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BW Businessworld

Responsibility With Profitability

Wipro targets to improve water efficiency per employee by five per cent (year-on-year) and to reduce water consumption on campuses by 20 per cent by FY21 from the base year of FY16.

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Starting off as a small-town vegetable oil manufacturer in 1945, Wipro went on to make soaps and then other consumer care products, emerging as a believer in constant evolution. Today it is India’s third largest technology services company that is nearly a perfect marriage of profitability and responsibility. 

The company’s net profit in FY19 was Rs 7,614 crore, which increased to Rs 8,680 crore in FY20 while stepping up with client support in a more digital Covid era. Wipro is as international as it is local. It has a strong business foothold in the United States and is yet hyper-engaged locally in its city, where in 2018 Wipro created the Bengaluru Sustainability Forum in partnership with the National Center for Biological Sciences, for instance. 

Wipro invested Rs 4,619 million in R&D, filed for 100 new patents and was granted 183 patents in FY20. Overall, the company has a robust ecosystem of innovation which is powered by its ‘Digital First’ philosophy. Wipro spent Rs 1,669 million towards corporate social responsibility (CSR), most of which was diverted towards access to education, healthcare and training in STEM in India and overseas. 

Energy 

Key energy initiatives at Wipro include a shift from on-site diesel-generated power to reducing direct emissions, consolidation of office space to reduce carbon footprint and transitioning from leased facilities to owned facilities. The company has a five-year GHG (greenhouse gas) mitigation plan that covers energy efficiency, renewable energy and travel substitution. Wipro uses internal carbon pricing as a decision-making tool to implement sustainability-led efforts. 

As much as 35 per cent of the company’s energy comes from renewable sources and Wipro has committed to increasing the share to 55 per cent by 2022. That said, there was a 9.5 per cent increase in the share of diesel generated electricity. 

GHG Emissions 

In October 2018, Wipro became the first Indian IT company to set Science Based Targets. It committed to reducing the absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 14 per cent and Scope 2 emissions by 10 per cent by 2022, compared to the base year of 2017. Based on CDP 2019 data, the company has performed well, reducing its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 28 per cent. The CDP also acknowledged Wipto’s climate change efforts by rating it a healthy A- in its score for 2019. 

The company’s employee commute footprint has reduced by 20.9 per cent over a period of three years through initiatives like carpooling. 

Wate

Wipro targets to improve water efficiency per employee by five per cent (year-on-year) and to reduce water consumption on campuses by 20 per cent by FY21 from the base year of FY16. Currently, its water consumption is 930 litres per employee, down 2.2 per cent, compared to the previous year. Of the total water consumed, 41 per cent is reused water.  

Waste 

Wipro has done well on waste management. With 5,057 tonne of waste disposed in FY20, the company reported an 18.5 per cent reduction in waste generation compared to FY19. As much as 84 per cent of the company’s organic waste is recycled inhouse and nearly 100 per cent of the inorganic waste is recycled through approved partners. The biomedical and hazardous waste are incinerated. However, three per cent of Wipro’s total solid waste was sent to the landfill during the year. 

People

At 35 per cent women in the total workforce, Wipro’s gender performance is at par with the rest of the IT industry. However, of the nine people on its board, only one is a woman. A point of concern for an otherwise strong sustainability performance is the ratio of annual salary of the CEO to an average employee’s pay. At 597 times, this figure is the highest in the IT industry, which has an average of 250 times. 

Circular Economy 

The company has a green procurement programme for ICT Hardware and Electronic End of Life, as part of which it has sourced more than 108,400 electronic products in FY19 that are registered under Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). The procurement of EPEAT-certified hardware translates into energy savings of 25.9 million kWh over the lifetime of these products. 

Supply Chain Management 

All suppliers to Wipro are mandated to follow the company’s Code of Business Conduct (COBC) and embody the Spirit of Wipro values that are provided in the ethical guidelines. In addition, Wipro’s Supplier Code of Conduct (SCOC) further augments the COBC with respect to the company’s environmental and social goals.