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Uniform policy outlook and lower operating costs key for ZLD uptake in Indian Industry

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Sustainability Outlook recently released a market brief on Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) and its outlook for Indian Industry which maps the current policy scenario for ZLD in India, details the value chain associated with ZLD system and assesses the key drivers and challenges for implementation of ZLD in different industry segments, primarily focusing on Textiles, Paper& Pulp and Pharmaceuticals sectors.

The market brief, ‘Zero Liquid Discharge: Outlook for Indian Industry’ was released at the Annual Summit of the Sustainable Business Leadership Forum (SBLF) on October 15th in New Delhi during the session focused on re-interpreting Water Risk for the Indian Industry and turning water scarcity into competitive advantage which saw participation from key experts from industry and policy including Dinesh Yadav, Director, Arvind Envirosol; Dr. M. Madhusudan, Scientist, CPCB;V.D Babu, Sr. Sales Leader – South Asia, GE Power & Water; Basab Ghosh, Head EHS, ITC PSPD, Palanivel Rajan, CEO, Asian Fab; Sandeep Patel, Head Environment, Arvind Ltd.

Government regulation is identified as a key driver for the adoption of ZLD technology with the recent notification by Central Pollution Control Board making ZLD mandatory in  9 states in the Ganga Basin for four industrial sectors - Textile (wet processing), Tanneries, Distilleries and Pulp & Paper (Zero Effluent Discharge mandate). Depending on the geographical location and type of the industry, scarcity of resources, primarily water is also driving the adoption of zero liquid discharge systems.  

High initial capital expenditure and even higher operating expenditure is the primary challenge perceived by industries for implementation of Zero Liquid Discharge. Apart from this, management of toxic waste at the end of the treatment process, space requirement and impact on the cost of final product are also recognized as impediments by the industry.

This market brief by Sustainability Outlook also includes detailed sector specific assessment of the applicability of ZLD as well as its’ impact on the end product in each of the focus sectors. The brief reveals that ZLD mainly impacts a part of the textile value-chain which is focused on dyeing and coloring in the textile value chain thereby increasing their cost by 6-10% and having minimal impact on the end product. However, the same is not the case in pulp and paper sector where ZLD increases the cost of production by more than 33%. While in pharmaceutical industry the impact of the cost of ZLD on the final product is not a major concern but the high product standards are limiting the industry to only partial ZLD.

Based on the findings in this market brief a detailed study on the Zero Liquid Discharge which presents the state of the sector is being conducted by Sustainability Outlook which will be released in Q1 2016. The study will detail out the market opportunity and also determine the pathways to realize the resource recovery potential and present a business case for Zero Liquid Discharge.  The market brief on Zero Liquid Discharge and its Outlook for Indian Industry available at


Media Contact

Gaurav Gawde


Author: sustainabilityoutlook
Industry Term: Zero Liquid Discharge