The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on Saturday introduced a new categorisation of industries on the basis of their pollution load, with a dedicated section for non-polluting industries called "white industries". The Times of India reported that such industries will not require environmental clearance for their operations. The move is meant to sync environmental goals with the Centre's agenda of improving 'ease of doing business' by cutting red tape.

According to the new guidelines, 36 types of non-polluting industries, including bio-fertiliser, bio-pesticide, organic manure, wind power and mini hydel of less than 25 MW of capacity, will fall under the white category. While doing the re-categorisation, the Central Pollution Board has retained the previous categories – red, orange and green – of industries, besides adding a new class on the basis of pollution index criteria and generation of emission, effluent and hazardous waste, among others parameters.

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "Re-categorization of industries based on their pollution load is a scientific exercise. The old system of categorization was creating problems for many industries and was not reflecting the pollution of the industries. The new categories will remove this lacuna and will give clear picture to everyone."