Sector : Occupational Health Safety & Environment

ICC has been taking up initiatives in environment management and sustainable development initiatives to address industry’s issues pertaining to environment and climate change.

ICC has special focus on sustainable waste management, water management, among various stakeholders through undertaking various activities involving research, organizing environmental awareness programs, interactive sessions with key policymakers, workshops, conclaves, conducting training programs, organizing Green Business Quiz and creating business-to-business interfaces.

ICC has been playing a critical role in the policy dialogue on climate change both domestically and internationally, as well as facilitating the carbon market through the Clean Development Mechanism. ICC has been creating stakeholder awareness in India and familiarizing stakeholders with the core issues and challenges confronting them. It also acts as a bridge between different carbon market stakeholders to advance CDM projects.

In terms of OHS management and improving business competitiveness, the chamber is facilitating cultural transformation among the organizations towards making their businesses safer, healthier and sustainable. It is also set to establish an OHS Panel as an outreach centre and assist industries to put in place a sound OHS practices by providing information, training and technical assistance through Awareness, Training Programs etc. promoting the “Vision Zero” concept in work environment.

The Chamber has been working closely with the Department of Environment, Govt. of West Bengal, West Bengal State Pollution Control Board and other associated bodies and takes up various issues in the areas like cement, iron & steel, pulp & paper, power, oil & gas, wind energy, mass transport, chemicals industries, and from sectors such as waste management, forestry, financial, carbon advisory, and government bodies.

Current Scenario

Safety and occupational health is of paramount importance in all emerging economies. The benefits of compliance to occupational health lead to increased productivity, better quality of work and reduced employee turnover. Occupational health is the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in every occupation. It appraises organization to follow good working environment from viewpoint

From the viewpoint of health and safety, occupational health requires efforts and procedures for documentation of workplace hazards, safety measures, reduction of accidents and exposures to harmful situations and substances. It also involves training in accident prevention, safety precautions and emergency responses as well as uses of protective clothing and equipment. Also from the Environmental point of view, it involves by creating a systematic approach for complying environmental regulations such as waste management, waste air control and also health hazards issues all the way to keep Working Environment good and healthy.

While 4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is spent on health care, almost 75% of this is spent on curative health care services. Invariably, a negligible amount is spent on occupational health care.

On the other hand, India’s environmental consulting services market is expected to grow from around USD 0.55 billion in 2016 to around USD 0.75 billion in 2020, and India stands as the 3rd largest environmental technologies market worldwide. Due to increasing investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, environmental consulting services market in the country is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% in the forecast period.

India is also the 5th largest e-waste producer in the world with 1.8 million tons of e-waste generated every year which is expected to rise to 5.2 million tons by 2030.

India has also ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016 under which an ambitious target is been set up by the government to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. It also includes 100 GW of solar capacity addition and 60 GW of wind power capacity by 2022. 60 solar cities are to be developed in India as part of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s Solar Cities program. With high set targets and growing environment related issues there exists huge opportunities for improvement and growth of environmental services in India.

Indian pollution index in the year 2016 was 76.93 wherein, air pollution in India was higher at 70.57, and the water pollution was at 68.99. Air Pollution is one of the major health threat in the modern day metropolitan India. As per a report released by Health Effects Institute, USA (April 17, 2018) India alone accounts for 25% of all the air pollution-related deaths in the world during 2016.

Over 300 million MT of plastics are produced globally p.a. and nearly 50% of this volume is for disposal applications. Size of the plastic Industry in India is estimated at USD 16534.516 million with plastic consumption of 13 million tons per year and waste generated accounts for 9 million tonnes per year. More efforts towards recycling of plastic waste is the need of the hour to save the environment from land pollution, as most of the plastic is dumped into land creating land and soil pollution problems in the country.

Future Outlook

  • As per the estimates, Waste Management Industry in India is expected to grow to USD 1 Billion by 2020.
  • In India, over 95% of e-waste generated is managed by the unorganized sector and merely 1.5% of total e-waste gets recycled. This indicates that huge opportunity for investment is there for both government and private sector to contribute in the management of e-waste in the country.
  • In India unused waste has the potential to generate 439 MW of power from 32,890 TPD of combustible waste which is enough to meet the power demand of smaller states.
  • There is an urgent requirement of modern occupational health and safety legislation, adequate enforcement machinery and establishment of centers of excellence in occupational medicine in all states of the country controlled by a central institute, to catch up with the global pace. This opens up huge opportunity for greater public private partnership.

Key Policy Initiatives

Government of India has initiated National Clean Air Program (NCAP) as a comprehensive plan to reduce air pollution in 100 Indian cities. Government is targeting to reduce air pollution by almost 35% over the next 3 years, followed by a 50% reduction within 5 years.

The National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment at Work Place, sets out a set of goals with the view to build and maintain a national preventative safety and health culture and improving the safety, health and environment at workplace. The Policy also expresses a set of the national objectives which has identified eight specific working areas, including enforcement, national standards, compliance, awareness, research and development, occupational safety and health skills development and data collection.

As one of the largest populated country and a well-known medical tourism destination worldwide, India generates 550 tons per day of medical waste. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change has amended Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules in 2016 to improve compliance and strengthen the implementation of environmentally sound management of biomedical waste in India.

Waste to Energy Program is an initiative of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) with the objective to harness the available potential for the development of energy sector in the country. Aim is to convert Industrial waste to biogas and generate power from industrial solid waste.

News: