Infosys ESG Vision 2030
Right after it declared itself to be carbon neutral in September 2020, Indian tech giant Infosys announced its ambitious ESG Vision 2030, encapsulating almost all the issues and concerns that the businesses face today. Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-founder and Chairman of Infosys, stated, ‘The biggest learning from the pandemic is that if companies want to take charge of their destiny, they must reimagine themselves in a more resilient, agile, de-layered and de-bureaucratized avatar.’ This statement, in itself, sums up the objectives of the ESG Vision 2030.
In 2011, Infosys committed to becoming carbon neutral and to reduce its per capita electricity consumption by 50%. It is also committed to using 100% renewable power for electricity by 2018. Given the scale at which it operates, transitioning to a Carbon neutral economy was certainly not easy for Infosys. They depended on innovation to build a truly sustainable enterprise, which helped Infosys achieve results in line with its objectives.
Renewable sources meet over 44.6% of the total electricity requirements at Infosys. Over the years, a 143% increase in employee numbers has translated into merely a 19% increase in the overall energy requirements. It has constructed 17 biogas and composting plants on its premises capable of treating 100% of its food wastes. Infosys has also achieved a 46% decrease in its per capita water consumption since 2008 and has also managed to reduce 70% carbon footprint through direct and indirect emissions.
Through its ESG policy, Infosys aims to influence and improve the lives of more than 80 million people through ‘Tech for Good’ programs in e-governance, healthcare, and education. In addition to this, more than 10 million people will be reskilled and empowered with digital skills in the given period. One of the most critical aspects of the policy is its commitment to staying on the path it has set for itself. Be it maintaining Carbon neutrality, 100% wastewater recycling, enhancing employee wellness and experience, or maintaining the highest possible standards for data security, Infosys has committed to maintain and improve the success that it has already achieved in the respective areas.
Through a data-driven and consultative exercise, Infosys determined the most material issues that affect its stakeholders and businesses. These issues were then mapped on the materiality index based on the influence they have on the stakeholders and its impact on the Sustainable Business Performance.
The objectives and aspirations of Infosys could be summed up in a statement by its Co-founder, Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy, ’Longevity and success for a company comes from living in harmony with the context in which it operates.’
This move towards achieving the highest ESG standards is not sudden at all. Infosys, since the time of its foundation, has been striving and working towards the same. Through its efforts, it continues to benefit more than 102,000 families from community-based carbon offset projects. More than 25 million sq ft of building spaces across its Indian campuses are green. Infosys is the first Indian company to join RE100 (a global platform for major companies committed to 100% renewable energy) back in 2015 itself. Since 2018, it has managed to reduce single-use plastics in its Campuses by 91%. Around 38% of employees at Infosys are women, and its vision 2030 aims to enhance and improve upon this proportion to create a gender-diverse workforce with 45% women.
Infosys has been publishing its sustainability report for the last 13 years. Also, it has launched a dedicated Sustainable Business Unit offering a variety of sustainability services. Infosys is the 3rd Best Regarded Company in the world, according to the Forbes Annual list, 2020. It is listed as an index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DSJI) World and DSJI Emerging market indices for the third year. It has also received an ‘AA’ rating on the MSCI ESG rating index.
Mr. Salil Parikh, CEO and MD of Infosys, says, ‘ESG is at the heart of our approach.’
Infosys has repeatedly proved that a Sustainable approach to business practices can be profitable if implemented with the right intent and commitment. Compared to a 2008 baseline, the reduction in per capita electricity consumption at Infosys campuses has decreased by 55%. In a sea of Tech giants running their businesses solely to increase their economic profits, Infosys has proved its mettle and showcased how a sustainable and responsible business can lead to higher economic gains as well.
The transformation of businesses to a more sustainable one requires a drastic change in how managers perceive profits and envision them. In the league of Tech giants, Infosys is undoubtedly leading the way and creating a path that hopefully others would be inspired to follow.
About the Author: Shivam Rai is a Sustainability enthusiast, currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Quantitative Finance from Pondicherry University.