India’s steel sector gets dismal environmental rating

June 27, 2012
A study on India's iron and steel industry published by Green Rating Project (GRP) run by Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) has found that while some plants and companies are endeavoring to clean up their acts, the sector's overall environmental performance is poor.

The GRP analyzed the country's top steelmaking plants to find out how 'green and clean' the sector is, looking at how resource-efficient each plant it, how much pollution it it emits, how it disposes its wastes, and how it deals with issues of local communities.

Overall, the sector received low marks for environmental compliance, compared to other sectors rated by under the GRP. Three companies shared top place although their environmental performance was only deemed to be average.

The GRP is the only public disclosure programme of its kind in India and is designed to push for improvement in policy and practices in industrial sectors. On the basis of its findings, the GRP also confers the Five Leaves Awards on the plants, which are rated the most environmental friendly.

In the case of the iron and steel sector, 21 companies, with over 0.5 million tonnes of annual capacity, were rated on over 150 parameters – from technology to process efficiency and from pollution to occupational health and safety and compliance. The rating of steel sector took two years to complete.

As a whole, the sector received a mere 19 per cent marks and the One Leaf Award. This has to be compared to rating of the an equally polluting sector, cement sector, which in 2005 got 36 per cent and Three Leaves Award. It shows that this core sector, which includes the biggest and most powerful names in Indian industry, has a long way to go.