Concrete Facts: The Life Cycle of the Indian Cement Industry

January 12, 2005

The end of each new rating is the beginning of a new journeyfor all of us. The Green Rating Project (GRP), as a process isa great teacher of detail and substance. It takes a long time tounderstand the industry and therefore the environmentalissues that come out of the rating are always more than whatis normally perceived by most, including the industry andthe regulators.

In 1999, when we released the first rating on the pulpand paper industry, we learnt of the impact of industry onresources — wood and water in this case — but we alsolearnt that industry is prepared to innovate and change. Eachtime we began, we also found that we had to invent theprocess. For instance, the cement companies have notbeen rated earlier for their environmental performance andso no methodology to do this existed. We, therefore, had todevelop everything — the methodology, the rating criteriaand the weightages. More importantly, we had to understandthe challenges, this sector faces and the challenges thecountry faces, because of this sector. This helped us tobenchmark change.

This is something that CSE’s founder director AnilAgarwal — who conceived this project — always had inmind. He never thought of GRP as a mere rating exercise,rather a tool to leverage a larger change that was required forthe country to achieve sustainable economic growth. Healways emphasised that GRP should not only improve theenvironmental practices of companies, but it should alsochange the policy and regulations. In the three sectorswe have rated before cement, we hope we have lived up tohis expectations