Environment Management Division

Environment

ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT DIVISION (EMD)

EMD was set up on 23rd June, 1988 as a corporate unit of SAIL and located at Kolkata, with the objective for sound management of environment as well as promotion of sustainable environment management practices across all plants/units and mines of the company. EMD is certified with Quality Management System (QMS) linked with ISO 9001:2015.

Environment Management Division

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The salient activities of EMD are enumerated below:

1. Review of environmental performance of SAIL plants/units and mines

2. Coordination with the plants/units and mines for environmental compliance

3. Development of Management Information System (MIS)

4. Reporting of deviations w.r.t. Environmental Rules & Regulations, Directions issued by different regulatory authorities to SAIL Board (through Board Sub-committee on Health, Safety & Environment)

5. Sustainability Reporting, Managing ESG Risks and facilitating improvement in ESG rating, Sustainable Development (SD) Projects, Development of Corporate Environmental Vision/Policy and Action Plans

6. Facilitating SAIL plants/units and mines for the following activities:

- Obtaining statutory clearances like Environmental Clearance (EC), Consent to Establish (CtE), Consent to Operate (CtO), Authorisation etc.

- Solid Waste Management, Water Conservation, Plantation

- Addressing Climate Change Issues, Life Cycle Inventory & Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

- Formulating Decarbonisation Road Map

- Liaisoning with State/Central statutory authorities/Ministries

- Implementation of Environment Management Systems: EMS (ISO 14001)

7. Environmental appraisal of project proposals

8. Compiling environmental data/information for replies to queries raised in the Parliament

9. Facilitating both SAIL and individual units for participation in various environment related awards

10. Organising workshops/ training programmes

11. Coordination with World Steel Association (WSA), Indian Steel Association (ISA), & other Indian Industrial bodies/associations.

Environment Management 

SAIL has a well-defined Corporate Environmental Policy. SAIL has also drawn up its environmental vision in consonance with the corporate environmental policy, which not only addresses the need to be compliant but also emphasises on striving to go beyond. SAIL is also committed to address stakeholder’s concerns and communicate its environmental philosophy to all the stakeholders.

As an environmentally conscious company, SAIL takes its responsibility very sincerely for protection of the environment at its plants/units and mines and the community in which it operates. SAIL continually undertakes dedicated efforts for compliance of environmental techniques/procedures to achieve sustainable development. Environment management at SAIL is a multi-layered process. All environmental programmes at SAIL plants/units and mines address critical issues such as resource optimisation, environment protection, mitigation of adverse environmental impacts, if any, as well as smooth operational and maintenance programmes for the environment/pollution control devices & facilities.

SAIL’s plants/units and mines operate under the applicable and valid statutory permissions like Environmental Clearance (EC), Forest Clearance (FC), Consent to Establish (CtE), Consent to Operate (CtO), authorisations for handling hazardous wastes and biomedical wastes, etc. and undertake their activities within the ambit of notified environmental standards without disturbing the ecological balance.

SAIL attaches utmost importance to protection of the eco-system and is committed to conduct operations at its plants/units and mines in an environment-friendly manner in order to continually enhance its environmental performance as part of its business philosophy and values. All the plants/units and mines ensure efficient operation of their pollution control devices/facilities through regular maintenance as well as refurbishing and also upgrading them as and when required. This enables the plants/units and mines to comply with the applicable environmental standards which are becoming more and more stringent with each passing day.

