Infosys is building sustainable communities under its carbon neutral program
In 2011, Infosys made a voluntary commitment to become carbon neutral. Since then, we built a carbon neutral program based on energy efficiency to reduce emissions, renewable energy to avoid emissions, and carbon offsetting to account for any remaining emissions.
The United Nations adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, when Infosys was in the process designing its carbon offset program. Infosys was committed to developing its own carbon offset projects anchored on sustainable development of rural communities, instead of buying offsets available in the market. The UNSDGs provided us a benchmark to go by.
Our search for projects that create long term socio-economic benefits to rural communities while achieving climate change mitigation identified traditional rural cooking practices and village electrification as potential areas of intervention. As of FY2020, Infosys has a portfolio of eight community-based and end-to-end funded offset projects involving biogas and efficient cookstoves for cooking as well as rural solar electrification for lighting. These projects are spread across Karnataka, Ladakh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Orissa.
Our projects are helping rural India by directly benefitting over 102,000 families, providing over 2400 rural jobs, and empowering women. The clean cooking technologies provided through the projects are helping the families live a healthier life with cleaner indoor air. While these projects together will reduce over one million tons of CO2e during the project term, contributing to climate change mitigation, they also contribute to 11 of the 17 UNSDGs.
To us what started as an attempt to become carbon neutral has turned into a journey filled with learnings, innovations, collaborations and most importantly, one that of fulfilment and hope.