CII Godrej Green Business Centre (GBC) in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Government of Andhra Pradesh, Piroja Foundation of the House of Godrej, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), in a unique public-private partnership set up the Green Business Centre (GBC) in Hyderabad to promote green business concept in industry. Read further to know more about the various activities like recycling, conservation and resources of the Green Business Centre.

Green business simply means promoting sustained industrial growth in harmony with nature. It involves taking measures to protect the environment by reducing the levels of pollution, wastage of precious resources like water, and preventing an industry from tampering with the environs in which it is located, such as the topsoil and greenery.

From envy to energy, the color green has multiple connotations. Today, when global warming is an accepted fact, anything green is welcome especially by the industry - seen as the major culprit, rightly or wrongly.

What is the Green Business Center?

A one of its kind in India, the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre (CII Godrej GBC) offers advisory, training, and evaluation services on construction of green structures, facilitates capital support to businesspersons keen on promoting green concepts in their industries or products/ byproducts and campaigns for creating awareness on recycling, water management and climate change activities in India.

The best example of a green building is the (CII) Godrej GBC building in Hyderabad itself. It has received the Platinum, the highest rating from the US Green Building Councils Leadership in Energy and Environment (LEED), a system of rating based on parameters laid down by the US Green Building Council. This is the first building outside the US and third in the world to get such a rating.

The building has been rated on its water efficiency, sustainability of site, energy efficiency, efficient use of materials and resources, and quality of indoor environment. Through its building and campus, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Godrej GBC, Hyderabad is attempting to inspire industries to emulate similar models for an efficient work environment, bring in high savings, and lessen adverse impact on natural resources.

Green buildings in India built by GBC

The GBC has assisted construction of other green buildings in India like Wipro Technologies' Development Centre in Gurgaon and the NEC Micon building in Chennai. Institutions like ICICI Bank (Worli, Mumbai office) used their expertise in retrofitting their building, which resulted in annual savings of Rs 1 crore in the power bill.

The Green Business Centre was proposed during former US President, Bill Clinton's visit to Hyderabad in 2002. An MOU was signed between the US Green Building Council and CII with the active encouragement of the Department of Energy of the US government.

It was set up to promote the concept of green buildings in an industrially advancing country like India. The GBC not only preaches but also practices green business concepts. The GBC is in fact a huge learning experience. The 20,000 sq. ft. campus has a zero water discharge system. Its 'Root Zone Treatment System' involves growing plants, obtained from Australia with biological properties, to clean up the harmful constituents of water as in bathroom water and kitchen water, leading to increased oxygen content in the water, so that it can be reused for gardens and so on, waterless urinals, and recycling of water for irrigation has brought down potable water usage by about 35 per cent.

Water conservation program at the CII Godrej GBC, Hyderabad

gbc Rainwater harvesting and extensive carpet grassing, covering every inch of the ground and terraces have been undertaken to conserve water and prevent erosion of top soil apart from providing higher thermal insulation in the building as grass and soil present on terrace absorb the heat from the sun. The pedestrian areas and parking lot have been carpeted by pervious paving blocks that aid storm water seepage into the ground. The rock structures in and around the campus that mark Deccan landscape have been untouched, enhancing the natural setting of the campus.

The building uses natural lighting while maintaining pleasant temperature through air-conditioning inbuilt into the construction. Aerated concrete blocks have been used for facades, while imported double glazed glasses filled with Argon gas that stop substantial sunlight and heat from coming in have led to an overall 50 per cent saving in energy consumption for air conditioning and 80 per cent saving in lighting in comparison to a normal building. Besides, the CII Godrej GBC harvests solar energy to the tune of 20 per cent of its energy requirement.

Ninety percent of the building is naturally lit and artificial lighting is not required until about five p.m. In addition, the temperature of every single room, energy consumption, and water usage throughout the campus is monitored on real time basis by a manned state-of-the-art system. The GBC has largely employed recycled or recyclable materials and resources like Fly Ash based bricks, recycled wood, glass, furniture made of bagasse based composite wood, aluminium, and ceramic tiles in the construction of its buildings.

Recycling activity at the CII Godrej GBC, Hyderabad

More than 50 per cent of the construction waste generated at the site is recycled within the building or sent to other sites. Generally, the cost of using green materials puts off people from adopting them. But what they don't take into consideration is that the cost is generally recovered in two to three years on account of massive reductions in electricity bills, etc.

For example, the Fly Ash bricks could cost about 30 per cent more than the other traditional bricks; however, its insulation potential is 60 per cent to that of a normal brick, thereby directly resulting in a drastic reduction in power consumption, maintenance costs of electric fans, air coolers/conditioners, and so on.

Human resources of CII Godrej GBC, Hyderabad

The unmeasured benefits of green practices are to be found in the productivity of human resources. Companies, taking cognisance of this fact, are now more than willing to create a healthy atmosphere at the workplace by using soothing colours, a less cluttered look, windows that enable an outside view (75 per cent of GBC employees have access to an outside view) and so on.

And so the unique features of GBC like 'Wind Towers' that let in fresh and cool air into the building, while carbon dioxide levels inside the building are continuously monitored and regulated, creating a more healthy quality of life at the workplace. Add to this the use of low volatile organic compound carpets, paints, adhesives, and sealants and the employer would have ensured a no-adverse-effect on the employees.

The CII Godrej GBC, being a not for-profit organization, charges nominally for consultation services, enough to sustain its human resource and other inevitable costs. It has proved that industrial progress need not be at the cost of sustainable development.

Green indeed is the colour of good business.


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