No matter where we stand on the climate change debate, we aim at one thing for sure: a cleaner, greener and sustainable earth. Despite the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic, Earth noticed as carbon emissions dropped, and air quality improved. The drop in carbon emissions during the lockdown, though significant, still wasn’t enough to impart long-lasting change. Scientists say that won’t happen until we bring emissions down to net zero, meaning we remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as we release.
The good news however is, today, not just the bigtech, but more and more big and small companies are demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability. Many of them have started to make sustainability a core principle in their missions and business activities. On the Earth Day 2021, we hear from some of the experts in the IT industry on the role their organizations are playing in their sustainability effort and the way forward in adopting a sustainable future.
“Today, the world demands a transformative economic, social, and environmental solution to mitigate the challenges of climate change. While rebuilding our economies after the pandemic, it is essential for us to invest in energy efficiency and action on sustainability. This simple shift in mindset can promote growth across multiple levels and help create new jobs. It can also make a significant contribution to help achieve our sustainability goals from the Paris agreement – to cap the increase in global temperature at 1.5°C. Energy-efficiency improvements can account for 44% of the reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions needed to meet our sustainability targets. Therefore, an ‘energy efficiency first’ principle will be instrumental to help us decarbonize our energy system. In turn, this will help us free up electricity to make our transportation systems electric, our buildings green and our cities sustainable. This Earth Day, let us reiterate our commitment to the future generations to help restore and rebuild our planet by laying the foundation for a sustainable way of life, starting today.” – Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss India
“At Accenture, we are committed to driving real change and building a more sustainable future for all our stakeholders and communities. In October 2020, we set three industry-leading sustainability goals for ourselves globally – achieving net-zero emissions, moving to zero waste, and planning for water risk by 2025. In India, we are making significant strides towards these goals – we have already achieved a 42% green energy mix and 75% of our zero-waste goal. Additionally, we recycle 95% of our water in India. India will play a vital role in supporting Accenture’s sustainability goals.” – Ajay Vij, Managing Director – Geographic Services, Accenture in India
“SAP’s purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives with sustainability at the core. Our objective is to create a positive economic, environmental, and social impact worldwide. We must contribute to creating a better future for the planet and the life it supports. Therefore, we are enabling organizations to become intelligent enterprises that are resilient, profitable and sustainable. Through our sustainability management solutions, we are helping our customers minimize carbon footprints, reduce waste through responsible supply chain management, and enable diversity across all business practices. We embed sustainability metrics into our applications to manage the top and bottom line of an enterprise and measure and account for environmental factors. Last year, SAP launched the Climate 21 program to build analytical and transactional capabilities into our enterprise applications to help our customers understand and minimize the greenhouse gas footprint of their products and operations along their value chains.” – Sindhu Gangadharan, SVP and Managing Director, SAP Labs India
“As businesses go digital, there’s a shift in channel of choice – from physical to digital. There is an equally significant shift happening in the underlying business model and its competitive nature. In the physical world, a service provider’s ‘competitive behaviour’ is obvious via the product itself – packaging, price points, offers etc. In the digital world, while the product attributes remain relevant, the business model is built around you – the consumer. To make a product compelling and attractive to each potential buyer, service providers have to know a lot more about their consumers. This translates into more data gathering followed by more computing power, needed for the business to derive actionable insights. Given the negative environmental impact that exhaustive computing power has, it’s important for business leaders to understand that having more data and more computing doesn’t equal more innovation. Our guidance is to prioritize what’s significant for the business, collect just enough data to fuel innovation and experiment smartly.” – Bharani Subramaniam, Head of Technology, ThoughtWorks, India
