Patel Engineering - Kavita Shirvaikar
By integrating sustainable elements and principles in a project, companies can help support India’s climate action strategy and create a greener world.
Patel Engineering - Kavita Shirvaikar, Wholetime Director & CFO
Industry associations should bring together construction companies, professionals, and stakeholders to form working groups and share knowledge on emission measurement and reduction initiatives. Engaging with government bodies responsible for climate policy ensures alignment with national or regional goals and targets.
Collective efforts by companies and government
Standardized protocols and methodologies for data collection, measurement, and reporting should be developed to improve the accuracy and comparability of emissions data. It also facilitates the development of user-friendly tools that integrate with construction project management systems. Involving verification and certification bodies ensures the credibility of emission calculations and the establishment of recognized certifications or labels. Additionally, certain policies could be drafted, and companies should be incentivised basis their emission calculations.
A centralized body overseeing innovations in the construction industry can have a transformative impact by promoting decarbonization and sustainability. Through effective communication and education campaigns using various channels, such as traditional and social media, workshops, and public events, the body can raise awareness and change perceptions among stakeholders. It can serve as a hub for knowledge sharing, curating educational materials, research reports, and guidelines that provide practical information for embracing sustainability.
Challenges and solutions
Transitioning to low-carbon construction methods comes with its own set of challenges, however, we feel investments in these methods pay off in the long run through reduced operational costs and increased environmental benefits.
At Patel Engineering, we have already implemented certain measures like drawing power directly from the grid (wherever the situation permits), thereby reducing use of diesel generator sets and reducing our diesel consumption. This helps us use clean energy to a larger extent.
Another technological advancement carried out at one of our large project sites was implementation of the Tower Belt System, which is a conveyor belt concreting system. The conveyor belt which works on electric power helps transport aggregate from the crushing plant to the batching plant, which is generally transported via dumpers covering a distance of around 1.5 - 2 kms, and further transporting concrete on the conveyor belt from the batching plant to the dam, which is generally done via transit mixers or dumpers. This helps us in reducing diesel consumption.
To effectively convert waste into valuable resources, several practices and technologies can be adopted by the construction industry. At Patel Engineering, we are focusing on re-using materials for minimal wastage. Additionally, all waste generated at our project sites including electronic waste are disposed of through authorized organisations, that dispose it off safely and effectively, eliminating waste and environmental hazards. For organic waste, we create compost by flattening the muck disposal area.
Actions of a responsible company
As a responsible infrastructure and construction company, Patel Engineering recognizes the importance of contributing to India’s climate change action strategy and achieving the goal of net-zero emissions by 2070. We have been one of the significant players in the hydropower generation sector, contributing to construction of over 12,000 MW of hydropower generation plants in India. A Hydropower facility has a smaller carbon footprint and the company’s focus remains on hydropower evident from the order book where approximately 60% comprises of construction of hydropower projects. It is a renewable source of energy with no consumables involved. There is very little recurring cost and hence no high long-term expenditure.