (RFA) of the biofuel and biomass economies in Sattur Taluk, Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has been one of the leading promoters of J. curcas biodiesel production and the areas targeted for J. curcas cultivation are densely covered with a local biomass resource, Prosopis juliflora.

Fig. 1: Classification of Landsat image of Sattur taluk demarcating areas with Prosopis juliflora

Classification of Landsat image of Sattur taluk demarcating areas with Prosopis juliflora

At present, P. juliflora is used as a fuel wood by local villagers and as a feedstock for brick, charcoal, cement and electricity production. The investigation will evaluate the resource flows of the present P. juliflora and the potential J. curcas economies to assess the environmental and possible social tradeoffs of replacing P. juliflora with J. curcas.

This study done in collaboration with Jennifer Bakka, Ph.D. candidate at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, USA; it is funded by the Center for Industrial Ecology, Yale University, USA.


Money from Thin Air: Solvent Recovery from Bulk Drug and Pharmaceutical Industries, Hyderabad, India

Currently, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is one of the world's largest and most developed, ranking 4th in volume terms and 13th in value terms. Hyderabad cluster has come to be recognized as the bulk drugs capital of India. Currently the Bulk Drug Manufacturers Association, Andhra Pradesh has around 450 members, of these 300 are situated around Hyderabad. An initial review of the history, regulatory framework, innovation trends, size and capacity profile of this industrial cluster in Hyderabad by the Foundation for MSME Clusters and experts from the Administrative Staff College of India identified opportunities for (i) Business Development Service (BDS) providers to improving industrial productivity by streamlining supply chain management, (ii) chemical engineering consultants to build and customize technologies to capture and reuse organic volatile compounds from these industries.

In the current investigation ROI and Centre for Development Finance, Institute for Financial Management and Research will collaboratively (i) estimate chemical characteristics and approximate quantities of volatile solvents discharged in gaseous and liquid form from bulk drug industries around Hyderabad, (ii) identify technologies that can be used to recover these solvents in gaseous form, along with a preliminary financial comparison of costs and benefits, (iii) identify the gaps in adoption of new technologies that could help an enterprise in reducing their pollution of air, water and soil and (iv) obtain information on the mechanism of diffusion of environmental technologies in the cluster of bulk drug industries around Hyderabad.

The project has lead to several interesting findings on solvent loss via air and effluent and on technology diffusion in this pharmaceutical cluster. The main highlights of the study are:

i. based on the extrapolations for 200 companies the monetary value and quantities of solvents lost to air is around Rs. 8.2 crores/month from 2095 KL/month and loss of solvents to effluent is around Rs. 8.6 crores/month from 1709 KL/month,
ii. this enormous loss of solvents illustrates ample opportunities for pharmaceutical industries to increase their competitiveness in the global pharmaceutical sector by decreasing solvent loss and thereby reducing production costs.
Assessment of technology diffusion in this cluster illustrate that there is tremendous opportunity to:

i. build awareness on the availability of technologies to recover gaseous solvents from pharmaceutical companies,
ii. provide information on whom to contact for successful expansion of existing recovery units,

Fig. 1: Monthly loss of solvents to air and effluent as % of monthly consumption

Solvents on x-axis arranged alphabetically

iii. assist companies to avail financial assistance to overcome hurdle of large investment cost,
iv. improve proper maintenance of installed units that are capturing and recycling gaseous solvents,
v. build trust in the technology by increasing the number of tests done on the technology and increasing awareness on results of these tests.

This study was funded by the Foundation for MSME Clusters through a grant from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for promoting innovative cluster in India.


Compiling Life Cycle Inventories for various industrial processes in India

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) describes the complex interactions between an anthropogenic product/service and the environment, from cradle to grave. In order to perform an LCA of a product one needs an inventory of all input and output material and energy for different life stages of the product - this is called a life cycle inventory (LCI). An LCI includes inputs of raw materials and energy from the environment and the techno-sphere and output of product, by-products and emissions. We then need environmental impacts due to this consumption for the entire life cycle of the product to make a Life Cycle Assessment of the product.

LCAs are used to make informed decisions on how to reduce environmental impacts of products by changing or reducing inputs and outputs at targeted stages of the product life cycle. For example, if we use an LCA to reduce the life cycle impacts of a metal, we would have to consider environmental and health impacts (i) while it is being mined (in which ever part of the planet), (ii) during transportation (as ore and after processing), (iii) during processing, (iv) through the conversion of the metal into usable products, (v) through its use as a usable product (or as a component), (vi) through any process of recycling and (vii) through its ultimate disposal (Fig. 1). We could then use this LCA to reduce the impacts of this metal by changing inputs and outputs during specific life cycle stages such as mining or disposal.

