Y our attempt to rate the paper and pulp industry has stressed the importance of environmental accountability to managers in companies. This will definitely improve the environmental performance of business houses. I hope you will similarly rate the other sectors of the industry as well....
The cover story on the rating of the paper and pulp industry ( Down To Earth, Vol 8, No 5; July 31) was both timely and revealing because the environmental fallout is much worse than imagined. But I feel that a chapter on the policy framework that governs the industry would be only fair to the industry, the people and the government. Critical examination and analysis of the same can throw up considerable areas for improvement. For example, the hidden subsidies on inputs (in this case, timber) are so outrageously high that it actively discourages any initiative in sourcing sustainable alternatives.
I have a few suggestions on how the rating methodology could be improved. The eco-rating models must be future-oriented. For example, in future if a company complies with even one small parameter, it must be reflected in the overall ranking of the company. This will encourage the industries to start with smaller environmental issues which could have cumulative environmental benefits. Looking at the characteristics of the Indian industry, there should be separate rating systems for the large-scale and small-scale industries. Also, enough flexibility (options) must be given to the industries. Within the set environment parameters and standards, industries must be given the power to choose the parameters they are interested in at least to start off with.
The article on the green rating of the paper and pulp industry made interesting reading. Most of the industries in India are not conforming to the environmental norms. Endeavours such as the rating of industries will act as a check on irresponsible polluting industries.
HARESH L KUNDAL
Congratulations to the Centre for Science and Environment for the first-ever rating of the environmental performance of Indian industry. It is also a unique rating because it is the first-ever that encourages voluntary disclosure of information and calls for transparency.
Secretary, ministry of labour,
Your attempt to rate the paper and pulp industry has stressed the importance of environmental accountability to managers in companies. This will definitely improve the environmental performance of business houses. I hope you will similarly rate the other sectors of the industry as well.
The term 'voluntary compliance' was advocated by North American companies in the late 1980s and your institution has used this method for the first time in the country. The ratings should be an incentive to the industries to improve their environmental performance. But I wonder whether all the participating units submitted the "environmental statement" to their respective state pollution control boards annually.
N K KUTTIAPPAN
Congratulations on your fine attempt to rate the pulp and paper industry. Your rating criterion will help us to clear social forestry projects....
A news report 'Poisonous groundwater' ( Down To Earth, Vol 8, No 3; June 30) said that "groundwater in 44 districts of Nepal is contaminated with arsenic, according to the public health engineering department". I found that there is no such department in Nepal. Also, the head of department of water supply and sewage, Nepal, Ram Mani Sharma, was not aware of any arsenic contamination....
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