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Renewing Our Commitment to a Sustainable Future on World Environment Day

Join us as we embrace a greener path and reaffirm our dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable practices

World Environment day 2023 | HCCB

Let’s create the right environment, pun intended. And it’s not only because there are gloomy predictions of environmental damage. For us at HCCB, it’s essentially about doing the right things under all circumstances. It’s a prerequisite for our business success. 

What could, therefore, be a better way to celebrate World Environment Day than reiterating our promise – living our purpose for a better-shared world?

HCCB’s commitment to a greener future

Among many other milestones, we are proud of the fact that as a company, we’re water positive which means we replenish more water than we use in our operations – our aim now is to turn water positive at the aquifer level. 

Almost 55% of all energy requirements at HCCB come from green and renewable sources. Of this, 80% comes from sustainable fuels such as biomass and natural gas boilers. 

We continue to improve our packaging across the entire lifecycle with a focus on three fundamental goals i.e., design, collect, and partner. Interestingly, the theme for World Environment Day 2023, hosted by Côte d'Ivoire, draws emphasis on ‘limiting waste and pushing for a transition to a #circulareconomy' – something that we’ve successfully espoused over the years. 

Since we started our journey on our global strategy - World Without Waste, we’ve endeavoured the complete collection and recycling of our plastics, even though our targets were set at around 70%. We’ve saved 20,000 MT of plastic over the years, and our journey towards plastic circularity continues as we upgrade our plastic waste management methodology and plan to use more and more recycled content in our bottles going forward.

Pioneering sustainable manufacturing operations across India

We are also aware of our responsibility of sharing the best practices and raising awareness, that can yield benefits for the community and the industry at large. At HCCB we strive to leave things better than we inherit them and find innovative ways to fulfil this endeavour within our factory premises. Here are some of the factory locations that are leading the mantle in this regard

Sanad, Gujarat

At our manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat this philosophy has been brought to life by the implementation of a High-Rate Transpiration System (HRTS). The land terrain in and around the factory has traditionally been coarse and clayey, causing soil degradation. In order to increase transpiration in the soil, we lent this method to treat the land through controlled hydraulic loading in furrows that are created within the green belt. This method has allowed us to treat wastewater and generate a CO2 sink which is helping in maintaining the green belt of the factory. Designed within an acre, the HRTS here caters to a hydraulic rate of up to 25-50 m3/day.  In parallel, the green belt is yielding different saplings like Eucalyptus, Bamboo, Malabar Neem, Peepal, etc. Their innate high transpiration capacity is helping restore the soil nutrients and in turn, grow into a luscious green belt around the factory. 

It's worth mentioning that the HCCB factory in Sanand is amongst the most efficient users of energy. It has the honor of being 1 of 9 Gold certified Green Buildings (Factories) among FMCG/food facilities in India. This means that it optimizes energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste, and provides healthier spaces for occupants compared to conventional buildings. Among the many ways it has challenged the norm is its usage of solar and natural energy. The factory generates close to 1000KW of solar power per month through solar panels and related interventions. It has provisions to bring in more sunlight and deeper into the factory area, thereby reducing electrical load during the day. All the lighting at the factory is LED. There is encouragement for battery-run vehicles. Energy usage is tracked on a real-time basis, and efficiency commands a premium.

Goblej, Gujarat

A lot of work goes behind the processes involved in recycling plastic waste and creating an ecosystem for recycled plastic. One such effort that came to life at our factory in Goblej, near Ahmedabad, Gujarat, was the creation of a roof made of  plastic waste. Over the past year, we have been able to make this possible for the 2247 Sqm area in 

Goblej, now being covered by a roof made of non-recyclable plastic waste. The roof is made of sheets that are eco-friendly, water, heat, and fire resistant, and also termite and fungus-proof. They are also lightweight, rust-proof, and UV protected. Poor conductors of heat make this great material to be used in extreme temperatures.

The HCCB factory at Goblej despite being one of the oldest factories, has constantly improvised to minimise its footprint on natural resources. The factory secured wind and solar energy supplies such that 40% of the factory’s energy requirements are met through green and renewable sources. (2) Despite being a large, 93-acre factory, all the lighting has been replaced and changed to LED solutions. The water supply does not draw from groundwater; instead, utilizes surface water from the Ruska dam nearby. Even if the factory does not use groundwater, it harvests rainwater and returns it to the ground to the extent of 200% of what it uses from the Ruska dam. Rainwater harvesting obviously requires no energy! The factory has also created, harnessed, and maintained a biodiversity spot across the road called the Foiwala lake. The lake is adding to the groundwater table and has created a habitat for flora and fauna.

