Amrit Paper Mills

One Leaf Company

SCORE 19.01%

Published: Saturday 31 July 1999

Amrit Paper Mills

-- (Credit: CSE)Amrit Paper Mills ( apm ) has a plant at Saila Khurd in Hoshiarpur district, Punjab. Though the company claims to have an environmental policy, it seems doubtful as no documented proof of the policy has been provided. The company also claims to have environment departments both at the corporate level and the unit level. But as per the feedback of the cse surveyor, it seems that the company does not have an environment department.

apm uses agro-residues for raw material. While the source is renewable and the company's fibre-use efficiency has been increasing, the mill's fibre consumption per unit is increasing, which is a negative sign. When it comes to energy consumption, a major portion of the mill's energy requirements is met through rice husk -- a positive sign again, as it is a renewable source. But the use of rice husk is decreasing.Moreover, the mill's energy consumption initiatives have been rated as average and overall energy consumption has been increasing. apm 's per unit energy consumption is 31.73 giga joules, whereas the minimum that can be achieved is 15.12 giga joules.

The entire water requirement of the mill is met by groundwater that is pumped out through tube-wells. The company has not scored any points on this count. The mill consumes an average 201.4 tonnes of water to produce one tonne of paper. This is roughly the Indian average for mills based on agro-residue for raw material. The mills consumption of water has been increasing continuously, and it has mentioned no initiatives to conserve water. Consequently, it has scored zero in water management.

apm 's use of chemicals is very high: it consumes an average 155.2 kg of chlorine to produce one tonne of paper, and the figure is increasing continuously. This is way above the maximum for an agro-based mill, which is 100 kg. It has to be noted that it is possible to reduce this figure to zero. And the company has made no effort to improve its bleaching process by substituting or reducing the use of chlorine.

The local community's response is mixed. While some local farmers want the effluent from the mill for irrigation, they also have complaints that excessive effluent damages crops. But the farmers are unaware of the adverse effects that effluent can have. Earlier, the farmers were using the effluent for irrigation. However, there were complaints about deterioration of soil. Thereafter, the Punjab Pollution Control Board ( ppcb ) directed the company to use the effluent for its own irrigation purposes. ppcb says the effluent would be fit for irrigation after a chemical recovery plant is installed. But the company failed to install the plant in the stipulated timeframe, and there is no information to prove that it has been able to do it up till now. The company says it does not have enough funds. But even when the mill was making profits, there was no effort to control pollution. apm does not conduct any environmental audit internally or externally.

Though the company claims that it has been taking measures to control pollution since its inception in 1980, as on March 1, 1999, apm is on the Central Pollution Control Board's list of defaulters for lacking proper facilities to treat wastewater.

Corporate policy and management system 5.15 35
Input management 2.36 8
Process management 4.72 21
Recycling and reuse 0.05 8
Waste management and pollution controle 2.92 7
Compliance and community perception 1.75 12.50
Total 17.40 91.50

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