Even as the US and India debate about carbon emissions, a core
team at Infosys is attempting to complete one of the most ambitious
challenges ever undertaken by a company. The challenge—a
gauntlet thrown by Infosys co-founder, Nandan Nilekani, to help
Infosys achieve the rare distinction of becoming a carbon neutral
company by the year 2012.
Becoming a carbon neutral company is not an easy task—it
involves investing in projects that remove carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere, and projects that nullify the effect of the carbon
emissions generated due to the nature of a company’s
What contributes to a carbon footprint? Almost every activity
that is part of a typical company’s normal business
operations. This includes air travel, vehicle usage, air
conditioning and even using a desktop or laptop computer. With more
than one lakh employees on its rolls, and over 50 offices and
development centers spread across the globe, the ‘carbon
emission’ impact resulting from travel, vehicle usage and
from providing the necessary IT infrastructure to match the scale
of Infosys’ operations, is huge.
Infosys has realized the strategic impact of this initiative,
and has accordingly taken this drive on a war footing. “If we
want to set new benchmarks, we must set a tough goal. This is
precisely what Nilekani has done, and today, the whole company is
marching towards matching the deadline set by Nilekani,” says
Rohan Parikh, Head of Green Initiatives, Infosys Technologies.
The goal is to not only be a good corporate citizen, but also
use this initiative to cut down operating costs. “Green IT is
no longer just an environmental factor; it is an economic
advantage,” declares Parikh. The mantra is simple—every
dollar saved is a dollar earned.
The result of this focused approach is paying off as Infosys has
managed to reduce its carbon emissions by a significant margin. For
example, in the area of electricity, which contributes to 72
percent of its emissions, Infosys has managed to achieve a 10
percent reduction in per capita electricity consumption for the
fiscal year 2008-2009.
An award-winning journalist with more than 14 years of experience, Srikanth RP is Executive Editor with InformationWeek India. Srikanth is passionate about writing on topics which clearly show the business impact of technology.
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