Employee Q&A: Reducing Our Footprint in India

Dhananjay Tapasvi, General Manager - India
Jun 17, 2024 2:10 PM ET
Dhananjay Tapasvi

Our people making a difference is a series featured throughout Owens Corning’s 2023 Sustainability Report.

In the six years he has served the General Manager for our operations in India, Dhananjay Tapasvi has seen a great deal of change within our businesses. He has developed a keen understanding of our businesses and their potential impacts and the steps needed to mitigate those impacts. As he sees the connections between the expansion of our business and the potential increases in our footprint, Dhananjay is working to ensure that there is a concerted effort across our entire value chain to reduce our impacts throughout the region.

On collaborating across our value chain to reduce our footprint 

To be responsible citizens, we have to make sure that the value chain that delivers our energy and raw materials is also looking after the planet in the way that we would do. I see us trying to help the entire value chain, with transportation up and down the value chain, their processes, and their practices, including their labor commitments to following rule of law, making sure they’re not big emitters and being as efficient as possible.

On the urgency of acting to reduce our footprint 

With rising costs and supply risks associated with energy and transportation, the need to evaluate alternatives is critical. So, for example, we’re considering use of solar energy for a part of our energy requirements for the furnaces. Similarly, in terms of transportation, we are looking at optimizing how much we put in containers and how we transport materials so that the energy footprint of the transport intensity per kilogram of product moved is reduced. We can’t make it zero, because we’ve got to transport the stuff, but we need to reduce it to the extent that we can.

We’ve also taken a conscious view to be in multiple locations closer to our customers, so we don’t transport as much around the world. We are using local raw materials in India and in other regions, reducing the distance needed to supply these materials. I think that makes us somewhat unique, as it makes for a more sustainable overall footprint.

On the dedication to sustainability specific to Owens Corning in India 

We live in an environment in India where people tend to reuse, recycle, and minimize consumption as a matter of need and therefore habit. So we see the need for sustainability around us, and our teams support several programs for the progress of communities in our neighborhood. To be able to give back to those communities that give us the ability to operate is an important part of our definition of sustainability. I think I am very lucky that the teams in India are naturally looking for things to do in terms of having a positive impact. I think it’s good Owens Corning gives them the ability to do something in an organized fashion with some support of structure, funds, and time.