In a bid to fulfil its commitment to go carbon neutral by 2040, Volvo Group India on Thursday kick-started sourcing of green castings from the Chennai-headquartered Brakes India. These castings will go into building engines that will haul commercial vehicles in different parts of the world.
It took six months for Volvo and Brakes India to jointly work on this project, culminating in the event where the first bearing housing made of green casting was handed over to Volvo.
Till now, about 2.5 tonne of CO2 emissions was let into the atmosphere by Brakes India to make one tonne good castings, which eventually transformed into bearing housings. In a couple of days, the story will be different as there will be zero emissions from this manufacturing line. According to the casting maker, the entire process is made green, and even the sand used to make moulds is recycled up to 97%, with the rest deployed to make bricks for constructing buildings. The parts maker pledged that it will supply all parts for Volvo using green castings by 2024. This is a significant step as India is a crucial source for the group’s global casting requirements.
According to Volvo, the green castings from India will include bearing caps and bearing housing for select Volvo engines, translating into 8,500 tonne of CO2 reduction for the company. When fully adopted, the potential reduction in CO2 per year due to green casting would amount to 0.86 million tonne for the company and 210 million tonne for the industry.
The green castings produced by Brakes India are certified by CII- Green Products & Services Council as the company utilises steel scrap, alloys and raw materials that are fully radioactive elements free. Furthermore, the plant operates on 100% green power from solar and wind. Moreover, it has eliminated the use of diesel by using Electric Ladle Preheater, a solution developed with AFECO India.
On how the group is able to convince suppliers to get into green manufacturing, Marc Delobelle, Head, Fossil-free Materials Purchasing, Volvo Group, told Mobility Outlook that the initiative taken today would ensure its existence tomorrow. It is a long journey as the group aims to achieve zero emissions by 2040. Besides, “we lead by example; we transform ourselves and inspire our suppliers,” he said. In addition, the company is also involved in making the entire supply chain, including the raw material suppliers, get involved in this mission. “Brakes India is the first castings supplier of Volvo globally to commence supply of green castings,” he said.
Asked how Volvo will benefit from sourcing green castings from Brakes India, Kamal Bali, President and MD, Volvo India, said it will help the group achieve net zero emissions by 2040. About 150 parts sourced will be manufactured through green technologies. “India is a home base for the group and we not only ‘Make In India’ but also design, process, sell and source from India to the world.” He further said that the future is an era for collaboration as it will only help companies achieve their green objectives. Collaborating with Brakes India for developing green castings is a major step, he added.
Sriram Viji, Managing Director, Brakes India, said, “At Brakes India, it has been our vision since inception in 1962 to maintain our facilities as green as they can be with Zero Tree Cutting policy and Rainwater Harvesting systems at the core. We trickled sustainability deeper into our practices over two decades ago with the purchase of green power well ahead of time. From then until now, sustainability has only been an upward moving graph for us across the Brakes India locations and to achieve this we are heavily focused on GHG emission reduction, material conservation, waste management and adoption of a green supply chain.”
Suryaprakash Rao, Executive Director, Foundry Division, Brakes India, said, “What’s amazing is that alongside the Volvo Group, many of our OEM clients have expressed interests in exploring the green roadmap with Brakes India. We have begun chalking out the plans and you’ll hear about it very soon,” he added.
“Our international relations are good and this has created a lot of optimism about getting a bigger share of the global business. We are working on becoming a major player over the next five years both on the domestic and international fronts,” added Sriram.