Earth Day is upon us again. Just like festivals, the Earth Day too has a habit of coming into our lives on the same day every year – April 22. It’s a day to celebrate Earth’s environment and promise to preserve it for future generations. But, this day also forces us to face the stark reality of how we have brought the world to the brink of a disaster. It’s a day that compels us to re-evaluate the choices we have made in the past and think about the kind of world we are leaving for our children. It’s a day meant to inspire confidence but ends up have the exact opposite effect.
How I wish we could turn the clock back and start all over again. If we could magically go back in time and make cleaner, greener choices for the human race; make environment preservation an integral part of growth and development.
The truth is that the planet’s ecology has been severely tampered with and each one of us owes it to the planet to do our bit to preserve it.
While the Earth Day is an important date in our calendar, at Wipro, we believe in working towards the environment all year long. We have been consciously aligning ourselves with global sustainability charters and initiatives. Wipro became a signatory to the UN Global Compact in 2008 and was one of the first signatories to the CII Code for Ecologically Sustainable Business Growth. We are also an executive member of the India Green Building Council that evolved the Green Building Standards for India.
We have built environment friendly solutions like IT for Green, Green IT & energy efficient lighting solutions. We have also invested in Clean Energy & Energy Efficiency Solutions and Water Treatment & Reuse Solutions for our clients.
Within our campuses and facilities, our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprint for the IT business is 4.31 tonnes per employee per annum. Our goal is to reduce this to 2.5 tonnes by 2015 through energy efficiency and investments in renewable energy. Extensive water treatment in combination with rainwater harvesting has ensured that 32% of our total water requirements are met through recycling and harvesting. And as a long term goal, Wipro will ensure zero impact on the local water table by recharging equivalent amount of water withdrawn locally. We successfully restored a lake in Hyderabad, India, recently, something that makes me very proud to be a Wiproite.
Last year (2008-09), we commissioned our first kitchen waste-to-heat conversion biogas plant and a paper recycling plant at our Electronic City facility in Bangalore. This is aligned with our ambitious goal to ensure that by 2013 not more than 5% of our total waste reaches landfills.
I’d like to believe that green economies and business entities will lead the 21st century revolution. The future belongs to those who address markets with environmentally sustainable products and technologies. I can’t think of a better reason to stay focused on our goals of building a company that respects the environment and refuses to degrade it.
Just as the damage to the environment continues, the importance of Earth Day continues to grow exponentially with each passing year. The day acts as a reminder for all of us to shake out of our inertia, to stop taking natural resources for granted, to look around at the world we have created and compare it with the world we grew up in, and to ask ourselves some tough questions on how we have led our lives. The day tells us that the time for indifference, procrastination, blame game, and token gestures is over. Now, it’s time to act. Not for anybody else, but for our own sake. Because, whether we like it or now, our very future depends on it.
This Earth Day, I resolve to do my bit for the environment – from conserving water to saving electricity, from protecting trees to reducing litter, from spreading the message of the importance of environment to living up to the same ideals myself. I wish you do the same. Because, small gestures from each individual on the planet will go a long way in keeping this world a beautiful place to live in.
Happy Earth Day!