Sustainable tomorrow

st1 In 2008, a reputed confectionery company based in the U.S. reduced its carbon footprint by 20%. The company's complex distribution network in Western Europe covered more than 44 million kilometers a year in shipments. Analyzing shipment data and using it to modify logistic operations helped the company evolve business practices that cause least harm to the environment.

Can we afford to take sides today in the conflict between global economic and global environmental interests? It is beyond debate now that we must invest in a sustainable tomorrow, in a world that is threatened with extinction by its inhabitants recklessly disturbing its unique and delicate balance.

Businesses have a significant impact on the environment through their use of energy and other environmental resources, and the emissions from their operations. Society, in the form of markets, governments, investors, the local community and employees, demands demonstration of concern and action from businesses. Hence, businesses have an unwritten social contract to factor environment as an important dimension of their operations and products. At the same time, governments of emerging economies and developing countries have a responsibility towards their citizens to ensure that environmental sustainability is achieved in a climate of continued economic growth.

Rising costs and scarcity of energy and resources impact long-term economic sustainability of businesses, and are among the top pressures driving their sustainability agenda. Improving energy efficiency and reducing resource intensity is often the first and most important step toward achieving sustainability. This is driving the focus around energy efficiency in operations, transport, buildings, devices, equipment and in harnessing alternate energy sources.

Technology is emerging as a key enabler in managing resource usage and efficiency. We have used technology to measure and monitor energy consumption data at granular levels in our campuses. Insights gained from analysis of this data enabled focused initiatives resulting in a per capita saving of 10% in energy consumption and energy bills over the last year.

Addressing issues of environmental sustenance and resource conservation without impacting growth calls for what can be termed as ‘green innovation’. Enterprises can drive their ‘go green’ goals through innovations in IT, communications, engineering and in materials and processes while also opening up newer possibilities for growth. We use our technology and innovation capabilities to offer solutions to clients in areas such as Smart Grid, Intelligent Building Design and Management, and Green Logistics, in conjunction with partnerships and alliances that bring complementary capabilities. Incidentally, it was Infosys that provided the analytics solution that helped the American confectionery company reduce its carbon footprint.