The Sustainability At Infosys Business Essay

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This report is being prepared to study the CSR activities of a listed Indian Company, investigate the types of CSR initiatives undertaken by the company, critically examine their implementation and assess how their impact is measured.

About Infosys:

Infosys Technologies was started in the year 1981. Today it is a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing, with revenues of US$ 7.231 billion. Infosys pioneered the Global Development Model i.e get the work done in the place where the best resources are available. This model revolutionized the entire IT industry in India as it was able to put India as a quality service provider at the cheapest cost with the least risk. Infosys has its presence in over 30 countries and has a client base of around 500. Its 97.5 % of the revenue is from the existing clients and this is a testimony to the fact that Infosys lays high emphasis on customer driven solutions.

Infosys 3.0 is the new strategy that has been adopted by the company after the change in leadership in 2011. This strategy adopted by Infosys believes that building and nurturing the larger ecosystem is the key to the success of the organization. Infosys is now looking at sustainable practices by which it can apply its core strengths to effect social good and innovate that can create new opportunities for the entire ecosystem. This new strategy aims at earning respect in whatever they do. It looks at gaining respect by delivering excellent innovative solutions from the stake holders, following excellent HR practices and earns the respect from the industry as one of the best places to work in, integrate the sensitive issues of climate change and other issues which have the intensity to impact the business in future. This report mainly focuses on the CSR activities of Infosys but through the eyes of sustainability, i.e. how the company is looking at integrating the CSR activities and other good and socially responsible activities into its ecosystem so that it can create a win-win situation both the organization as well as the players who are involved with Infosys. Infosys is the first ICT Company which has committed to United Nations that its Indian campuses would be carbon neutral by the year 2018.

"Corporations need to earn the right to operate, and to earn this right, they need to operate in an ethical, legal and socially responsible manner. The onus of driving this business responsibility lies with the business leaders who need to lead from the front and lead by example." - S.D.Shibulal (Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Infosys Technologies). (Business Technology Report 2011-2012, 2012)

Sustainability at Infosys:

Exhibit 1 shows how the green initiatives and sustainable actions have been incorporated into their daily core business. Infosys firmly believes that its positive actions today will have wider positive implications for the society in the future generations to come. Infosys under the new initiative "Infosys 3.0" is looking forward to create a competitive advantage by adhering to the sustainable actions in the daily operations. Through its value based practices it intends to achieve not just economic gains but also environmental and social goals.

To make its vision of a sustainable development a reality it has identified the 3 sustainable tracks:

Social Contract

Resource Intensity

Green Innovation

Social Contract: Today the organizations are not immune to the happenings of the society. It is directly involved with the society and it has a responsibility to contribute for the wellbeing of the responsibility as the society has a direct impact on the future of the business. For the business continuity the society has a greater role to play.

Resource Intensity: With the depletion of the natural resources all over the world, it is a growing threat to the continuity of the business. Resource intensity is about obtaining the maximum result out of the lowest utilization of the resources. It is about obtaining more or same from lesser resources.

Green Innovation: New opportunities are emerging by providing innovative solutions to the solutions which conserve the nature. It is all about doing business innovatively keeping the sustainability goals in mind so as to differentiate themselves from competitors and drive efficiency.

Few of the initiatives of Infosys as part of its CSR:

Employees Well Being:

Infosys firmly believes that its employees are also part of the society and ensure that it takes special care for their wellbeing. The HR team of Infosys plays a pivotal role in ensuring the wellbeing of the employees. Infosys doesn't discriminate based on race, religion, caste, sex, birth or nationality and is an equal employer. HR department focuses on effective employee communication, grievance redressal system, and also build bonds with the families of the employees.

Promoting Diversity: Infosys having had its presence in more than 30 countries, realizes that promoting diversity is the key to the success of its organization. "Creating Common Ground" is a program of Infosys that creates awareness about various cultures across the globe.

Promoting Inclusivity: Infosys ensures that it creates an ecosystem that is conducive for the differently abled employees to perform beyond the expectations. Infosys ensures that it provides different facilities to the employees who are differently abled and also ensure that all the other employees are educated to promote harmony amongst employees. One of the policies is to provide a loan to the employees to buy ability enhancing products and equipment's.

Redressal of the grievances of the employees: Infosys provides a platform for the redressal of the employees by providing a platform called HEAR (Hearing Employees and Resolving).

