UltraTech strives to adopt an eco-friendly approach across all areas of its business operations. We are one of the earliest proponents of alternative fuel usage, waste heat recovery and other environment friendly practices in the country.
UltraTech has undertaken a voluntary strategy to reduce the impact of its operations on climate change. As a member of the Cement Sustainability Initiative, we are committed to publishing our emission data and set environmental performance targets. As part of our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint, UltraTech is in the process of installing Waste Heat Recovery Systems (WHRS) at Aditya Cement Works in Rajasthan, Rawan Cement Works in Chhattisgarh, Awarpur Cement Works in Maharashtra and Rajashree Cement Works in Karnataka. Star Cement, a subsidiary of UltraTech, has placed an order for a Waste Heat Recovery System based on its Kalina cycle for its plant at Ras-Al-Khaimah (UAE). The plants are in an advanced state of construction and are likely to be commissioned soon.
The cement industry promotes the use of waste as an alternative to raw materials and fossil fuels. UltraTech has developed innovative usage of waste by using various alternative materials such as rice husk, rubber tyre chips, mustard waste and saw dust in its cement plants as sources of fuel.
Through an agreement with Jaipur Municipal Corporation, UltraTech has also set up a Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) processing plant, to convert MSW to Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). The plant is capable of extracting 150 tonnes of RDF from 500 tonnes of MSW per day.
In addition, UltraTech has also received requisite permission for using hazardous wastes from the automobiles, refinery and pharmaceutical industry as fuel. Currently, we utilize spent carbon, organic residue, distillation residue, bottom sludge and cotton waste in some of our plants.
Consistent with our carbon reduction strategy, we continue our efforts to replace clinker with materials such as fly ash and slag from thermal power plants and steel plants. Currently such waste material is used in 62% of our cement produced. This ensures conservation of natural resources and productive use of waste.
We continue to pursue the usage of renewable energy through wind power and solar energy to raise the use of bio mass energy. We are in the process of exploring various options in order to generate renewable energy on a reliable basis. We currently have an installed solar capacity of 400KW and are considering to further increase the use of solar energy in all our manufacturing units. The energy from solar photo-voltaic systems is utilized mainly to provide electricity in our townships. In addition, a wind farm has also been installed at our Reddipalayam unit.
We are committed to sustain reduction in our water foot print at all our installations. All our integrated plants have zero water discharge. Recycling of water, rain water-harvesting, recharging of ground water by building check dams are the standard features in all our manufacturing locations. We have also installed a desalination plant from sea water in one of our plants where water availability is a concern.
Most of our plants are located in dry and arid zones, and consume water during the manufacturing processes. At UltraTech, we realized the potential of rain water harvesting to replenish the ground water table and have been actively working on these aspects.
Rain water harvesting was initially introduced to recharge borewells through the setting up of catchment areas for rain water storage. Subsequently, rainwater harvesting systems have also been installed in shopping complexes, on hospital roofs and at school and mine offices around various units. These effectively recharge the ground water tables. In addition, periodic ground water table evaluation is being carried out in line with the guidelines given by the Central Ground Water Authority and the respective pollution control boards.
UltraTech is committed to maximizing biodiversity around its plants and quarry sites. We have started monitoring the ecological evolution of our sites to help identify risks and opportunities. Biological assessment of terrestrial environment has been conducted in an area within 10 km radius from our mining lease area in one of our plants, including plant premises and jetty of Gujarat Cement Works unit. Planting trees in and around our mines, manufacturing facilities, residential colonies and nearby villages has been a constant feature. In our commitment to engage with the communities, we distributed tree saplings compatible with the local geography to villagers. Thanks to better management, we have been steadily able to increase the survival rates of the sapling, reaching a new high of 84.85 % survival rate for the trees we planted during the reporting period.