The Indian Chemical Industry, with highly diversified chemicals, is currently worth $147 billion. Contributing to 15% of India’s manufacturing GDP, the industry is critical to the country’s economic development and has a potential to grow to $226 billion by 2020. Presently, the Indian Chemical Industry is accounted for 3% of global chemical market and 6th largest by value in the world. The specialty chemicals sector in India, driving a double-digit growth in the last five years, is one of the next mega-trends for global investors in the coming years. Being an inherent part of sectors such as automobile, pharmaceuticals, textiles and manufacturing, the Chemical Industry is adapting sustainable practices to meet international quality standards as well as support related sectors to innovate and grow accordingly.

With initiatives like “Make in India”, reforming labour laws, easing the land acquisition rules and GST, India is at the brink of becoming a manufacturing hub for the world. Globalization has led supply chains for the businesses more complex; therefore the joint initiative of ‘Together for Sustainability’ (TfS) by global chemical companies has been introduced to encourage Indian chemical manufacturers and suppliers to implement sustainability practices in their management and manufacturing systems. The aim of this initiative is to establish benchmarks that will create a sustainable supply chain. The member companies of TfS, have assigned their resources into building up a worldwide program to audit and evaluate suppliers under pre-defined criteria regarding management, environment, health and safety, labour and human rights, and governance issues.

India being a diverse manufacturing base for Chemical Industry, has immense potential to become a global supplier. Therefore, a sustainable supply chain for the sector has become vital. After the launch for TfS, many Indian companies, doing business globally, have shown interest to join it. Around 28 Indian suppliers have already been audited under TfS scheme. Vinati Organics Ltd (VOL), a specialty chemicals producer with branches in more than 22 nations, is one of the most noteworthy appraised providers for TfS. This has helped the organization to tremendously improve its exports to become a supplier to the world’s top chemical companies. The German chemical giant in India, BASF, realising the importance of sustainability,is all set to turn all its manufacturing units efficient by 2020.

Cleaner manufacturing process is a pre-requisite to battle ecological complexity. Indian manufacturers have started investing in R&D and implementing green methods to produce non-toxic chemicals. The textile chemical producers have likewise understood the significance of moving towards biodegradable options and have started to put resources into the advancement of bio-auxiliaries and applications of probiotics to produce alternative biochemicals. It is observed among the industry that the companies that invested in Zero Liquid Discharge before it was made compulsory. These have gained huge returns in terms of quality and cost compared to those that did not act on time.

The Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) is a planned investment region spread across 250 square kilometres for the production of petroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals for domestic and export purpose. The Indian Government already drafted policies respectively in order to build PCPIRs in the country. The Government also initiated the central scheme for setting-up ‘Centres of Excellence’ for research in the petrochemical industry, focused on green and sustainable technologies to reduce the hazardous impact of chemicals on the environment. Implementation of the GST law will also provide an immense benefit to the Chemical Industry by reducing the transaction cost and avoiding cascading effects on taxes.

The diversification within the Indian Chemical Industry is large and covers more than 8,000 commercial products. Support from the Government and initiatives by the industry are leading India to be the next big manufacturing destination and global supplier of chemical of international sustainable quality.

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