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.
The financial institutions have an important role to play when it comes to reducing environmental and social risk associated with a project. Their role becomes significantly important considering severe capacity gap with different institution entrusted with the job. Therefore, it is imperative for the financial institutions to conduct a proper due diligence of a project before financing them. This will not only save them from reputational risk but also from financial risk.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an important tool to inform decision- makers, regulators and stakeholders, about the possible environmental, social and economic costs of the proposed project. To be effective, it requires the active involvement of all concerned stakeholders.
Centre for science and Environment (CSE), has been conducting capacity building programme for officers of State Pollution Control Board and the Municipality Officers under the tripartite agreement between CSE, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The upcoming programme is scheduled in December 2015, on the issue of waste management.