The National Productivity Council (NPC), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is organizing “National Productivity Week” from 12th to 18th February, 2011 and the theme for the event was “Green Productivity for Sustainable Energy and Environment”. Productivity and competitiveness are the two faces of a same coin; competitiveness of a nation is linked to the productivity growth and ability of a nation to improve its competitiveness is measured by its environmental performance in addition to more traditional economic criteria. This makes the concept of Green Productivity (GP) a simple but elegant solution – to make environmental protection a core business principle instead of an isolated cost element.
GP, as a principle and strategy, has gained wider understanding, stronger support and eventually being applied for enhancing productivity and environmental performance for sustainable socio-economic development. Industrial revolution and globalization was seen as a boon for the mankind but this development came with its own costs, in terms of consumption of huge amount of energy, major part of which was achieved by burning of coal and oil. Exploitation of these non- renewable energy sources on one hand resulted in depleting the natural energy reservoirs while on other hand, due to excessive and imbalanced use, it made the world face one of the toughest challenges, Global Warming. Rise in sea levels, fluctuations in the rain fall and frequent droughts are some of the impacts of the environmental damage.
The major factors influencing the intensity of environmental crisis are; the size of the population, the degree of affluence associated with increasing growth of economic activity and the tendency of productive technology to pollute. The air pollution and waste management are key environmental issues. The loss of critical habitat, ozone depletion and climate change are inimical to global environmental conditions. In addition, water pollution is regarded as the major ecological problem. GP is a new paradigm on the socio-economic development aimed at the pursuit of economic and productivity growth while protecting the environment. It is the combined application of appropriate productivity and environmental management tools, techniques and technologies that reduce the environmental impact of an organization’s activities, products and services while enhancing profitability and competitive advantage.
Traditional focus of the productivity was ensuring cost effectiveness through cost reduction, the quality drive and the customer satisfaction. Now, along with these, productivity improvement programs are also required to integrate Environment issues. By picking up the baton of quality, productivity has metamorphosed to incorporate environmental protection and community enhancement as a means to increase prosperity.