Robust and systematic Environment Management actions and initiatives have resulted in significant improvement in the major Environmental Performance Indices (EPIs) during 2022-23 over the last five years as shown in the table below:

Sl. No. Parameter Unit 2022-23 2018-19

Improvement (%)

                                                                
1. Specific PM Emission Load kg/tcs 0.57 0.70 18.6
2. Specific CO2 Emission T/tcs 2.49 2.57 3.1
3. Specific Water Consumption m3/tcs 3.06 3.44 11.0
4. Specific Effluent Discharge m3/tss 1.32 1.80 26.7
5. Specific Effluent Load kg/tcs 0.05 0.06 38.8
6. BF Slag Utilisation % 105.8 95.9 10.3
7. BOF Slag Utilisation % 89.8 55.9 60.5
8. Total Solid Waste Utilisation % 101.5 85.2 19.1

(Values more than 100% indicate utilization from old stock)

SAIL has been continually taking actions for efficient environment management with the aim to reduce its carbon footprint, enhance energy-efficiency and to comply with the environmental regulations. The major initiatives taken by SAIL in the key areas for environment management are outlined below:

A. Mitigation of Climate Change

Climate change refers to the long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Although these shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle, rapid growth in industrialization and burgeoning human activities have been the main drivers of climate change, primarily due to burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.

The concern for environmental sustainability focused on the decarbonization of industrial processes is becoming increasingly important, especially in the steel and iron industries, which are strong candidates for reducing emissions of harmful gases such as ammonia, benzene, carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride, etc.

Climate change is a global concern and at the forefront at every business, economic and political forum. Increasing consensus to bring down GHG emissions and contribute in a meaningful manner to reduce the impact of climate change has driven the steel industry to consider and adopt intensive initiatives, including R&D efforts towards CO2 emission abatement and CO2 capture from atmosphere/direct sources in order to move towards carbon neutrality.

SAIL’s commitment towards mitigation of climate change is well endorsed in its Corporate Environmental Policy, which advocates to “contribute towards mitigation of climate change through adoption of measures to reduce emission of greenhouse gases, enhancing green coverage, adopting energy efficient technologies, enhancing use of green energy”.

SAIL is embarking on its Journey towards carbon neutrality through the following salient initiatives:

a) Adoption of clean technologies

During the recent Modernization-cum-Expansion Programme (MEP) and thereafter in a drive for adoption of cleaner technologies, SAIL has implemented state-of-the-art clean technologies. Major clean technologies/facilities installed at SAIL plants are as follows:

  • 7m tall Coke Oven Batteries equipped with Coke Dry Cooling Plant (CDCP) facility
  • Top Pressure Recovery Turbine (TRT), Coal Dust Injection (CDI) and Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) with stoves in large volume (>4000 m3) Blast Furnaces as well as Torpedo Ladles for hot metal transfer to Steel Melting Shop (SMS)
  • WHR system with Sinter Cooler in Sinter Plants
  • Walking Beam type Reheating Furnaces in Rolling Mills
  • Variable Voltage Variable Frequency (VVVF) drives in plant machineries
  • Installation of energy-efficient IE3 motors and pumps in plant machineries
  • By-product gas fired boilers for power generation

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b) Promotion of Renewable Energy

For promotion of the usage renewable energy, SAIL has already installed some facilities utilizing solar energy at its plants/units and mines along with peripheral villages/areas. Most of the guest houses and hospitals of SAIL are equipped with solar water heating/solar lighting systems. As a part of its commitment for transition to sustainable energy, 6.51 MW solar units have already been commissioned in SAIL.

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In addition, following projects/schemes for harnessing renewable energy are under different stages of implementation/planning:

  • 10 MW Hydel Power Plant at Mandira Dam, RSP, for which a Joint Venture (JV) agreement was signed between RSP and Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Limited (GEDCOL).
  • Around 197 MW solar units (Roof-top, ground mounted and floating) at plants and units.

c) Switching over to LED Illuminating Systems

In consonance with the GoI’s initiative “Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) Scheme”, SAIL plants/units and mines are gradually shifting to more energy-efficient and durable LED lighting system,

More than 7.34 lakh nos. of LED lights have already been installed and energy-efficient LED illumination systems have been envisaged for the units/buildings under the upcoming projects.

d) Decarbonisation through Technological Interventions and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)

SAIL is committed to Net-Zero target by 2070. Towards this, in short term (FY 2030), reduction of carbon emissions in steel industry through promotion of energy and resource efficiency, renewable energy etc. is the focus. For the medium term (2030-2047), Green Hydrogen and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage are the focus areas. For long term (2047-2070), disruptive alternative technological innovations can help achieve the transition to net-zero.