Fostering Healthy workforce: Infosys also strives to promote the physical health of the employees through Health Assessment and Lifestyle Enrichment (HALE) program.

Sabbatical policies: Infosys promotes employees to be engaged in the community development programs by providing them sabbatical including the monetary benefits during their engagement with the programs and resume their duties upon the completion of the projects. Infosys provides sabbaticals to employees who have been selected for the NGO's like Teach for India, Azim Premji Foundation etc. For women employees, Infosys provides maternity leave, part time policy, work from home policy etc. to ensure their wellbeing.

Training and Development: Infosys Role and Career Enhancement (iRACE) policy has created a platform for the employees to enhance their competencies by undergoing trainings in technologies of their choice.

Attention to women safety: Infosys ensures that the safety of the women is addressed. Self-Defense classes are held to protect themselves in emergency situations. A transport service has been provided to women to protect them when they have to work late nights to meet their deadlines.

Engaging the Stakeholders: Infosys knows that in order to flourish it has to contribute to the society. Infosys has laid high emphasis on developing the education in the society. It knows that improved education will build the capability and promote economic development at all levels of the society. Some of the programs of Infosys are:

SPARK: This program aims to increase the aspirational level amongst the children. It has reached around 7 lakh children till date. Around 31000 employees have contributed to this initiative.

Campus Connect: This programme aims to bridge the gap between the academics and the industry requirements. Infosys has trained the academicians who in turn train the students as per the requirements of the industry. New and emerging technologies are made known to the students so that they are well equipped to perform the day they graduate. This initiative has impacted around 12000 students in 138 institutes in 2012 alone.

Infosys Foundation: The Infosys foundation was established in the year 1996 to improve the lives of the underprivileged. This foundation partners with the local NGO's and provides them support not only monetarily but also consulting thereby ensuring that the benefits reach the destitute. Infosys contributes about 1% of its profits after tax for the activities of the foundation. The focus areas of the foundation are explained in detail below:

Education: The foundation believes that in order to make India a developed country it is imperative to develop education. Infosys foundation has set up libraries for around 40,000 schools as part of "Library for Every Rural School" program. The foundation has also helped in the publication of a computer text book for the rural children. Infosys foundation has fuelled the digital revolution at the bottom of the pyramid through it Computer Donation Program. The Foundation has provided scholarships for students coming from economically backward communities to pursue higher education worth around Rs 2 crore.

Healthcare: The foundation has catered to the development of medical facilities in various hospitals by providing them with superior equipment, ambulances, drugs etc. The foundation has also constructed various buildings for the hospitals. The contribution to various government hospitals and other hospitals has been around Rs 50 crore which has benefitted thousands of people who cannot afford basic medical facilities.

Destitute: The Infosys foundation has associated with Saathi, an NGO, to work for the development of the destitute children. The foundation has also provided monetary assistance to differently abled orphans with education, training and infrastructure.

Art and Culture: The Infosys foundation in order to provide preserve the existing culture supports the artisans by providing the direct to market opportunities thereby eliminating the middlemen. The foundation has sponsored the Yakshagana performances, and documentaries and literary works on the culture.

Rural Development: In the year 2011 the foundation has built around 2000 homes for the people who lost due to floods. It also provided the people with saplings, no-smoke stoves, bank accounts, solar lanterns etc. It has partnered with the local administration in developing the infrastructure, sanitation and other facilities. The foundation is aiming to provide sanitation facilities to about 10,000 families by the end of 2013.

Infosys Science Foundation: This foundation aims to promote research in sciences in India. This prize is awarded to eminent persons for their contribution in Mathematical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, engineering and computer sciences, physical sciences and humanities.

Environment: While the world is debating the ways to minimize the global warming and battling the global changes in environment Infosys has made great strides in contributing towards the building up of the environment. Infosys has been able to reduce its water consumption across all its campuses. It has even reduced its per capita electricity consumption by 12% in the year 2012 compared to 2011 resulting in the saving of 36 million units. All this has been possible by Infosys adopting the new technological innovations thereby reducing its costs and driving the profits. Paper, water and food waste is recycled in many of its campuses.

