Eco Avenue

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Green Initiatives at Wipro

Writing about a Corporate taking up CSR activities or implementing ‘eco wise’ solutions in their day-to-day functioning, always activates a pendulum of indecision in the mind. Should I even write about them? How much do they really do? Is it also just one more ‘social service’ or CSR activity?

And then I say to myself- let me not be so cynical. I need to write this piece now, so let me check it out with all seriousness. However, cynicism still lurks in a corner of my mind. I turn a blind eye to it’s antics and decide to write about an IT company which is closest to my office - the Corporate office of Wipro India.

So, I begin, as we all do, with the internet - hmm…what does Wipro do as part of its eco wise functioning? The cynic in the head wondered what tokenisms I would encounter - maybe they buy recycled paper from a vendor, use steel glasses instead of plastics ones, serve herbal tea?

Click on the link ‘Wipro Social’ on their homepage and you get a whole lot of stuff - articles and information on recycling, upcycling, saving energy, water management, waste management et al. The cynic takes the front seat again – uploading such information is good practice but at the end of the day, these are just articles and this is just what I call ‘virtual sustainability” – where we learn everything about how to be eco wise from the internet and that exhausts us so much that we fail to have the energy to actually put those ideas into use in the real world.

My search on the internet leads me to another article which talks about how Wipro Limited launched ‘Eco Forum’ with like-minded corporates, NGO’s and industry bodies. This was an  initiative aimed at promoting the exchange of best practices and ideas in the green space. The article is dated Feb 27th, 2009.

Waste Management was the theme of the forum and the focus was  on ways and means to manage and re-use the huge amounts of waste generated every day. The delegates took a tour of Wipro’s Eco Avenue at the Electronics City Campus and discussed  measures adopted by Wipro in waste management.

The Eco Avenue houses a bio-gas plant, paper recycling plant and a sewage treatment plant, among other eco-projects. The Biogas plant converts approximately 900kgs  of food waste from the cafeteria into biogas. This biogas is used for cooking in the campus-kitchen. Used paper from the facility is shredded and converted into notepads in the in-house recycling plant.

Wipro is a familiar name, but what exactly do they do? Wipro Limited provides comprehensive IT solutions and services, including systems integration, IT enabled services,  package implementation, software application development and research and development services to corporations globally.

The article further goes to narrate that Eco-eye is Wipro’s comprehensive program that drives increasing ecological sustainability in all its operations, as also areas of its influence. The initiative attempts to engage with increasing levels of intensity with all stakeholders – Wipro’s own employees, partners, suppliers, customers and immediate communities.

Wipro has developed a framework for Ecological Sustainability that has five themes and seven goals identified for implementation. The Five themes include being an ecological surplus organization, larger sustainability initiatives beyond Wipro, profitable investments, transparent reporting, risk planning & mitigation.

From a random search on the internet about CSR activities undertaken by WIPRO, I land up with awesome data about their activities on sustainable development. From cynicism I can’t help shifting to respect.

Yes, corporate organisations, having the power they do, need to be involved in much more than eco projects on their campuses. They need to question our paradigm of development and many root level issues which are taken for granted by our  modern civilization. Issues and activities which are driving us to the brink of disaster. Yet, at least a beginning has been made by organisations like Wipro.

We take a trip to Wipro, and came back feeling that their efforts were definitely worth writing about.

 

Eco- Avenue

Eco-avenue is an initiative by Wipro Ltd., Electronics city in Bangalore which houses a Sewage water treatment plant, a biogas plant, a paper recycling plant, rain-water harvesting plant and a pilot project on wind solar hybrid plant. All the plants are installed on one of the blocks and that part of the premises is called as Eco-avenue.

Sewage water treatment plant: Installed 8 years back, it has a capacity to handle 400Kl, an average of 200Kl is treated everyday. With an aerobic treatment, 85-90% of water is reusable half of which is used in restrooms and the other half goes for landscaping and gardening.

Biogas plant: Installed in the year 2008, it has a capacity of 3000kgs. With an employee count of 25000 in the campus, the food waste including the peels and leftovers from the cafeteria is collected (per day input is 900kgs) which then goes through anaerobic process in the digesters and the gas gets collected into a balloon. Per day, gas is sent to the two kitchens where the gas is used in low flame cooking.  It offsets 30% of the LPG requirement.

Paper recycling plant: Papers are collected from all the offices of Wipro in Bangalore and the plant has a recycling capacity of 200kgs of paper per day. The paper is recycled into cakes (See pic) of 1kg each. Wipro has tied up with an organisation which upcycles the recycled paper cakes to notepads for Wipro to be used in the meetings and conferences.

Rain-water harvesting: Installed in the year 2005, there are 5 underground sumps to harvest the rainwater, 4 with a capacity of 1,00,000litres each and one with a capacity of 50,000litres. Before reaching the sumps, the water collected on the roof-top and ground surface goes through sand and gravel filtration. The surface water, sometimes not of good quality is re-used in the air coolers across the campus offices. Underground charging pits handle the water which overflows the plant capacity during rains. This rainwater recycling plant offsets 15 days of water requirement of Wipro Campus per year.

 

Pilot project of two windmills of total capacity of 400 watts has been connected to solar panels of the capacity of 150 watts which are both used to light up twelve LED lit street lights lamps of 20 watts