“What we are witnessing today calls for ‘rewriting the narrative for a better world’. The pandemic and the subsequent disarray have shaped a new world order, which is not only embracing the ESG framework on environmental, social, and governance aspects in totality, but is also reinforcing the same up and down the stream. It’s high time for businesses to take sustainable development centre stage across their value chains. We need to ‘build back better’ together and it calls for reprioritizing agendas and not look at crucial parameters like Green Technology, Responsible Manufacturing, Community inclusion, in silos. It is important for businesses in India to develop ‘Shared Value Propositions’ with communities’ ensuring holistic development. Also, initiatives focusing on Net Zero Carbon Emissions, Zero Waste to Landfills, Water Positivity, Sustainable Sourcing should have boardroom importance more than ever. We need to act now! Businesses need to imbibe sustainability not merely as a compliance measure, but as a business driver for a greener, healthier and safer future, beyond tomorrow for everyone.” – Akanksha Sharma, Head CSR and Sustainability, STL
“The search for new smarter ways to sustain our development has always been a key driver of technological advancement that play a crucial role in restoring our planet. As each Earth Day comes along extra significance, this year the severity of the present circumstances showcases a very challenging moment for the entire world. As COVID-19 attacks our lungs, air pollution makes us more exposed to the virus. It would be relevant to note that air pollution is an underappreciated contributor to COVID-19. Devic Earth’s Pure Skies is a state-of-the-art air pollution control system that significantly improves the air quality both indoors and outdoors, providing clean and healthy air for everyone to breathe. Marking the 51st anniversary of Earth Day with investments in clean energy and the improving of environmental protection will generate health benefits for years to come.” – Dr. Srikanth Sola, CEO and Founder, Devic Earth
“We integrate sustainability into every stage of our real estate life cycle, from investment to design, development, and operations, garnering international recognition for our efforts in greening our business parks. Recently we have secured green loans totalling INR 1700 crores marking our foray into sustainable finance in India, with the commitment to grow our business in a responsible manner as we create long-term value for our stakeholders. We are glad to work with like-minded partners who support our aim to develop greener buildings while continuing to contribute to the environmental and social well-being of our communities.” – Vinamra Srivastava, CEO, Business Parks, CapitaLand India
“At Aeris, we are actively working towards helping build an ecosystem of like-minded technology companies with complementary, best-in-breed capabilities which can deliver the kind of solutions that will help non-government organizations achieve greater positive impact. Technology adoption, especially in the IoT sector, is slow but picking up pace and is driven by donors necessitating more insightful and accurate reporting for informed decision making, realistic planning of resources, and fund distribution. Aeris has collaborated with Welthungerhilfe (WHH) and created the TechNirmal app as part of our CSR initiative. The app helps the social workers deployed in the field for water conservation& revival projects. Our connected digital technology is being used as a social accountability tool by the WHH associated NGOs such as Tarun Bharat Sangh, Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sanstha, Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan, Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha, enabling local communities to track the encroachment of water bodies on their own, in real time. Hence, by using IoT, we have enabled data collection at the source for periodic water body monitoring and water level tracking, along with other related reporting tasks for helping improve people’s lives today and into the future.” – Shweta Berry, Head of Strategic Alliances – Industry & Academia, Marcom, Sales Enablement and CSR Divisions, Aeris Communications, India
At Brillio, we recognize our role in environmental impact on our planet. Protection of the environment is a core value and must be integral to every business. The pandemic has served as a wake-up call to step up and scrutinize every action through the eyes of sustainability and consciousness. With digital adoption empowering India, a critical focus should be on the monitoring of GHG emissions and taking care of our carbon footprint. Brillio complies with CDP (Carbon Disclosure Report) since 2018 and we aspire to become a carbon-negative company by 2025. With every passing year, the solemness of climate change calls for more immediate attention. There is no golden gateway towards achieving 100% sustainability but requires thoughtful and calculated implementation of various initiatives for saving the planet. Initiatives such as preservation of fossil fuels, plantation drives, and water conservation create a powerful impact on the long journey. We strive to embed the culture of ‘Act Responsible & Think Sustainable’ through our environmental sustainability initiative called GREEN SMILES that focuses on reducing carbon emissions across all our locations. We believe through every effort, big or small, we must stand united to uphold the only Earth we have and invest our energy towards a better tomorrow.”– Abhishek Ranjan, Director, Sustainability, Brillio