Along with increasing the production efficiency of its installed facilities, SAIL has taken up initiatives for further increasing energy-efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions intensity from its operations.

In order to give further impetus to the reduction of its carbon footprint, SAIL is collaborating with eminent Research Institutes and Technology Providers for decarbonisation through technological interventions and introduction of CCUS facility.

As a significant step for exploring innovative and sustainable solutions for the long-term transformation of the steel industry and sustainable steel production, BSP has signed an MoU with the SMS Group, Germany’s leading engineering company, to promote decabonisation technology in steelmaking processes and thereby reduce carbon footprint.

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SAIL steel plants have already initiated actions to explore feasibility of CCUS as a milestone towards low carbon steel production and started collaborating with the following Premier Institutes/Technology Providers:

  • For carbon capture, its utilization and geological sequestration in nearby Coal Bed Methane (CBM) wells, ISP is working with the National Centre of Excellence in Carbon Capture and Utilization (NCoE-CCU) of IIT, Bombay
  • SAIL has planned to set up pilot project separately at its each plant site in partnership with M/s Ram Charan Company Pvt. Ltd. (RCPL), Chennai to capture carbon from the industrial flue gases and convert the same into useful products such as Methanol, Ethanol, Propanol, Isoamyl alcohols and Acetates, etc.

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B. Water Conservation

Water today has become a scare resource and thus warrants its conservation and judicious usage, both at the domestic as well as industrial level. Water conservation is one of the priority areas at SAIL plants/units and mines, and various initiatives have been taken up over the years. Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) are provided with each individual shop in all the SAIL plants to treat and recirculate the industrial waste water for further use. Moreover, Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and Oxidation Ponds have also been installed in the steel townships and plants to treat the sewage water for achieving the stipulated standards.

Conventional coke quenching with water in the coke oven batteries is being replaced with coke dry quenching system. On one hand, this system conserves water from evaporative loss as well as prevents contamination of the water resource, and on the other, produces power by utilising the heat energy of the coke, thereby helping in reducing the carbon footprint.

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Concerted efforts are being taken across all SAIL plants to achieve the long-term goal of ‘Zero Liquid Discharge’ through adequate treatment and recycling of effluent being discharged through the outfalls at the plant boundary. SAIL has taken up actions to achieve potential savings of water to the tune of 265 million m3/year through waste water treatment and recycling schemes. Waste water treatment and recirculation facility of 106 million m3/year water capacity has already been implemented and the schemes for effluent treatment of 159 million m3/year are under various stages of implementation.

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Apart from the above, installation of Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) schemes is another environment-friendly initiative towards water conservation. SAIL has been implementing RWH systems and recharge to ground water since long and has adopted it as an integral part of its water conservation measures. Considering various factors like geographical conditions of the site, regulatory guidelines and availability of infrastructure facilities, RWH systems are being implemented with utmost care. Further, in consonance with ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign of Ministry of Jal Shakti, RWH facility is envisaged during conceptualization of any upcoming project and is incorporated in the technical specifications of the proposal.

C. Noise Management

Various noise controlling measures like acoustic enclosures, hoods, acoustic lagging are being adopted to reduce noise level at sources like high speed machineries, viz. compressors, fans and blowers. Induced Draught (ID) and Forced Draught (FD) fans are properly equipped with silencers and insulated casing. Noise-proof and air-conditioned control rooms are provided for the operators wherever required.

