CSE's Industry and Environment Unit addresses an array of environmental issues related to Indian industries. It conducts research and advocacy on the impact of industrial pollution and provides training in related issues.
The various arms of the Industry and Environment unit are:
1. Green Rating Project - The Green Rating Project (GRP) is an effort to rate industrial units within a specific sector on the basis of their environment friendliness. The project aims at encouraging companies to adopt better environment management policies. Unfortunately, in many developing countries like India, policies and institutions for controlling pollution and degradation of the resource base are weak and still in a nascent stage. The current status of India’s environment shows that the regulatory mechanism has failed to control industrial pollution.
Unfortunately, in many developing countries like India, policies and institutions for controlling pollution and degradation of the resource base are weak and still in a nascent stage. The current status of India’s environment shows that the regulatory mechanism has failed to control industrial pollution.
Therefore, GRP arises out of an urgent necessity to bridge the gap between weak regulatory mechanisms of the government, on one hand, and the achievement of sustainable development on the other.
2. EIA Training Programmes - Monitoring tools like Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) are assuming great significance in ensuring sound economic development without compromising on environmental and social costs.
The entire clearance process is currently marked by inefficiencies and a regulatory framework that is routinely manipulated. Public participation, for instance, is today marked by sham hearings, more to satisfy a formality, and less as a crucial tool to involve people in the decision-making process.
There is an urgent need to build the capacity of the stakeholders like the affected community and the grassroots activists to understand the entire clearance and the technicalities of the EIA. We organise EIA training programmes for these stakeholders - communities, students, academicians, civil society, grassroots activists, regulators, industry.
3. Community Support - is a programme with a vision to help various communities in the country who request us for technical support. The support is mostly in the form of analysis of EIA reports of upcoming projects in their region. This gives the affected people a chance to understand the implications the project will have for them - both positive and negative.
4. Regulator's Programme - Based on our years of work in the field, we realised the ineffectiveness of the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) in their regulatory function. In order to understand the specificities and to recognise the very issues, we carried out a questionnaire based survey of the various SPCBs. The survey helped us pin-point the specific problems and needs of the state boards. We now plan to develop a Regulator's Training Institute which can help build capacity of our regulators.
5. South Asia Programme - The association of CSE with Bangladesh was started in 2008, when Bangladesh Environmental Institutional Strengthening Project (BEISP) requested us to conduct a training programme on EIA for the officials of Ministry of Environment and Forests. The BEISP is a Government of Canada (CIDA) funded project aimed at strengthening the capacity of the ministry officials. We are now developing EIA guidelines on coal mining, pharmaceutical and textile industry for the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Bangladesh.
Background India, like other emerging economies, looks set to remain dependent on coal in the short to medium term for its economic growth. However, as countries begin to confront coal’s environmental impacts, policymakers and industry alike must now address important questions of sustainability and environmental responsibility in its management and use.