Offsetting Emissions and Conserving Water Bodies

June 5, 2011
Dept of Social Work, Amritapuri

Industrialization is blamed for a major chunk of the current environmental problems. It is heartening therefore, when one sees industry experts taking the lead to go green.

Now offset printing has come up with an innovative concept called CO2 neutralised print; the sustainable solution to help turn the print industry green.

Industry Experts

In their paper Influence of Offset Printing Ink on Uncoated and Coated Papers During Perfecting Printing, Thus Reducing Carbon Footprint, experts from Print Media Academy, Prof. Dr. Rajendrakumar Anayath, Mr. Amrutharaj Harikrishnan and Mr. Paul Redeemer envisioned an eco-friendly print ingenuity.

The novel method they proposed checks the drying property of substrate used in offset printing thereby leading to savings in energy, consumables and substrate.

“Offset printing technology constitutes 53% of the print industry in the Indian peninsula,” the authors explained. “But very few in the printing community are aware of the environmental aspects.”


In order to calculate the carbon footprint of the printing process, the authors assessed the various materials and stages of the printing system. They found that paper alone contributed a whopping 60% to 80% of the total CO2 emissions.

“Paper, depending on its properties and how it’s made, provides by far, the biggest opportunity for shrinking a print job’s carbon foot print,” said the team.

Tackling yet another environmental problem head-on, was a paper by Ms. Gayathry S., Amrita Department of Social Work, titled Sustainable Natural Resource Management: A Scoping Paper on Dynamics of Institutions and Structures in Water Governance.

Water Consumption

“Global consumption of water is doubling every 20 years, more than twice the rate of human population growth,” Gayathry noted, in her paper.

“India is expected to experience severe water stress by 2020 with the per capita availability of water projected to be less than 1,000 cubic meters,” she added.

Gayathry’s paper proposed the review of the six-year old Tirupur water and sewage project and its effects on Bhavani River Basin residents in Tamil Nadu.

A major textile processing hub, Tirupur makes garments headed for export markets. Unsustainable use of large amounts of water by textile processing units and pollution of water bodies created a major problem for the town’s residents, many of whom work in these industrial units.

Textile Processing

In 1995, a water and sewage project was established with partnership between the Govt of Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu Corporation for Industrial Infrastructure Development, Tirupur Exporters Association and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services.

Touted as the first public-private partnership in the water sector, the project was intended to conserve water bodies, clean and reuse contaminated water in industrial operations, thus ensuring its sustainable use.

“It is crucial to understand the impact of this project on those people whose livelihoods are highly dependent upon water,” Gayathry stated. “My study will try to ascertain whether the project has led to an efficient, equitable and environmentally-friendly water management in the area.”

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