Vadodara campus in harmony with nature

2009-11-16 - ABB’s largest manufacturing facility in India is a sprawling 85-acre campus on the outskirts of the city of Vadodara. Despite the size and importance of this industrial center, three quarters of the site is parkland, home to a flourishing population of plants and animals.

By ABB Communications

Vadodara supplies domestic and overseas markets with a variety of power and automation equipment. Established in 1965, it is one of ABB’s oldest manufacturing sites in India. The facilities are world class, and here some of the company’s largest products are built and tested.

The site produces a range of power equipment including switchgear, transformers and relays, and high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter transformers. It also produces turbochargers, high-voltage motors and wind turbine generators.

One of ABB’s key aims is to increase industrial productivity for its customers, while lowering the environmental impact of their operations. Businesses can reduce cost and environmental impact by using power and raw materials more efficiently, and ABB strives for the same results in its own operations. The Vadodara campus aptly demonstrates it is still possible to balance the needs of industry and the needs of nature.

Although home to 16 factories, six large office buildings as well as two canteens, guest houses, hostels for management trainees, an R&D center and test facility for large transformers, ABB still uses just 25-percent of the campus.

Productive Green campus
The remainder has been given over to parkland, irrigated with locally recycled water and rain water collected on site. A series of green belts have also been developed in and around the campus.

Ground water is replenished using a series of inter-connected wells and water tanks, and an in-house vermiculture plant provides natural fertilizer for the gardens, avoiding the need for chemical fertilizers.
At Vadodara ABB is also currently building a new traction transformer factory aimed at the rail market, and a factory to manufacture wind generators.

To monitor the site and plan for future developments, the company carried out a unique bio-diversity study in collaboration with the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara as part of ABB’s industry-academia partnership. Teams from the university’s zoology and botany departments worked alongside ABB’s sustainability affairs team during the 24-month survey.

The study found more than 120 species of insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals living on the campus, including mammals like the black-naped hare, the Indian flying fox – a fruit bat with a wing span of more than a meter – and the common langur, a species of native monkey.

Birds include the pied kingfisher, the hoopoe and the golden-backed woodpecker. Perhaps the most spectacular are the cattle egrets, a large migratory species which nests on the campus in large numbers between May and September. They particularly enjoy the four large Mimusop trees, just opposite the main office building – over 100 nests were counted in each tree during the nesting season.

ABB also works hard to minimize the environmental impact of its products, systems and services, wherever they are manufactured or used, at every stage of their lives.

ABB’s Life cycle assessment process documents the environmental impact of its products, from the materials used to manufacture them to their efficiency during use, to the way they are disposed of or recycled at then end of their operational lives. ABB has obtained independently verified environmental product declarations (EPD) for all its main product lines.

Conserving resources and enhancing efficiency not only reduce environmental impact, but can also boost productivity and raise profitability.

Vadodara is the largest ABB manufacturing facility in India. Three quarters of the 85-acre campus is parkland, home to a flourishing population of plants and animals. Above is the main office.

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