Sustainable Business Practices

Material conservation has direct impact on both economic and environmental performance. Manufacturing organizations practice the approach of optimizing and, reducing the input resource to product, without impacting the quality of product. E.g. the amount of steel going to automotive product, the amount of consumable oils, paints, rubber and plastic parts, etc.

ISO 14001, standard defines ‘Prevention of Pollution’ as use of processes, practices, techniques, materials, products, services or energy to avoid, reduce or control the creation, emission or discharge of any type of pollutant or waste, in order to reduce adverse environmental impacts. Prevention of pollution can include source reduction or elimination, process, product or service changes, efficient use of resources, material and energy substitution, reuse, recovery, recycling, reclamation and treatment. Less dependency on virgin resource and generation of waste are also the requirements of circular economy.

For example, in making an automobile vehicle, the amount of Engine oil, and Transmission oil required is known through its sump capacity. For producing the required number of vehicles, the amount of oil to be ideally consumed is thus known. This is now compared with the actual amount of oil issued from stores. This data is accurately maintained in ERP and SAP data. This identifies the difference in the quantity required for production V/s. actual issued from stores. As per the Law of Conservation of mass, mass can neither be created nor destroyed, but it may be rearranged in space, or the entities associated with it.

On finding out the amount of oil issued from stores, if it is more than the required quantity then there is possibility of losses in manufacturing which can happen due to loosen hose joints, oil sumps/tanks nut loose, rupture of hose etc. The release of oil to environment leads to situation where more oil than the required is issued from stores. The spilled oil goes to Environment, i.e Land, by way of spillage, it reaches to water bodies, causes land contamination, water pollution and is a waste of resource. This directly impacts both environment and economic performance.


The Mass Balance thus helps to meet the objective of resource conservation through identifying, capturing, monitoring and reviewing the unidentified losses and is a measure of sustainable performance. Generation of less waste and pollution also contributes to circular economy.

 By Dheeraj Verma, EHS & Sustainability Professional 

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Latest Comments

Mohsin Rashid says:

Sustainable agriculture is intended to use the resources judicially so as to conserve them for future and meet the requirements of present as well.

Vaidehi Bhatt says:

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In a more general scientific sense, sustainability is equivalent to continuum, or the ability to continue a course without termination. Therefore, sustainability is compatible with the existence of the universe, and it is the ability to maintain a definite stable outcome. The evolution to a sustainable state is predictable. Sustainability refers to processes, objects, or matter. Sustainability is incompatible with monotonous increase or decrease of amounts of matter. Sustainability exists between the competing forces of increases and decreases. The monotonous increase of the amount of one matter leads to the exhaustion of the limited surroundings containing the matter, or the depletion of the source that provides the increase of the matter; while a monotonous decrease of the amount of a matter leads to the eventual exhaustion of the matter. In bioprocesses, sustainability is compatible with steady state.

Leena Korram says:

Sustainability meets the needs of the present ,without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Amritabha Datta says:

Sustainability for me means use for prosperity use for posterity .

Munmi Das says:

Sustainability gives us a better present and an amazing future without comprising our needs by utilising the natural resources effectively and efficiently.

Aneeshka Anand says:

Unidentified losses are among the most ignored losses. Techniques such as mass balance will undoubtedly prove to be an efficient tool to keep track of resource wastage and scope of their prevention. This would help us achieve environmental goals such as sustainability.