The corporate world has a major role to play to promote the use of recycled paper in order to contribute to environmental sustainability in a meaningful way. Given the context and credibility of recycling waste paper, Airports Authority of India (AAI) became a leader within the corporate world to integrate and scale up usage of recycled paper within the corporate functioning in a sustainable manner.
Earlier, the large amount of paper waste generated from AAI offices and air traffic control towers were being dumped, burnt or sold. Recognising the potential of recycling this paper waste in the context of environmental sustainability, AAI optimised efforts on research & development and started a paper recycling and stationery unit in Delhi in 2009 to promote the use of recycled paper as a pan organisational practice and as part of day-to-day business operations. Archna Agrawal, President, Kalyanmayee, pioneered the inception of the project and significantly contributed in the establishment of the paper recycling unit in New Delhi. The unit is a one of its kind model in India encouraging the use of recycled paper, saving energy, saving water, saving cost, creating jobs and reducing negative impact on the environment.
AAI also became the first public sector undertaking in India to establish this paper recycling unit to support the cause of G.R.O.W. (Government Recycled Office Waste). The paper recycling unit converts paper waste from AAI offices across the country, into useful paper stationery products like file covers, file folders, visiting cards, envelopes, letter heads, corporate gifts, calendars and several other paper products. The paper recycle unit significantly caters the paper stationery needs of 125 AAI offices situated across the country. The usage of recycled paper in form of official paper products by nearly 18,000 employees in AAI is proved to be unique move which is in true sense integrated within the corporate culture.
The unit works on the grounds of viable waste-to-energy systems. Key features of the paper recycling unit are: energy conservation, conversion of waste into wealth by re-crafting/recycling, pollution free and eco-friendly finished products (the recycled paper are chlorine free, no de-inking, no colour) and countless personalised varieties for corporate stationery.
The manufacturing process involves collection of paper waste from AAI offices and other institutions. First steps involves tearing, shredding and chopping of waste, which is then fed into a beater (pulping machine) for pulping and treatment of the pulp as per paper to be produced.The beater comprises of a milled steel trough and a beater roll, which is fitted with sharp stationery blades. The pulp is then transfers into cylinder mould machine, and the formed sheets are dried in the open area. The cleaned sheets are the placed between two sheets of GI and made to pass through calendaring rolls, a process in which the sheets are polished and smoothened. The polished sheets are then cut into required size with the help of cutting machine. Finally; products are to be crafted as per design requirements, and market need.
The initiative was also awarded the "Golden Peacock Eco-Innovation Award" for the year 2012, "Time of India-Telfas-Frame CSR Award for the year 2012" and "3rd Asia's Best CSR Practice Award for the year 2013" for developing sustainable strategies and integrating use of eco-friendly handcrafted recycled paper products within the organisation.
3rd Asia's Best CSR The honour comes as the crowning glory of AAI's achievement and was perhaps spearheaded by the Chairman's philosophy, which is "giving back to the community where we live and work."