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Indian Navy Accelerates Green Initiatives for Sustainable Future

New Delhi: Demonstrating its commitment to environmental sustainability, the Indian Navy has adopted a range of green initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and promoting renewable energy. These efforts are part of the Navy’s broader strategy to align with India’s low-carbon energy policies and contribute to a ‘Cleaner and Greener’ environment.

In line with the 2024 World Environment Day theme, which focuses on tackling global issues such as land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience, the Navy has extended these efforts into the maritime domain. This includes extensive tree plantation drives, mangrove preservation under the 2023 MISHTI Programme, reduction of carbon footprints, and the retrieval of plastic waste from coastal areas.

The Indian Navy has partnered with various organizations to bolster its environmental initiatives. An MoU was signed with the HCL Foundation and The Habitats Trust in March 2023 to rejuvenate coastal ecosystems and conserve endangered marine species. Collaborative efforts have led to several significant projects, including:

  • Biodiversity surveys in Karwar.
  • Creation of a biodiversity park and trails in ecologically sensitive areas.
  • Ecological restoration and terrain mapping of Anjediva Island.
  • Coral restoration plans at Lakshadweep and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands in collaboration with the Research & Environmental Education Foundation (REEF).
  • A proposal to install floating trash barriers in Visakhapatnam and Kochi with M/s Alpha MERS.
  • Preliminary biodiversity surveys at INS Chilka.

The Indian Navy has prioritized adopting greener practices both at the organizational and individual levels, aligned with the Government of India’s Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) initiative. Measures include:

  • Energy savings through occupancy sensors and automatic controllers.
  • Augmentation of solar energy projects.
  • Emphasis on e-vehicles and observing no-vehicle days within naval establishments.
  • Water conservation measures and adherence to GRIHA III norms for new buildings.

Additionally, a nationwide campaign under the Puneet Sagar Abhiyaan program has been launched, focusing on cleaning sea shores and increasing awareness about the importance of keeping them clean. Local naval units dedicate one day each month to coastal cleanup activities, collaborating with municipal bodies, NGOs, NHAI, and Regional Directors of NCC for responsible waste disposal and recycling.

As part of its green initiatives, the Navy has installed an indigenous retrofit device developed by M/s Chakr Innovations to reduce diesel engine emissions on shore-based diesel generators. Hydrogen aspiration technology is also being trialed onboard ships and shore establishments through firms iHATs and AHODs, showing promising results in reducing carbon emissions. Future plans include the induction of hydrogen ferry crafts as a step towards harnessing environmentally clean technology.

In alignment with the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), the Navy has made extensive efforts to enhance the use of solar energy, installing solar-powered appliances such as water heaters, street lighting, and cookers across its establishments.

Community participation has been crucial to the success of the Navy’s green initiatives. The Naval community has actively engaged in mass Shramdan, coastal cleanup drives, tree plantation drives, and walkathons to foster a sense of responsibility towards the environment. The Navy is also working with firms to undertake ocean cleanup activities, focusing on innovative methods to remove plastic waste from seawater.

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