About Featherlite: Incorporated in 1965 Featherlite is one of the leading furniture manufacturing organisation in India today, providing complete office furniture solutions for all segments of market through its strong base of direct and franchisee offices present across 54 locations in India. Featherlite core expertise lies in manufacturing and marketing extremely innovative and cost effective customised office furniture such as modular work stations, chairs, partitions, desks conference tables educational, laboratory, retail furniture and fixtures. The company manufactures more than 30,000 chairs and 8000 workstations in a month. Operating from factory space spanning more than 3 lakh sq. feet, the company has over 10,000 esteemed customers pan India including giants like Cognizant, Mercedes, Hindustan Unilever, Caterpillar etc. (Source: http://www.featherlitefurniture.com/company-profile)
The SIIP Team visited Featherlite’s factory at Mysore Road, Bangalore to study the waste management practices in furniture industry. The company has achieved zero discharge and 100% recycling of its solid waste materials. When designing a plan, they give importance to reducing the waste at source itself. The major types of waste are as below:
1. Saw dust: Cyclonic separators are installed at multiple places to vacuum out any saw dust being generated. It is later collected at a common place and sold for making incense sticks.
2. Metal Scrap: Any metal scrap generated is sold to recyclers.
3. Wooden Scarp: Small pieces of wooden pieces are sold to small furniture makers or for making photo frames.
4. Fabric Scarp: It is sold to Army’s wife association to make carry bags.
5. Other wooden waste: Very small wood/fabric particles is gasified to generate electricity and heat. The waste heat is used to dry panel boards or any other unit operations requiring heat treatment.
6. Waste Water: Any effluent generated is treated and used for gardening purposes.
Featherlite also boasts of it’s clean energy initiatives and have installed solar panels which covers a rooftop of 70,000 sq.ft. A total number of 3,000 solar panels have been installed each generating 320Wp of power per day.
About the Author: Shubham Singh is presently working as the BIRAC Social Innovator at Venture Center, Pune.