Electricity: Every new campus that is coming up is structured in such a way that it maximizes the day light within the building thereby the reducing the need for the artificial lightening system thereby reducing the electricity consumption. Even the bulbs that were used for lightening system were the bulbs which were certified by Bureau of Energy Efficiency. About 8000 sensors were installed within the buildings thereby saving about 1.8 million units of electricity.

Air Conditioner: All the cooling systems and air conditioners audit was conducted across all the campuses and inefficient equipments were replaced by the new and efficient equipments thereby reducing the wastage of power. By this Infosys has saved about 2.2 million watts.

Energy Efficient Campus in Hyderabad: This new campus in Hyderabad has been built in a way to ensure the maximum functionality. This building is rated as Leed Platinum by the Indian Green Building Council which means that it is 50% efficient than any of the campuses of Infosys. The width of the building is only 16 meters to ensure that there is maximum sunlight into the building. Radiant cooling technology has been adopted to ensure that the cooling of air by conventional air conditioners is reduced. Water is 3400 times more efficient than normal cooling of air. This reduces the costs on cooling by many times. Even the window panes are divided into upper pane and lower pane. The upper pane allows the sunlight to flow into the building by reflecting the sunlight onto the roof of that floor thereby reducing the need for an artificial cooling system. The lower panes of the windows are completely shaded thereby preventing the glare. Exhibit 3 shows the new building in Hyderabad.

Water Conservation: Infosys has laid high emphasis on water conservation, water recycling and water harvesting methods. About 17% of the Indian campus water needs are met by rain water harvested. The used water is recycled and is used for cooling the towers and other equipments in the building. Sensors have been installed in the toilets thereby reducing the water wastage. In the year 2012, Infosys has been able to save 297.56 million litres of water.

Water Sustainability at Infosys Campus - Mysore: The exhibit 2 shows the water sustainability strategy of Infosys in Mysore campus. Around 8 artificial reservoirs, artificial lakes have been constructed in the Mysore campus of Infosys. Due to water conservation measures the per capita water consumption has reduced by 20% in the year 2012. This has resulted in saving 124 million litres of water. Solar power is used for meeting the hot water requirements in the Mysore campus which is of capacity 4,00,000 litres per day thereby saving 6 million units of electricity.

Green House emissions: Infosys has been innovative to develop an application to calculate the amount of GHG emitted thereby reduce it wherever possible.

Infosys has committed to United Nations that it would become carbon neutral by the year 2018.

Inclusivity: India today is one of the fastest growing nations in the world. The other advantage for India is its young population. India is geared up to play a vital role in the international level because of its young population. But India can take this opportunity only if the young population is empowered enough to take the new opportunities. India is capable of providing one fourth of the global work force. So it is possible for India to take this opportunity by social and financial inclusivity.

Financial Inclusion: It is important that the banking facilities are expanded to the poorest of the poor so that population can take the advantage of the benefits that the government intends to provide. The Infosys Finacle Financial Inclusion Solution is playing a spearheaded role for the penetration of the banking services to every strata of the society. Further seeing the rapid penetration of the mobile phones to all the strata's, Infosys has developed a similar application for providing banking services through mobile services.

Social Inclusion: All the activities under the topic "Engaging the Stakeholders" comes under the social inclusion activities of Infosys. Along with it, Infosys has also partnered with the AP state government in building social security schemes for the poorest of the poor. This scheme will be extended to around 30 lakh people by the government of Andhra Pradesh beginning in the year 2013 within a period of 4 years.

Infosys has also supported STEM Mentoring program in New Jersey, US to help children from the underprivileged parts of the society to develop the aptitude in Mathematics, Science Technology and Engineering etc. Because of the success of this program it has been scaled to have an impact on the science education in New Jersey.

Interview:

How has Infosys nurtured you and the employees to contribute to the society?

Which CSR activities of Infosys did you participate?

Conclusion: Infosys stands as an example for its innovative practices. It has not only successfully integrated CSR activities into its work culture but has also made them self-sustainable. Infosys stands by an example to many companies who consider CSR as just a part of brand building or an activity other than its core activities. But Infosys has led by an example to show that CSR can be integrated within its working ecosystem. It has proved that CSR and profits can co-exist.

Exhibit:1 Sustainability at Infosys (Business Technology Report 2011-2012, 2012)

Exhibit:2 Water sustainability strategy at Mysore (Business Technology Report 2011-2012, 2012)

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Exhibit 3: Infosys new building in Hyderabad which is energy efficient

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