Following international trends, stores like Woodland are waking up to 'carbon neutral' stores in which customers are able to redeem "credits" accumulated through the purchase of environment friendly products for discounts
New Delhi: Cutting back on travelling, using renewable bio-fuels, thinking twice before firing up that laptop are among activities that cannot just contribute to greening the planet but could get you also hefty discounts on trendy apparel and other major branded goods, reports PTI.
Following international trends, stores in India are waking up to 'carbon neutral' stores in which customers are able to redeem "credits" accumulated through the purchase of environment friendly products for discounts.
In a new initiative, leading footwear and apparel brand Woodland is all set to go "carbon neutral" in 80 of its stores in Delhi-NCR and Karnataka.
Being carbon neutral means having a net zero carbon footprint, or achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount offset, or buying enough carbon credits (tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit 1 tonne of CO2) to make up the difference.
Companies can go carbon neutral by reducing CO2 emissions associated with transportation, energy production and industrial processes.
"We want all our stores to be carbon neutral retail chain by 2015, by adopting more environment-friendly measures including planting of saplings all over the country. 2-3% of our profits (around Rs10 crore) is earmarked for such eco-friendly initiatives every year," says Harkirat Singh, MD, Woodland Worldwide.
The retail chain will also spread awareness among its customers and encourage them to exchange their carbon credits with discounts up to 15-20% on Woodland products.
Harkirat Singh, of Woodland Worldwide says, "We are encouraging our customers to go 'green'. Our target group is youngsters between 16-24 years who are very informed and concerned about the environment," says Singh.
Singh says he urges customers to not only go green but also purchase products from companies that follow same motto.
"Once, they buy environment friendly products and collect a carbon credit, they can come and submit it at our store, where we will give them discounts based on the credits. This way we are expecting to collect around 450 carbon credits, thereby doing our bit in helping the environment," says Amol Dhillan, Vice-President, Strategy & Planning, Woodland India.
NextGen, Bangalore based Energy and Environment Company, is in the process of calculating the level of carbon emissions from electricity used at stores, diesel consumption of generators and fuel burnt by the Woodland staff for commuting.
"We will balance the measured amount of carbon released by planting trees, using environment friendly techniques at our manufacturing units, such as solar power," says Amol.
As the first part of the initiative, a comprehensive carbon accounting has been done for the chain of Woodland stores in Karnataka and Delhi-NCR region to calculate the carbon footprint of each store through its retail operations.
The calculated footprint for NCR region has come out to be 2,000 metric tonnes while for Karnataka it is 1,000 metric tonnes.
"Since solar water heaters are mandatory in Karnataka, our campaign will encourage customers to pledge their emission reductions for every solar water heater they use. Ond doing so each customer using a solar geyser will be gratified with a Woodland e-voucher on submission of authentication and thus sharing his carbon credits helping Woodland Retail Chain negate its carbon footprint," he adds.
Concerned by global warming and the effect of carbon emissions on the environment, countries like Norway, Maldives, Denmark, Costa Rica, Vatican City are working on becoming 'carbon neutral' in the near future.
Companies contribute a huge part to the environmental mess with the release of deadly effluent and by the enormous carbon emissions.
Tech-giant Microsoft has also committed to going carbon neutral, joining Dell, Google, HSBC, PepsiCo, Sky, Tesco and other corporates which have successfully managed to reduce their carbon "footprints" by reducing CO2 emissions in certain divisions of the organisations.
The twin increases snapped a six fortnight trend of reduction in rates, including a steep 5% or Rs3,260 per kl cut effected from 16th June and about 2% or Rs1,241 per kl fall in prices from 1st July
While power producers should check transmission losses and pilferages, individuals too can do their bit by saving energy in their homes and curb misuse of electricity
We have had ‘black’ Mondays and it is now a “terrible torturous” Tuesday when millions of people had a horrendous experience due to the grid failure in north, eastern and north-east power grids. An estimated 700 million people suffered one way or another and an un-estimated loss of production, as a result.
The reason is that both Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Punjab may have overdrawn their supply leading to this collapse. Does it mean there is no mechanism that prevents an overdraw, presumably done by mistake and that there was no control or automatic set limitation for drawing power from the national grid? If this be so, there is the imperative necessity to set a system to prevent such a recurrence.
Just a couple of days earlier, NTPC had proudly announced that it had produced 8% more power in the first quarter to reach 58,875 million units as against 54,604 million units in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
According to the Central Electricity Authority, 37% of the country’s peak electricity demand comes from UP, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Chandigarh when the demand goes up to 39,000MW. The average demand on Monday was around 32,000MW when six of NTPC units were transmitting 26,000 MW when the collapse took place.
We all know that the power situation in the country is far from satisfactory. Imported fuel is expensive and indigenous production of coal is inadequate. With the poor onset of the monsoon, hydel power shortage is expected and in some states where the rivers are running dry, with the situation is likely to get worse.
There are a number of familiar factors that play a vital role in creating this mess. There are multiple organisations, each of which adds a bit to the misery.
For instance, the talk of setting up a regulator for the industry has been going on for sometime and the proposal is being tossed from one group to another in the ministerial jungle. It is essential that a qualified and knowledgeable person is appointed for a three to five-year period, with a clear term of reference to resolve all the issues relating to the industry, whether it is pricing, allocation or any other matter. For God’s sake we do not require a retiring bureaucrat or a politician.
Like the foodgrain wastage situation, there is a great and unassessed amount of loss of power due to pilferage. Likewise, the power waste due to the irresponsible act of the consumers, in not putting off the power connection to home appliances when not in use, adds to a substantial amount. In fact, banning GLS and making CFL lamps would be a good but small start in this direction, and bring about some relief!
At the same time, there is no reason why there is no national awareness and directive that every street lamp gets its power from solar energy? This should be a state responsibility and undertaking to implement.
The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), while no doubt is doing a thorough job, it acts as the biggest stumbling block, where hundreds of proposals of the would-be power generators are pending for clearance. Can’t we really have a simpler check list that would clear a proposal if 85% of the given requirements are met and permit the compliance of the balance 15% within a stipulated but reasonable time frame? This should eliminate avoidable delays in project work.
Finally, in a recent statement, Arvinder Singh Bakshi, chairman of the Central Electricity Authority has stated that 40,00MW of old thermal capacity is to be ‘retired’ during the 12th Five Year Plan. He contends that the country expects to have addition of 88,000MW during the 12th Plan, and that this retirement should not affect our supplies.
Far from it. Instead of scrapping these units, ways and means should be devised to bring about balancing equipments, sophisticated technology and strengthen the plants, as our consumption pattern is going up by leaps and bounds.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US. He can be contacted at [email protected].)