Fig. 1: Life Cycle of the Metal Copper

Life Cycle of the Metal Copper

An LCA is a useful tool when choosing between strategies to minimize harmful environmental impacts. LCAs are now routinely carried out in many parts of the world for a range of products and services. LCAs are also used to inform policy decisions so as to reduce environmental impacts from the consumption of specific materials and fuels for energy.

ROI conducts research on current patterns of resource consumption. We then use this information to recommend strategies that optimize these flows and reduce environmental impacts. Over the years we have collated a number of datasets that could be used to assess environmental life cycle impacts of various industrial processes in India.

With the long-term goal of creating a sustainable supply chain, we are currently collaborating with Ecoinvent, Swiss Center for Life Cycle Inventories ( to format datasets on the following processes into Life Cycle Inventories.

Later, we propose to format and expand these datasets to provide further information on environmental life cycle impacts of other industrial processes in India

Sl NoProcess for DatasetProduct
1Production of Mulberry silk thread from silk worm cocoons by cottage scale industries in Sidlaghatta town, Karnataka, IndiaSilk thread
2Production of knitted cotton fabric from cotton yarn in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, IndiaCotton Fabric
3Production of bleached cotton fabric from unbleached cotton fabric in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, IndiaBleached Cotton Fabric
4Production of dyed cotton fabric from cotton fabric in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, IndiaColoured Cotton Fabric
5Production of calendared cotton fabric from cotton fabric in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, IndiaCalendered Cotton Fabric
6Production of finished cotton garments from cotton fabric in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, IndiaCotton garments
7Production of Iron Castings from Pig Iron by Small Scale Foundries in Haora, West Bengal, IndiaCast Iron
8Production of Paper from Sugar Cane Bagasse in Seshasayee Paper and Boards Limited (SPB), Tamil Nadu, IndiaPaper
9Production of Plastic Film for making pouches to contain refined cooking vegetable oil, Maharashtra, IndiaPlastic Film Rolls

Safe recycling of Expanded Poly Styrene (EPS) - Part II

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) also known as ThermocolTM in India is used in a wide range of applications, insulation and packaging being two of the largest, across the world. Due to its very low recovery value, large amounts of EPS are most often disposed at land-fills or sometimes incinerated at the end of life. Incineration of EPS hasn't been implemented in Bangalore due to the need of specific conditions and expensive technology for complete combustion of EPS to avoid pollutants. EPS waste is relatively safe in the environment due to its inert nature, however due to a very low density and large volumes being produced, it uses up valuable resources, energy and land-fill space. Disposed EPS is also a major cause of waterway blockages, while being very unsightly. The current study focuses primarily on EPS used for packaging of electronic and consumer goods.

Recycling of EPS is primarily constrained by transport costs due to its dispersed disposal and short useful lifetime. This low density bulky material, results in high transport cost per unit weight, thus making its recycling economically unfavourable. This study is based in Bangalore, a representative of a large and fast growing Indian metropolitan city, in addition to being an Information Technology hub. A previous study [Safe recycling of EPS: Part I (please see below)] had discovered that very little down-cycling of EPS (EPS to Polystyrene) is currently present within the city.

The previous study also identified important stakeholders in this system and qualitatively mapped the flow of EPS between the different stakeholders. The aim of the current project is to expand on the previous study by quantifying and assessing the flows of EPS across Bangalore city, focusing on consumption and disposal patterns, while accounting for import influx and product outflow, in order to assess the economic feasibility for recycling of this material.

Results of this investigation shall aid in making informed decisions on strategies to move up the waste management hierarchy by upgrading from down-cycling (EPS to Polystyrene) to recycling (EPS to EPS). The investigation will also discuss the limitations of the current scenario, and propose implementable strategies for economically viable recycling of EPS in Bangalore.

A Material Flow Analysis (MFA) approach was used to assess all the flows, identify the crucial points of focus and gaps within the EPS lifecycle within the city. A combination of literature research, interviews with various stakeholders, governmental and non-governmental organizations, sampling and data collection in the field were used to compile the findings. A prominent obstacle faced during the data collection was lack of scientific information and records with authorities in charge of municipal solid waste disposal. Thereby sampling and extrapolation were used to bridge these gaps.

At the current stage of the project various scenarios are being explored for different uses of recycled EPS, for an enhanced collection process to aid recycling, along with an identification of possible stakeholders and partners who need to improve the use of existing infrastructure and make it economically beneficial to recycle this material. Recycling of EPS seems to be economically feasible through technology transfer from Europe, but it is most crucially dependent on an improved collecting process. Current recycling technologies are most optimal for recycling EPS for new insulation applications. The volume of down-cycling, already present in most manufacturing and independent recycling units, can be expanded and further complement this proposed recycling process.

