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Home / GRI Standards / Case study: How Ashok Leyland reduces its energy consumption

Case study: How Ashok Leyland reduces its energy consumption

As India’s leading player in the automotive industry and one of the country’s most esteemed business groups, offering a wide range of products to meet customers’ requirements and preferences, including buses, trucks and defence mobility solutions, Ashok Leyland constantly works to reduce its energy needs and improve energy efficiency.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2016-17 Sustainability Report by Ashok Leyland published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Abstract

Ashok Leyland seeks to use its cutting-edge technology to manage its energy needs sustainably and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, also helping customers do the same. In order to reduce its energy consumption Ashok Leyland took action to:

  • use natural gas instead of propane
  • invest in renewable energy sources
  • use energy efficient pumps
  • conserve energy through Variable Frequency Drives
  • optimise power consumption through pyro blocks

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016-17 Sustainability Report Ashok Leyland identified a range of material issues, such as business growth and profitability, regulatory compliance, customer satisfaction, product safety and quality, waste management, occupational health and safety. Among these, reducing its energy consumption stands out as a key material issue for Ashok Leyland.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Ashok Leyland engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employees

 

·      Monthly and quarterly meet

·      Personal review and visits

·      Surveys

·      Training

·      Annual day

·      Events

Suppliers

 

·      Suppliers meet

·      Tech days

·      Mutual visits

·      Monthly meetings with leadership

·      Events

Dealers

 

·      Events

·      Dealer panel engagement

Customers (Institutional and Retail) ·      Events

·      Survey

·      Ashok Leyland initiatives

Government and Regulatory authorities ·      One to one meetings

·      Events and conferences

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics, Ashok Leyland engaged with its stakeholders through questionnaires and interactions.

What actions were taken by Ashok Leyland to reduce its energy consumption?

In its 2016-17 Sustainability Report Ashok Leyland reports that it took the following actions for reducing its energy consumption:

  • Using natural gas instead of propane
  • In Ashok Leyland’s Pantnagar plant, propane was used for heating application in the paint process. With the arrival of the GAIL pipeline at the Pantnagar industrial area, Ashok Leyland switched from using propane to Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG). Natural gas is safer, much lighter and rapidly dissipates into the air when released. In addition, Ashok Leyland achieved savings in diesel consumption during transportation, as natural gas is transported through a pipeline, and also saved 1 lakh kWh during the winter season, as vaporiser is not required for natural gas. Until March 2017, Ashok Leyland had saved 105 tCO2e.
  • Investing in renewable energy sources
  • Ashok Leyland seeks to increase its share of renewable energy sources in its overall energy mix and sources wind power from external source at its Hosur, Bhandara and Ennore plants and VVC centre. Additionally, Ashok Leyland commissioned roof top solar plants at various units, amounting to a total of 5 MW, and installed the same at the Hosur 1 & 2, Bhandara and Ennore units. These installations will annually generate 15 lakh units, resulting in a reduction of 1,230 tCO2e. In FY 2016-17, Ashok Leyland utilised 150,499 GJ of energy from renewable sources – 17 per cent of the overall energy consumption.
  • Using energy efficient pumps
  • Ashok Leyland replaced conventional electric heaters used to heat flood washing machines – which consumed 48 kW per machine – with air source heat pumps. These energy efficient pumps absorb heat from one part and release it in another, instead of converting it from a fuel like a conventional heater, reducing, accordingly, energy consumption and the carbon footprint. Ashok Leyland achieved a saving of 5 units per engine, resulting in an overall saving of 38 kW per machine.
  • Conserving energy through Variable Frequency Drives
  • The paint booth in the Vehicle Test Shop in Hosur 2 consists of a 75 kW supply blower and 4 nos. of 22 kW exhaust motors, which run continuously to maintain air balancing inside the booth, resulting in high energy consumption. To reduce energy use, Ashok Leyland introduced VFD (Variable Frequency Drives) panel and booth balancing, conserving 1,12,700 kWh of energy every year.
  • Optimising power consumption through pyro blocks
  • Ashok Leyland replaced fire clay bricks in heat treatment furnaces with high density monolithic CF blocks (pyro blocks), which have excellent heat reflection properties. This has reduced heat loss and helped Ashok Leyland save power, achieving an annual saving of 58,000 kWh.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization

2) Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption

 

Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization corresponds to:

Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption corresponds to:

 

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SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Ashok Leyland, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Ashok Leyland: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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