Khordha, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha

HCCB turned water positive, half a decade ago. Simply stated, ‘water positive’ means that HCCB returns more water to the aquifer than it uses in its operations. While a large part of HCCB’s sustainability efforts is focused on ensuring water positivity, we also work towards lowering the Water Usage Ration (WUR) in our daily operations. WUR indicates the total quantity of water used to produce one liter of beverage. With this view, our factory in Khordha, Odisha introduced a new Ultra Filtration, Reverse Osmosis (UFRO) system in the Effluent Treatment Plant, wherein the wastewater is treated with the UFRO technology to an extent that it is recycled for multiple purposes such as cleaning, washing during the manufacturing process, and a lot more. This has helped the factory gradually improve its WUR over the years and contribute to HCCB’s working principle of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Power interruptions are more than a minor inconvenience in factories. It takes conventional generators some time to power up when a blackout occurs. This short but critical ‘change-over-time’ impacts the production process and efficiency. Our factories, therefore, provision for uninterrupted power supply (UPS) through established methods. However, the HCCB factory in Khordha has recently deployed a UPS system that uses only 30% of the space versus the traditional power backup system. Lithium Ion batteries require much less energy to keep them charged. They charge much quicker, too – almost 1/3rd of the time. Moreover, these batteries have an extended life of 10-15 years compared to the 3–4-year life of traditional batteries. They are lower on emissions and are less prone to fire due to advanced protection & monitoring. This may have been an expensive proposition to begin with, but it is not just ensuring productivity but is also helping improve our environmental footprint.

All HCCB factories have effluent treatment plants (ETP). ETPs ensure that effluent gets treated to a level supporting aquatic life, allowing water to be used for secondary purposes. However, wastewater treatment plants generate methane – a gas that contributes to climate change. Our factory teams, therefore, looked to neutralize methane emissions. At Khordha, the team has introduced a process that recycles methane. The gas is collected in the Anaerobic Hybrid Reactor and then passed to the Hot Water Generator. Here methane acts as fuel – methane can produce more heat and light energy by mass than other hydrocarbons or fossil fuel – and pre-heats water to an optimum temperature of 85 degrees. The water then goes to a boiler and is used for cleaning, drying, and warming, in the beverage production process. We no longer need fossil fuel (furnace oil in this case) to heat the boiler, thus conserving energy while also ensuring comprehensive effluent and waste management.


Raninagar, Siliguri, West Bengal

In building a vertical factory that economises space, conserves resources and is efficient in the flow of goods and services, standard design principles have to be challenged. At HCCB’s factory in Raninagar, near Siliguri, in West Bengal, one prominent departure from the established design principles is constructing the effluent treatment plant In horizontally spread factories, the ETP is located at the base floor. At this vertical factory, the ETP is spread across all five floors and built based on the raft foundation technique. By doing so, the load of the ETP gets distributed across floors, it can hold much more effluent, and the operating team chooses to manoeuvre the effluent across any of the five levels depending on metrices that are pre-defined and digitally monitored. With advanced, unparalleled approaches like these, we hope to create a long-lasting change in the way structures are built and sustained.

Bidadi Industrial Area, Karnataka

Circularity is in play at this green belt at the newer of the two HCCB factories in the Bidadi Industrial area, KarnatakaSolar energy powers the pumps that help bring used but treated water to maintain the moisture levels in the 11.5 acre green zone. Solar panels installed generate 20 KW power, sufficient to maintain the rainwater storage pit and also the pumping requirements for the green belt. The composite set-up, therefore, uses no energy, conserves water, prevents soil erosion, generates oxygen, and does use fresh water. Circularity of resources is the path forward.

Verna Industrial Estate, Goa

Several solutions are at play in getting us beyond the 55% mark in using new and renewable energy. It is always a tough ask for a core manufacturing company like ours when fossil fuels primarily power the grid. Over the years, HCCB has used solarwindbriquettesnatural gas, etc., to reduce its emissions footprint.

The recently inaugurated 500 KW solar plant at Goa has 1,700 roof-mounted solar panels and 4 inverters, which powers 20% of the factory and is able to offset 395 tons in emissions. The cumulative of all this is powering us to our ambition of being able to reduce our carbon emissions by 25% at the end of the decade. Goa has got us going.

These are just some examples of our sustainable manufacturing operations. But as we celebrate World Environment Day 2023, we are reminded of the pressing need to prioritise environmental responsibility and put the well-being of our planet at the forefront of everything we do. As a leading beverage distributor, we remain firm on our commitment to ensuring a better shared future, tomorrow and beyond!


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