  Completed Projects  

Energy efficiency, water recycling and carbon di-oxide emissions in the silk reeling sector around Bangalore

India is the second largest producer of silk, contributing to about 18 per cent of the world production. The silk reeling process is that of boiling silk worm cocoons to obtain silk filaments that are reeled on wheels. This reeled silk is then dyed and woven into fabric. Silk reeling is one of the most important small scale industries in the state of Karnataka; many households in the sub urban and rural regions of the state run on this business.

The main purpose of our investigation is to increase the performance of this sector by reducing consumption of firewood, emission of carbon di-oxide and to recycle waste water/channelize it to alternative uses so as to recharge the water bed in these regions. We aim to reduce firewood consumption and emissions by aiding in the installation of solar water heating devices coupled to high efficiency but low cost stoves. We are also investigating the economic and environmental viability of using agricultural waste pellets/briquettes in place of firewood.

Most of the water that is consumed in the silk reeling process is discarded into the common drainage in these towns. This waste water that is free from chemicals but rich in silk protein is mixed with sewage and eventually dumped in inland basins such as lakes and ponds. We propose to further investigate two options to ensure sustainable water management in this sector: (i) recycle water so as to reduce consumption of fresh water by the silk reeling sector or (ii) channel this waste water to fertilize agricultural lands around these silk reeling clusters and simultaneously recharge the water bed.

The availability of both resources (wood and water) is decreasing, causing a sharp rise in their prices, in these regions. Reduced consumption of these resources will increase profit margins of silk reeling units while ensuring environmental sustainability.

Previous attempts to impose environmental regulations in the small and informal sectors have relied on traditional command and control mechanisms that resulted in poor compliance to environmental norms. In contrast, the implementation of cleaner technologies such as solar water heaters and energy efficient stoves in the silk reeling process overcomes environmental hazards while simultaneously offering attractive economic benefits for industries that adopt such technologies.

This study was funded through a research grant from the Center for Industrial Ecology, Yale University, USA.

Click here to download the full report


Safe recycling of Expanded Poly Styrene (EPS)

EPS also known as Thermocole™ in India is widely used as packaging material for a large number of electronic and consumer goods. A limited fraction of the EPS that is produced in India is recycled by the informal and small scale industries. There are no studies that examine the quantities of EPS recycled or the associated environmental impacts of recycling these materials in small scale industries that are not regulated by the pollution control board or similar regulating agencies in developing countries.

This collaborative investigation with the University of Lausanne, Switzerland is aimed at characterizing the environmental costs and benefits associated with recycling this material in and around Bangalore. The study has also qualitatively characterize the flow of EPS between different stakeholders (manufacturing industries, consumers, recyclers and landfill operators) in Bangalore. This collaborative effort at examining an previously un-investigated economic activity is designed to lead to a long term study that will quantify the flow of EPS in the city, so as to recommend economically viable solutions for recycling or recovering energy from this wasted resource in addition to thoroughly characterizing associated environmental benefits and costs.

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Optimizing material and energy flows at a large scale manufacturing industry in India

Large companies around the world are realizing that they need to be socially and environmentally responsible for the products and services they deliver, if they are to expect long term economic growth. Manufacturing companies are also realizing that cutting down on consumption of raw materials and incorporating innovative means to reduce, reuse and recycle wastes that they generate can provide simultaneous economic and environmental benefits.

Our expertise at ROI enables us to use systematic and detailed analyses to recommend opportunities for companies to (i) reduce resource consumption, (ii) improve process efficiencies, and (iii) promote local linkages for sourcing, reusing and recycling of materials associated with the manufacturing of products and services. In addition we recommend long term environmentally benign material and energy alternatives for companies, so as to enable them to transition to ones with higher positive environmental and social impacts. We have successfully completed an investigation focused at a large scale film manufacturing unit in West India. This investigation is in collaboration with the Center for Development Finance at the Institute for Financial Management and Research, Chennai. We have recommended ways to (i) reduce energy consumption by coupling hot and cold air generators, (ii) recycle plastic and ceramic waste in addition to providing contact details of verified recyclers, (iii) safely dispose hazardous sludge by providing contact information of a toxic disposal facility near the industry, and (iv) substitute currently used raw materials with environmentally benign ones so as to reduce the ecological footprint of the industry.


