COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—Global Rubber Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. continues to ramp up sustainability efforts during the manufacturing process.
According to Ananda Caldera, executive director of the specialty tire maker, the company has undertaken several initiatives to ensure manufacturing is as environmentally friendly as possible.
Among the initiatives:
- Waste material to generate thermal energy
Caldera said the company utilizes electrical and thermal energy in the manufacturing process, using biomass boilers to generate thermal energy and steam to cure tires.
The company is using environmentally friendly alternatives such as the waste generated by the saw mills, called outer planks. as well as oat husks, a waste material from a neighboring and newly opened oats manufacturing plant, as biomass to generate thermal energy.
"The caloric value of the waste husk is almost the same as the wood waste," Caldera said. "For thermal energy fuel we always use waste bioproducts such as scrap wood and waste husk, thereby minimizing environmental impact."
- Solar power to generate electrical energy.
Solar panels, which have been installed on the roofs of the factories, generate 1.2 megawatts for use in plants. GRI plans to increase the capacity to 2.5 megawatts with the expansion of our new factory.
- Recycling water and planting trees.
Water is recycled at GRI's 24-hour water water treatment plant, treated and reused for maintenance of the landscape around the factory. The treated water is used to cool machinery.
"It is also our policy that for every tree we remove for factory expansion etc., that we plant two trees. Furthermore, for our employees' birthdays we gift them a tree sapling to plant in their gardens," Caldera said.
GRI said it has planted more than 1,500 trees in and around its factories.
- Reusing and reclaiming rubber.
Rubber waste generated through the manufacturing process is given to the local reclaim rubber industry. GRI then repurchases the reclaimed rubber and rubber crumbs for reuse.
- Optimizing energy and environmental management.
GRI has received ISO 50001 certification for its energy management system and ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management system.
In addition, Baldera said GRI "uses the most energy-efficient motors so there is no wastage of electrical energy.
"GRI focuses on energy efficiency from the time of selecting machinery, where priority is always given to machines with variable speed energy motors and low energy consumption," Caldera said.
- Installation of capacitor banks for power factor correction.
Power consumption and demand has been reduced, Baldera said, calling it "a noteworthy investment that has reduced energy consumption."
Mahesha Ranasoma, CEO of GRI. said his company is constantly pursuing sustainable alternatives for its products and processes.
"We invest in R&D and are continuously looking at ways to reduce our impact on the environment," he said. "Our goal is to build tires sustainably and to move forward in making a positive impact on our planet."