“Restoring Earth is the theme of this World Earth Day and one of the key elements we need to prioritize is restoring our water. We need to improve the quality and quantity of our groundwater, keep our surface water sources clean and try to manage our wastewater sustainably by treating and reusing it. Water needs to be managed intelligently to avoid wastage through leakages as well as during consumption. Sustainable technology can play a key role in helping us restore and improve our water quality, availability, and access. If we all come together to protect our water, I am sure that we can begin our journey towards restoring our planet.” – George Rajkumar, Country President, Grundfos India
“Our commitment to sustainability is deeply embedded in our vision of improving every life. We collaborate with all stakeholders to solve shared global, regional and local environmental issues. 3M’s sustainability goals are clubbed under 3 pillars, namely – Science for Circular (do more with less), Science for Climate (improve our environmental footprint) & Science for Community (create a more positive world through Science). In February 2021, CEO Mike Roman made an announcement around the company’s new environmental goals to achieve carbon neutrality, reduce water use and improve water quality. Over the next 20 years, the company is investing USD 1 billion to accelerate the new environmental stewardship goals. These will form a part of 3M’s broader ESG strategy. We’ve also committed that across all subsidiaries globally, that by 2025 there will be 20% reduction of water consumption in manufacturing facilities and a transition to 50% renewable electricity. The company is committed to going carbon neutral by 2050. We are very excited and energized by these goals and the opportunity to have an active role in making our Earth healthy again.” – Ramesh Ramadurai, Managing Director , 3M India
“At GlobalLogic, we cater to the holistic well being of our people – mind, body and soul. Sustainability has always been one of our key focus areas as it gives a fulfilling and satisfying experience to our people. Be it facilities or initiatives, as an organization we have been heavily invested in social and sustainable efforts across. Apart from developing our own Carpool App, GlobalLogic switched to altered water nozzles, uses recycled water in washrooms, digital screens for messaging and power efficient lights a few years back. We recently onboarded a senior ESG executive to further strengthen our charter globally. Our one such sustainability campaign is #GLGoesGreen. Our objective is to reduce, reuse and recycle resources, improve quality of life and most importantly conserve the environment. – Neeru Mehta, VP, People Function, HR Leadership, Global Talent Management, Learning and Transformation Leader, GlobalLogic
“The solution to the global challenges that we face today, including public health and the health of our planet, must come from within us. We must embrace the problems of our planet’s health as our own and come together in a collaborative manner to find solutions to restore the balance of our ecosystem through innovative ways. There is no “silver bullet” when it comes to addressing planet health, but the more organisations and individuals can band together around to not only action but also educate people all over the globe about the role they can play as communities and economies, the more positive the future of our rich and remarkable planet will be.At Commvault, we consider the natural environment as a key stakeholder of our business – and one that requires bold action to protect, conserve and restore. We make conscious and collaborative decisions to pursue sustainability throughout our business operations and strive to inspire others to do the same. We believe in driving the change by recognizing that everyone has a role to play in creating a sustainable world – including our business.” – Ramesh Kalanje, Vice President, Center of Excellence, Commvault
“The climatic crisis is the next biggest catastrophe that the world will face in the coming years. We should start looking at implementing environmentally friendly practices at household and industrial levels to safeguard our planet. Eaton is dedicated to improving people’s lives and the environment with power management technologies that are reliable, efficient and safe. We focus on sustainability for the complete life cycle of our products. Within the plant we have concentrated on reducing waste generation by recycling and re-using. We recycle our HT fixtures, thus reducing the use of new material. Several of our plants are certified as Zero Waste to Landfill and Zero liquid discharge. We also focus on water consumption reduction. Under greenhouse gas reduction, we have installed roof top and ground mounted Solar panels, we use wind energy, deployed LEDs, and focus on natural air circulation, heat insulation to reduce cooling needs. ” – Mukul Kadam, EHS Head for India & APAC, Eaton