Applying industrial ecology to the construct the water balance in Bangalore, India

Water balancing is a useful and increasingly popular streamlined tool for assessing stresses and opportunities in urban water systems. The chief contribution of the present study is a water balance, for the city of Bangalore, south India, generated using material and energy flow mapping and a bottom-up approach. Such tools are especially useful where end-use metering data are lacking and finances exclude expensive engineering analyses. An extensive end-use survey, to characterize residential use of water based on socioeconomic groups, combined with demand and supply-side data for commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors was used to create this water balance for the city. Our study revealed previously unexamined differential water usage by distinctive socio-economic groups. The demand for water in Bangalore is increasing due to rapid rise in the migrant population.

The municipal water utility aims to reduce unaccounted-for water, including water leakage through the system as well as siphoned off water, from its current level of 44% to 15% by 2025. As Bangalore sits at a considerable height (~ 500 m) above its main surface water source approximately 5% of the entire municipal electricity demand is used by the water utility company for pumping, treating, and distributing water. Therefore reductions in leakage would have a large impact both for water and energy demand for this highly populated urban landscape.

ROI and the Center for Industrial Ecology collaborated on this large scale challenging investigation and have submitted an article with the results to a peer reviewed International journal.

This study was supported by a research grant from the Center for Industrial Ecology, Yale University, USA and core funding for ROI from the State of Geneva, through a Swiss foundation FIDEST and the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind.


Industrial Symbiosis and Residual Recovery in the Nanjangud Industrial Area

The recovery, reuse, and recycling of industrial residuals, often dismissed as wastes, are common in India and other industrializing countries. Some wastes are reused within the facility where they are generated; others are reused by nearby industrial facilities, or recycled via the largely informal recycling markets. Industrial symbiosis describes direct reuse of wastes by firms in relative geographic proximity. This study examines the material flows in a diverse industrial area – Nanjangud, a town near Mysore in the State of Karnataka in South India, and characterizes the recovery, reuse, and recycling of industrial residuals. It quantifies waste materials generated by 42 companies, accounting for materials that remain at generating facilities, materials that are directly traded across facilities and those that are either recycled via the informal market or disposed. The examined industries generate 897,210 metric tons of waste residuals annually, of which 99.5% is recovered for reuse or recycling, with 81% reused within the generating facilities. One company, a sugar refinery, processes most of this amount. Geographic analysis show that over 90% of residuals exiting facility gates wind up at destinations within 20km of the industrial area. Two-thirds of this goes directly to other economic actors (manufacturing facilities and farmers) for reuse. This study distinguishes how particular types of materials are reused in different ways, the geographic extent of symbiotic activities and the important role of the informal sector in industrial waste management in developing regions. It also highlights potential ways to expand the existing industrial symbiotic network to incorporate the recovery of two materials (non hazardous ash and plastic) that are currently underused.

ROI and the Center for Industrial Ecology collaborated on this innovative investigation. This work was supported in part by the Center for Industrial Ecology and Tropical Resources Institute at Yale University, USA. A scientific paper on this investigation is published in the international peer-reviewed journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling

Click here to download the full report


Multimedia presentation on Industrial Ecology – A New Planning Platform

ROI has prepared a multimedia presentation that introduces concepts and tools of Industrial Ecology to policy makers, entrepreneurs and academicians as the beginning of a process of preparing teaching material for Industrial Ecology programs. Industrial Ecology is based on an understanding of the flow of material and energy in a defined system and not just on the basis of monetary indicators. Strategies based on this understanding are particularly relevant in developing countries, where resources are often priced according to the ability of a citizen to pay rather than on the basis of their long term availability. The presentation, in the form of a CD, has been mailed to many several potential user groups. We plan to translate this video into regional Indian languages soon.

This endeavour was supported by core funding for ROI from the State of Geneva, through the Swiss foundation FIDEST and the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind.

Video on Industrial Ecology (coming soon)


Long term social and environmental impacts of using agricultural residues as fuel in rural homes

Of the 1.2 billion Indians, seventy percent live in rural areas and consume enormous quantities of biomass (firewood, agricultural residues and animal waste) for household and cottage scale industry energy needs. Supply side estimates of biomass consumptions are highly variable because biomass is not transacted in a regulated market. Academic reviews estimate that around 201 to 352 million tons of biomass is consumed annually in India (1995-97). Most of this biomass is burnt in traditional stoves whose overall efficiency may be as low as 10%. This enormous consumption of biomass in low efficiency stoves points to the significant potential to provide an innovative solution by drastically improving efficiencies of these stoves and providing a steady supply of biomass to this untapped market.

