Water positivity pushes ABB’s Nashik factory to the next level of sustainable manufacturing
September 21, 2023 3:24 pm
ABB India leads the way in sustainable and responsible resource consumption in manufacturing after achieving water positivity ratings and Mission to Zero™ status for one of its factories in Nashik.
Water positivity is the concept of returning more water to freshwater sources than is withdrawn and maintaining sustainable water stewardship by establishing a framework for water management. The Nashik site, which covers 49,000 m², has been certified as water positive with a water positivity index of 1.14 by the GRIHA Council (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment), India. Mission to Zero is ABB’s global initiative to enhance energy efficiency and enable building decarbonization, creating best practice solutions for manufacturing and production sites.
The Nashik facility produces medium voltage (MV) switchgear as well as primary and secondary gas insulated switchgear (GIS) equipment to provide efficient power solutions across India. This equipment is critical to the continued urbanization and electrification of the country and the provision of energy systems for sustainable transportation.
As water is a critical issue for the country and globally, ABB India made achieving water positivity a key goal. ABB hopes its operations will become a blueprint for its partners and customers in India – and globally – where water neutrality is quickly becoming as important as carbon neutrality in the fight to save the planet.
To achieve water positivity, the Nashik site introduced a range of measures including a rainwater harvesting system to reduce run off and recharge the groundwater table and reuse the stored rainwater to meet other domestic requirements. The installation of water-efficient fixtures reduced water consumption by 30 percent and a drip-based irrigation system, and sewerage treatment plant allow wastewater to be reused for irrigation and other domestic purposes. This ensures there is zero liquid discharge (ZLD) from the factories. The annual rainwater harvesting potential of the system is 34.486 million liters, which translates to 14 Olympic swimming pools worth of rainwater annually.
ABB also established water meter monitoring and analysis to allow suitable action to be taken on water conservation. The company also invested in water management structures for the local water scarce area to capture rainwater in streams to be used by nearby rural villages for drinking and agriculture.
The scope of the GRIHA water positivity certification is for the site only and does not include upstream supply chain for the water positivity analysis.
ABB’s approach to responsible resource management includes reducing energy use and carbon emissions. Understanding that you can only improve what you can measure, Nashik achieved full visibility of energy use for the Mission to Zero factory using ABB Ability Energy Manager, a cloud-based solution that collects data from 76 sensors to monitor energy consumption and identify inefficiencies.
To further reduce emissions, ABB’s factory in Nashik also invested in measures to improve energy efficiency using LED lighting, insulated wall and roof panels, more efficient air conditioning, demand-based lighting, and cooling in meeting rooms all managed via a KNX and Cylon building management system. Finally, 1 MWp of rooftop solar panels were installed which provide 35 percent of the electricity needed annually to run the factory at a much lower cost than electricity from the grid. The factory operations use 100 percent green electricity, 35 percent from solar and the remaining 65 percent from International Renewable Energy Certificate (IREC). All these measures combined earned the Nashik facility a Green Factory Building, Platinum Rating Certification from the Indian Green Building Council.
Ganesh Kothawade, President, Distribution Solutions, Electrification Business, ABB India said: “The importance of reducing energy use and carbon emissions form a key part of our Mission to Zero journey. However, water positivity is the next frontier in creating sustainable buildings which work in balance with their environment. ABB has shown how green manufacturing can be done to great effect to support the country’s energy transition, and we will be sharing our blueprint for success with our local and global partners to encourage more manufacturers to rethink their energy and water use.”