D. Waste Management

SAIL is committed in its Corporate Environmental Policy to reduce solid waste generation and maximise its utilisation to achieve 100%. In order to be sustainable in the steel sector, SAIL pursues the principle of ‘4Rs’ (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover) in the area of solid waste management.

a) Industrial Solid Waste

During the course of steelmaking process, many solid wastes are generated which include blast furnace (BF) slag, BF flue dust, BF sludge, Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) slag, BOF sludge, mill scale, waste refractory bricks, etc. BF slag and BOF slag contribute the major share of solid wastes generated in the steel industry.

The molten BF slag is granulated through Cast House Slag Granulation Plants (CHSGP) installed at BFs and is sold to cement industries for its consumption as an input material.

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BOF slag containing iron bearing particles is processed and the metallic part from the slag lumps is separated out before its recycling back to the process. BOF slag is used as flux either in BF as a replacement of limestone, or in sinter making through base-mix.

SAIL plants have since long been using steel slag extensively for making internal roads. SAIL has also taken steps for utilisation of BOF slag in rural road construction under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). For enhancing the BOF slag utilisation, paver blocks/green tiles are also being prepared using BOF slag. The other wastes such as BF flue dust, mill scales, lime/dolo fines, refractory waste, etc. are either reused fully in the process or sold to the external agencies for its further use.

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With the aim of deriving maximum benefit from the concept of ‘Waste to Wealth’, various R&D based studies have been taken up either through in-house research wing or in association with other eminent research and academic institutions to explore potential avenues for enhancing BOF slag utilization.

SAIL has been associated as an Industry Partner with the MoS sponsored R&D project on “Development of steel slag based cost effective eco-friendly fertilizers for sustainable agriculture and inclusive growth” through ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and has also part financed the project. About 49 million hectare of land out of 157 million hectare of arable land in India is acidic. BOF slag, which is rich in lime content, along with micronutrient like potassium, silicon and phosphorous can gainfully be utilised as soil ameliorant.

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The above R&D project is in progress at eight IARI centres across India and is envisaged to open up a promising avenue for gainful utilisation of BOF slag as a soil ameliorant for vast stretches of the arable acidic soil of India and thereby promoting circular economy.

Besides the above some other wastes like used/spent oil, benzol acid tar sludge, decanter sludge/tarry waste, ETP sludge, etc. are also generated which are hazardous in nature. In line with the rule pertaining to hazardous wastes, steps for safe handling, transportation and disposal of these wastes are ensured by SAIL. These wastes are safely disposed either in the captive secured landfill facility or through the authorized handling agency.

SAIL plants/units and mines have their own medical infrastructure in the form of hospitals/primary health centres/occupational health centres. The biomedical wastes which are generated in these hospitals, primary health centres/occupational health centres are managed as prescribed under the enacted rule.

b) Environment-friendly disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB), a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP)

In compliance with the “Stockholm Convention” on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), a facility for environment-friendly disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) has been installed at Bhilai Steel Plant in partnership with MoEFCC and UNIDO. This project is the first of its kind in the country.

The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from POPs. Use of PCB, a POP in any form shall be completely prohibited by 31st December, 2025. PCBs are used in transformers as dielectric fluid and also as cleaning solvent.

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c) Domestic Solid Waste

Being a responsible corporate citizen, SAIL has taken various initiatives to keep its works and townships clean and green. Waste generated from households in the townships is collected either from door-to-door or in strategically located vats. Segregation and disposal of the collected waste is being done either through own arrangements or through the respective Municipal Corporation.

As a green initiative, BSP has set up a Solid Liquid Resource Management (SLRM) Centre to process the domestic solid wastes.

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At SLRM, the wastes are handled in a scientific and hygienic way. The integrated facility has separate systems for segregation of wastes, converting green waste into manure and turning plastic waste into useful by-products. The compost generated can help in turning BSP Township into a green hub by supplying required organic supplements and improving fertility of soil.

Necessary steps have also been taken for segregation and handling of plastic wastes generated from the works and the townships of SAIL plants/units and mines. Once the wastes are segregated, it is then handed over to the registered recycler for further processing.

