This case study is one of ten that were chosen as part of the Enhancing Business-Community Relations project in India implemented in collaboration with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). These cases document examples of engagement between businesses and communities and can be used as learning tools for the promotion of responsible business practice and sustainable development. The Enhancing Business-Community Relations project is a joint international initiative between United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and the New Academy of Business. Implemented in seven developing countries, the purpose of the initiative was to collect and document information on business-community practices as perceived by all stakeholders, build partnerships with them and promote corporate social responsibility practices. It is also intended to enhance international understanding of business-community relations through information sharing and networking with other countries especially those participating in the project - Brazil, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa and Lebanon. The findings and recommendations reflected in the case study are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of UNV, TERI or the New Academy of Business. It is important to note that these cases were written as examples of business-community initiatives. They do not constitute a comprehensive assessment of the company's social responsibility
This case study examines the ways in which Seshasayee Paper and Boards Ltd. has nearly eliminated its industrial waste and uses it in a sustainable manner for other purposes. The specific case of the utilisation of treated effluent for irrigation purposes is discussed in detail. The project is remarkable in that the value added to crop yields is bought back by Seshasayee and used directly in the paper-making process. The farmer s livelihoods have been secured and improved while damage to the environment is vastly reduced.
2. Company Profile
Seshasayee Paper and Boards Limited (SPB), an integrated pulp and paper mill, was founded in 1960. It is located near Erode in Tamil Nadu state, India. Capacity has expanded from 20,000 tonnes of paper per annum in the 1960s to over 115,000 tonnes per annum at present. Products include posters, paper boards, packaging and copier paper. Approximately 20 per cent of SPB products are made for the export market. Annual turnover is about Rs. 3,500 million, and the company employs 1,600 people. Equipment takes the form of five paper machines, power boilers, turbo-generators, a water treatment and an effluent treatment system.
SPB is a pioneer in that it uses bagasse, a residue left after sugar is extracted from sugarcane, for the manufacture of paper. The company has its own sugar mill, Ponni Sugars (Erode) Ltd, for this end 3. Project History and Development
SPB has many environmental management programmes that fall under the auspices of their environmental activities. Seshasayee is an ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accredited company. The Environmental Management System is also accredited by M/s Det Norske Veritas, under ISO 14001
4. Environmental Management Programmes (EMP)
SPB operates a number of EMP programmes at any one time. These have included projects that aim to:
SPB has a long history of environmental responsibility, and has means to minimise pollution and its impact on the environment while producing paper. Measures include the installation of several treatment facilities at the plant, such as belt filters, clarifiers and biological treatment technologies. The production process produces three major air pollutants namely suspended particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. SPB has installed Electrostatic Precipitators in all of the power and recovery boilers to this end. In so doing the company complies with Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board requirements regarding ambient air quality and stack emission.
- Increase the planting of eucalyptus/neem saplings in the vicinity of the paper mill
- Reduce dust in specific areas
- Reduce chlorine usage
- Reduce energy and water consumption
SPB also generates filter cake and waste oil, both of which are categorised as hazardous wastes. Measures have been taken to reduce these by-products in the production process. The entire quantity of filter cake is disposed off through its usage as a raw material to the board-making units. Waste oil generated in the mill can also be used as a lubricant in chains and The excess, if any, is currently incinerated in the power boilers.
Other solid (potentially hazardous) wastes from the production process include lime sludge, cinder, fly ash, sawdust and pith. Of this, lime sludge is sold to cement industries and used as a raw material. Cinder and fly ash are innovatively used for manufacturing compressed bricks and hollow blocks within the mill. Sawdust and pith are burnt as fuel in the power boilers