A local technology adapted to treat waste
One of the significant objectives of L’Oreal India’s Pune is to reduce waste. ‘India’s farmers have used vermiculture, which converts organic waste into compost, for generations to fertilise their land’, explains Aditya Narayanan. ‘The problem has been adapt this technique to work on chemical waste’. L’Oreal and its partner INORA began trials at the Pune plant in 2007. By 2012, 125 kilo litres of liquid sludge was being treated each month. This is approximately 15% of the total sludge generated by the plant. There are plans to expand this project to a larger capacity in the future. Along with its experiments in vermiculture, in 2012 the plant continued its efforts to reduce cardboard and paper waste. ‘Our suppliers are aware of the challenges but persuading them to switch to other types of packaging won’t happen overnight’, says Kushal Lokhande.
In 2012, the plant started replacing cardboard containers with plastic ones, which last longer and involve less waste production. With 7 grams of waste for each finished product, the plant is already well below the Group average, but the target of 2.6 grams by 2015 seems to be a major challenge. Persuading suppliers to adopt a sustainable development approach will be one way of guaranteeing success.
Waste Management with Vermiculture Unit; The Pune plant helps local farmers develop ecological and economic alternatives.
Three years after launching a vermiculture project to recycle its chemical sludge, the Pune plant decided to give a neighbouring village the benefit of its expertise by setting up an agricultural waste-treatment plant. This is a fair reward for a technique inspired by local farmers. The project, which was launched in June 2011 and completed in 2012, was aimed at helping local farmers produce their own low-cost organic compost.
Together with INORA, a local NGO responsible for training, the Pune plant chose twenty women from the Kalokhe Mala Dehugaon village. The women wanted to get involved after learning about the project. With the supervision of INORA and L’Oreal, the vermiculture unit is supplied and run by the village folk. The compost, which earthworms produce from agricultural waste, has replaced the 8 tonnes of chemical fertilisers the villagers used. This ecological alternative has saved the farmers 20,000 rupees in fertilisers over the year. The Pune plant is planning to extend the project to other villages.
The above is an extract from L’Oreal’s Sustainability Initiatives: Sharing Beauty with All
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