By Manu Sharma
Manu Sharma: How to reduce your carbon foot print at the office/factory? Over the years what steps have/will you take(n)?
Anil Lala: a. We should generate least quantity of garbage for which we need to use reusables
b. Consume least or no plastic. Try to use only recyclable products
c. Follow minimalistic lifestyle with least wastage
d. Learn to donate things that we don't use
e. Minimise water consumption
f. Make sure that all left over food scraps are composted
M S: Your inputs on the loss of forests area, more concrete buildings coming up everywhere and global warming affecting the country?
A L: Urbanisation will always be at a cost of losing our forests and green cover. More the concrete jungles come up, there will be more pollution by human beings, chemical & plastic waste, industrialisation, polluting vehicles, waste of water etc. Global Warming is a result of urbanisation and if we the human race do not contain it now, it will be too late and our coming generations will curse us for leaving a filthy world for them.
M S: As an industrialist, what efforts are you taking in reducing the carbon footprint in your organisation?
A L: Before being an Industrialist I am a human being who has received the gift of living on this earth and personally I am involved in planting urban forests thru my Rotary Club where we have earmarked an ambitious project to plant urban forests and so far, we have successfully planted more than 90000 trees. In terms of our workplace, we educate our work force to follow best practices in terms of conservation of water, minimise wastage in every way, we use all LED lights and use maximum cross ventilation for fresh air.
M S : How eco-friendly are your products i.e. fans today? Going forward what changes would you like to bring in your products to make them more eco-friendly?
Our target is to have 100% models with DC motors for energy efficiency and minimise use of plastic. There is a study if all fans in India are changed to DC motors, we can save up to 3 MW hours of electricity which can result into a huge power saving annually. In fact, there would be no shortage of power in any state any longer.
M S : Presently what kind of cars do you own? Are you considering switching to a hybrid or electric vehicle? If yes please give the details?
A L: At the moment we have petrol and diesel vehicles but surely, we plan to change all of them to electric vehicles. We are just waiting for the ecosystem within the country to get set up with the charging stations. I believe Tatas have tied up with one of the leading fuel pump company to set up 2000 charging stations all over India and I am certain other companies will follow suit. Hence it is a matter of time when we will all start making the switch.
M S: Since you often travel to more advanced countries in Europe and America, what kind of green changes would you like to see in your country/city in order to save the environment and reduce pollution?
A L: If you drive around Germany, you will notice hundreds of homes sporting solar panels on the roof of their homes, they not only generate and consume their own electricity they are also able to pump in the excess energy into the Grid and get paid for it. I believe there are similar regulations in India where you can set up solar panels on your rooftops, use your own energy and sell the excess. I will be extremely happy if our government educates the population and develops a seamless system for individuals and commercial buildings to follow this path. This can generate many MW of renewable electricity and reduce our carbon foot print significantly. I also think that our pollution control boards should tighten and enforce laws for industries and control the illegal pollution specially in the disorganised sector.
M S : Have you undertaken planting trees in your locality/office?
A L: We have planted lots of trees at our plant at Tamil Nadu and we have also planted trees in our office building and warehouse compounds. We have changed all our light fixtures to LED and fans to DC motor fans in all our ware houses to conserve electricity. We also are actively looking to set up solar panels above our buildings to make us self-sufficient in generating our own electricity. We also actively support various green initiatives. If each one of us takes these steps in a responsible manner I am certain we can change our world and make it a much better and pollution free place to live in and breathe purer air quality.