Initiatives like awareness campaigns and surprise checks, screening of documentary films, distribution of pamphlets, display of banners/posters and organizing interactive sessions are under taken frequently at regular intervals in and around the townships to discourage the use of single use plastics (SUP) and highlight the benefits of segregation of plastic wastes at source. Imparting training to the workers engaged in waste collection is a regular practice at SAIL townships.

Bio-digesters have been installed inside the plant premises at DSP, RSP and BSL for processing of canteen wastes for facilitating safe disposal of biodegradable wastes. The bio-digester converts the biodegradable wastes into compost which is used as manure for horticulture.

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d) Environment-friendly disposal of waste plastics

This initiative will help in recycling of large amount of waste plastics in the coke oven batteries with no adverse effect on the environment, and added advantage of better coking properties.

  • Considering the severity of plastic pollution and adverse effect on environment, BSP took up the challenging task of using waste plastic granules along with the coal-blend in Coke Oven Batteries, with active participation of SAIL-RDCIS. A pilot scale facility for charging of waste plastic granules was installed at Coal Handling Plant of BSP.

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    This initiative will help in recycling of large amount of waste plastics in the coke oven batteries with no adverse effect on the environment, and added advantage of better coking properties.

  • As a green step for road making through utilization of waste plastics mixing with bitumen and road tar. RSP had constructed a stretch of one km road inside township as a pilot project.

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E. Greenery Development

Structured plantation programmes are carried out every year in all the SAIL plants/units and mines depending on availability and prevalence of local species, local soil characteristics and prevailing meteorological conditions. Nearly 22 million saplings have been planted at SAIL plants/units and mines since inception.

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F. Biodiversity Conservation

Biodiversity forms the basis of human survival on earth. Living resources (plants animals and microbes) and their habitats form an integral component of the biodiversity. Zoological and botanical parks are being maintained in townships of SAIL plants for preservation of several species of flora and fauna.

VASUNDHARA- A Biodiversity Park: It has been developed covering 409 acres of land and a water body near the township at DSP, with inclusion of flora and fauna of local species to address the concerns for ecology, biodiversity and environment management. The local people living in peripheral villages, including residents of the township, are the beneficiaries in respect of visual aesthetics, greenery with a clean & calm environment away from the harsh noises of daily city life.

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G. Eco-restoration of mined out landscapes

Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded ecosystem is essential for maintaining and enhancing biodiversity as well as replenishing the ecosystem services. Mined out area and water body of mine voids of Purnapani Limestone Mines was taken up for ecological restoration by SAIL in association with Delhi University.

About 250 acres of old barren overburden dumps and water voids in 200 acres of limestone mined area in Purnapani have been successfully restored to a fully functional ecosystem that generates ecosystem services & goods and sequesters CO2.

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After successful restoration of Purnapani Limestone & Dolomite Quarry, fresh initiatives have been taken for eco-restoration of Meghahatuburu Iron Ore Mines (MIOM) and Kiriburu Iron Ore Mines (KIOM). Institute of Forest Productivity (IFP), Ranchi was engaged for collaborative execution of works related to eco-restoration of mined out areas and waste dumps of 10 ha land at KIOM & 8.5 ha land at MIOM in Saranda Forest Division over a period of five years till 2025-26.

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H. Implementation of Environment Management System (EMS)

EMS linked with ISO 14001 is a voluntary approach to manage the immediate and long-term environmental impacts of an organisation’s products, services and processes. SAIL has been a torch-bearer in the establishment of the EMS in the steel industry in our country. In mid-90’s, SAIL started implementation of EMS ISO 14001 in its Salem Steel Plant. Presently, all the integrated steel plants, major units and warehouses of SAIL are compliant with EMS ISO 14001 Standard. Implementation of EMS has helped SAIL plants and units to ensure that their performance is always well within the applicable regulatory requirements.