India's second largest software giant, Infosys Ltd., dreams about and works towards a 'Sustainable Tomorrow', as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. The company has always been in the forefront when it comes to CSR.
Be it Murthy or Kris Gopalakrishanan, every top executive has given high priority to CSR and have always encouraged their employees to be a part of its social initiatives.
The company strongly believes a sustainable approach to business and its growth is inextricably linked to the well-being of its ecosystem.
In an exclusive interaction with CIOL, Rohan Parikh, head, Green Initiatives and Infrastructure, Infosys, gives insights into the company's social initiatives to create a better tomorrow.
What are Infosys's significant contributions in the CSR space?
Parikh: We're actively participating in community development and our 'social contract' inspires more than 100,000 employees to contribute to community welfare and environment sustainability etc.
In 2010-11, we introduced a sabbatical policy that encourages Infoscions to work for designated Indian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on community projects and they were paid an allowance.
We have also launched a program for children — SPARK — with an aim to get them into IT at a young age. We are also providing emergency aid services to the needy through our employees and have set up a foundation — The Infosys Science Foundation — in 1996 with the intent of supporting underprivileged sections of society in areas like learning & education, healthcare, arts & culture, and social rehabilitation and rural upliftment.
The company also uses natural resources responsibly to protect the environment and have reduced the ecological footprint with sustainable practices across several areas such as green infrastructure, energy conservation, water sustainability and preserving and promoting bio-diversity, waste management, green innovation, etc. We also offer solutions to clients in areas like Green Logistics, Smart Grid, Green Building design and management under partnerships and take up research to create client specific innovation agenda through co-creation and ensure business value realization.
CIOL: How will the company ramp up the current 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources to 100 per cent by 2017?
Parikh: We have announced two major goals to become more energy efficient. First, we will reduce our per capita energy consumption by 50 per cent by 2017, as compared to the levels at 2007. Second, we will source 100 per cent of all our electricity from renewable resources by the end of 2017.
We had found that over 45 per cent of the energy consumed across our campuses was used for A/C, 30 per cent for computers and data centers, 15 per cent for lighting and the remaining for miscellaneous.
This has led us to think and design an office in a way that it consumes very less amount of energy. Our Pocharam campus in Hyderabad is the best example for this.
We have introduced disruptive designs in our new buildings to minimize our energy consumption and designed it in accordance with solar-passive principles.
Precisely, the entire office is day-lit without glare from 8 am to 5 pm and the artificial lights provided in the building for the night-time use are very efficient and use the volumetric lighting concept to provide better illumination.
Also, we have brought in new desktops that consume only 80 Watts, compared to the older ones which consumed 200 Watts. Also, we have introduced a radiant cooling which uses water and radiation instead of air and convection in A/C as a strategy for heat transfer.
The Pocharam building is operated by a state-of-the-art building management system, which shows that after six months of operations the radiant system is 30 per cent more efficient than the A/C side. The overall performance of this new building is 50 per cent better than any other building in similar climate zone and will serve as a benchmark for all future buildings on our campuses.
We have also installed large solar water heaters at our Mysore campus that can help support heating needs of over 600,000 liters of water per day amounting to savings of around 25,251 units on a bright sunny day.
A KPMG report reveals that Indian companies lack a proper strategy in the social responsibility initiatives. Is the scenario changing now?
Parikh: Social responsibility is still in its nascent phase in India, though it is now gaining greater significance. Stakeholders now have higher expectations from companies with regards to social responsibility initiatives and corporate governance.
We believe that private sector should pay heed to the growing relevance and urgency of sustainability. The private sector's role is most critical because they are the ones who will develop and make available various solutions to users.
At Infosys, sustainability has always been a business imperative. Our focus has always been on being sustainable as an enterprise. We believe that our actions today must have a positive impact to create a better tomorrow. We will strive to achieve success in our journey of ensuring a ‘sustainable tomorrow.’