Malankara Rubber Factory nestled in the serene natural settings, encompassed by green canopies of lush green Rubber trees, makes it a healthy place to work in. Located at Thodupuzha in the Idukki district of Kerala, the factory processes rubber latex collected from its own plantation using heavy machineries consuming lots of energy and water. We are here to conduct an eco foot print audit of this factory to ascertain the nature impact analysis of its functioning.
The factory exterior and surroundings look clean and adequately branded for sensitizing on the importance of keeping Nature intact. There are Honey Bee hives in the premises. Honey bees are very sensitive to atmospheric pollution. They won’t survive if the factory pollutes the air in any way. They prove the emission level of the factory naturally. The cleanliness continues inside to the factory too. There is no piled up wastes or any ugly, protruding, used materials stacked. Adequately branded waste bins of different colours are seen.
Field Latex is centrifuged and mixed with anhydrous ammonia, and sold. Field latex is mixed in fractional tanks with water then crushed and taken to an electrical dryer for obtaining dry rubber, then packed and marketed. Field coagulum is also converted to crumb rubber using a slightly different method. Both the products do have their own uses in the market. All these processes need a lot of water, electrical energy, heat energy etc. The procedures ensure that there is no idle running of machines and are specific on switching of electrical lights and other equipment when not in use. Maintenance and lubrication of machines are done every week without fail. Machines are always kept clean after each shift. Water usage is much high in the whole process, like wetting coagulum, adding additives, obtaining adequate DRC, cleaning barrels, tanks, floors, drainages etc. The utilized water has hazardous chemicals in a large quantity which is effectively removed recycled and reused. The contaminated water is transported to the Effluent Treatment Plant using adequate water proof drainage system. As the draining happens on gravitational flow, no energy is required.
The effluent process: Drain water is first collected in an equalization tank to correct the ph value and transferred to a lime settling plant, From there the required biological oxygen for reinstating life to the water is done using the aeration tanks. The bacteria medium present will then eat away the dirt and the aerated water is drained to secondary settling plants where the sludge gets settled and drained to the filter bed. The filtered water is now totally clear and does have all the qualities of clean water and has fresh water fishes. The fishes won’t survive even a minimum level of contamination.
Emission of vehicles during transportation is clearly monitored. Vehicles are serviced periodically and kept clean and lubricated. Optimum load is ensured in all transportations. The effluent treatment plant has the capacity for recycling about 45,000 liters of water per day. The filtered chemicals and sediments from the effluent plant are dried stacked and reused. For sensitizing the staff and community the factory conducts training sessions every Monday on operational procedures, nature impact reduction, quality policy and all other administrative standards.
Adequate branding with respect to nature conservation, safety and operational procedures are displayed along the premises. Environment and Safety committees are formed separately, which have a sitting every two months.
The public are permitted to visit the factory and its functioning for making them understand how the factory cares for Nature and its resources in which they are living in and to educate them on how to preserve Nature for the next generation. Schools in and around the area are regularly visiting the factory for educating the students on Nature friendly work culture. Satisfaction of the employees is fully assured as they feel the factory is not polluting the atmosphere where they live in and their health and hygiene are not affected by its functioning. The factory tries to incorporate the responsible suggestions of the employees as well as the visitors.
For the society the management had extended their support beyond the factory limits by cleaning the PWD roads, planting flowering and shading trees, maintaining electric posts and bulbs. They have even provided plantation land to clear accidental curves on the road for smooth driving and a bridge across the river for easier transportation for the community, land for constructing an engineering college, IHRD School, Government polytechnic, stadium, industrial area, judicial complex, and catchment area for the dam. All together about 650 – 700 acres of land have been acquired by the State Government from the Plantation till date with the result that tremendous improvements have come up in and around the area.
Malankara Rubber Factory has received many recognitions and awards for its excellence in service.
- Above all Voice Green recognizes Malankara Rubber Factory for its consideration to reduce nature impact. Its functioning is exemplary. It also educates the community on the virtues of preserving Nature and its resources. Even though a commercial organization, the high value it had maintained for the well being of the community around it and sustaining Nature and its resources had thoroughly impressed the Voice Green team which had visited the factory.
- Usage of water for the production process is the biggest environment impact of this factory. Voice Green highly appreciates the initiatives taken to recycle and reuse the water and the segregation of hazardous chemicals for reuse. Along with it the energy conservation initiatives and social commitment extended by the Malankara Rubber Plantation make it a nature friendly as well as a community friendly organization.