The Green Rating Project carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) (Down To Earth, Vol 10, No 13, November 30, 2001) has apparently forced the automobile industry to take a closer look at the problem of vehicular pollution. This was evident at a CSE workshop on March 15, 2002, which was held as a follow-up of the ratings awarded by the project to automobile companies. Representatives from all auto majors participated in the meeting.
Chairperson of the Technical committee of the project H B Mathur said that while the auto industry was constantly working in the area of engine modification and exhaust aftertreatment devices, steps in the field of fuel treatment and choice of fuel were yet to be taken.
On their part, auto industry representatives made presentations on their environment management and quality improvement measures. For instance, TVS motor company has made benchmark 'green rating' guidelines for product and corporate governance as part of its future strategy. The company has also undertaken water harvesting in two of its plants.
CSE contended that the fiscal policy should be designed to give incentive to the less polluting companies. Since the majority of the companies make vehicles for all classes of fuels, the auto industry felt that a package of recommendations should be drafted rather than singling out one fuel. An effective terminal policy for automobiles can also be an answer to the growing vehicular pollution, the participants said. Bharti Solanki, assistant vice president of the Infrastructure Development Finance Company said that financial institutions (FIs) were becoming more sensitive towards environmental protection. Systems such as tracking the responsibility back to the FIs, could play an important role in directing them towards companies pursuing green policies.
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