This enormous potential was identified by one of the largest energy companies in the world who developed an innovative low cost energy efficient stove and a supply of pellets made from agricultural residues. The stoves were coupled with small fans powered by rechargeable lead acid batteries to ensure complete combustion of fuel. The energy giant was keen incorporating strategies to minimize the long term social and environmental impacts of this innovative solution in their unique business model. ROI was approached to make this long term social and environmental impact assessment (LSEIA) and provide feasible recommendations. The LSEIA included a thorough understanding of (i) social and environmental impacts of current patterns of usage of biomass, (ii) environmental impacts associated with the generation of agricultural residues, (iii) differences in emissions resulting from different fuel usage, (iv) sociological acceptance of this new solutions in rural landscapes, (v) mathematical models to forecast environmental, health and social impacts of different fuel usage pattern. Key recommendations from the LSEIA to reduce long term impacts of this solution included (i) making pellets from agricultural residues that are usually burnt (sugar cane trash, paddy husk etc.), (ii) avoid cultivation of crops solely for the purpose of energy generation and (iii) setting up a comprehensive collection and recycling system to safely recycle discarded lead acid batteries from the stoves.


Industrial Ecology & Agro Industrial Policy

India is primarily an agricultural country; this sector accounts for around 24% of our national GDP, employs nearly 62 percent of the population and accounts for 43% of land use. It is imperative for a large scale assessment of this sector in order to focus on optimal utilization of India’s land, water and energy. In order to begin to examine this issue, ROI undertook an analysis of the flows of material & energy resources through three selected agro-industrial systems viz. rice, sugarcane and cotton, in Karnataka, India. Detailed material and energy flows through these three agro-industrial systems included a comprehensive analysis of resources consumed during (i) cultivation, (ii) harvest and on field processing, (iii) post harvest processing, and (iv) product manufacturing. The study highlighted the importance of (i) measuring productivity of land water and energy resources and using these productivity indices for formulating policy that incentivizes resource optimization, (ii) integrating value addition to wastes and residues from agriculture, (iii) implementing policies to reduce wastage of water and electricity by the agricultural sector through the introduction of wastage fees rather than incentivizing wastage through unrestrained subsidization, (iv) reducing the adverse impacts of surface runoffs (with chemical pesticides and fertilizers) by encouraging standardized schemes and processes for farmers to switch to organic cultivation. A CD based on the study has been widely distributed among policy makers in India.

This endeavour was supported by core funding for ROI from the State of Geneva, through a Swiss foundation FIDEST and the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind.

Click here to download the full report


Study on the Effluent and Hazardous Waste Management Practices in Doddaballapur Industrial Area Based on the Industrial Ecology Concept

ROI was asked by the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee in India to make an assessment of the Doddaballapur Industrial Estate, near Bangalore. The Supreme Court was investigating a case of severe ground water pollution in the area and was seeking specific recommendations to rectify the problem. A system analysis was made based on the principles of Industrial Ecology and this formed the basis of the Committee’s report to the Court. The specific direct actions recommended by the study were to: (i) Include existing textile and cottage scale facilities in the planning for a common effluent treatment plant (CETP) that was originally intended to service the upcoming ‘apparel park’ in the area. This inclusion will bring in a significant cost advantage due to economies of scale. (iii) Set up a facility to recycle water from the CETP to replace at least some of the 2 million L of water that was currently being transported by tankers every day. This water recycling system can significantly bring down costs, emissions due to transportation and increase water security in the region. (iv) Implement a policy to concentrate the geographical distribution of textile facilities around the CETP so as to bring down costs of operation of the CETP and simultaneously avoid ground water contamination by facilities. (ii) Set up a ‘waste exchange’ program to facilitate exchange of solid industrial residues and waste water of different qualities. Industries in the area expressed a willingness to participate in such ‘symbiotic networks’ that bring mutual benefit to interacting parties.

The study was sponsored by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology.


Contributions to the book: Economic Actors, Participation in Social and Environmental Responsibility: A Guide to Promoting Ethics and Sustainable Development

Mr.Ramesh Ramaswamy founder of ROI contributed two sections: (i) Emergence of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Asia and (ii) Societal Responsibility in Asia to the book ‘Economic Actors. Participation in Social and Environmental Responsibility: A Guide to Promoting Ethics and Sustainable Development’ coordinated by Vincent Commenne, translated from French by Philippa Bowe and published by Éditions Charles Léopold Mayer in 2006. These contributions describe in detail the emergence and evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in major Asian countries. They highlight (i) ancient Indian practices associated with business and societal responsibility, (ii) trace the emergence of norms, standards and labels in Asian industries and their association with CSR, (iii) perceptions of CSR in Asia, and (iv) relationships between CSR and governance. These contributions thereby illustrate ROI’s position as an expert on important sustainability issues in the Asian context.

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