New Delhi: Wipro Ltd has topped a list of 16 electronics makers, beating companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co. (H-P), Apple Inc. and Nokia Oyj, that were ranked on the basis of their commitment and progress made on environment-related criteria by advocacy group Greenpeace International.
This is the first time Wipro has featured in Greenpeace’s study titled Guide to Greener Electronics. The company committed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 44% by 2015 from 2008, the most among top Indian and international companies. While 52% of the firm’s product range meets the latest energy-efficient criteria, it has also scored the highest for collection and recycling of electronic waste.
“Wipro has set a new benchmark for sustainability, not only in India but across the globe, that will have a long-term impact in shaping the green energy debate in the electronics industry,” said Greenpeace India senior campaigner Abhishek Pratap.
“While most of the information and communications technology companies have made progress in removing toxic chemicals from the mobile phones, computers and tablets they produce, barring a few, their manufacturing and supply chains are still too heavily dependent on dirty energy sources that are contributing to climate change while at the same time lagging behind in effectively managing e-waste they produce, particularly in India,” Greenpeace said in a statement.
Wipro displaced H-P from the top position in last year’s ranking. Taiwanese computer maker Acer Inc. rose the most in the rankings, moving up nine spots to No. 4, for engaging with its suppliers on greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous substances, conflict minerals and fibre sourcing. Both Dell Inc. and Apple dropped slightly in their rankings from last time and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd (RIM) remained at the bottom of the group.
While Wipro has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 44% by 2015, it has also set a goal of achieving 85% of its emissions reduction through renewable energy.
“I wouldn’t say that these are not achievable but it will take honest and hard measures on the part of the company to be able to achieve them,” said Kushal P.S. Yadav, programme director for renewable energy at Centre for Science and Environment, a New Delhi-based activist group.
Pratap said that Wipro started its take-back policy in 2007, while the government has enforced the electronic waste rules only this year. “The company has been collecting and recycling 250 tonnes of e-waste every month,” he said.
Pratap added that contrary to the belief, it is much difficult for smaller companies to have energy-efficient products compared with bigger companies such as H-P and Dell.
Pratap said that Indian companies are more concerned about renewable energy. “H-P and Dell are lagging behind on the renewable energy front and RIM is at the bottom because they are not giving importance to sustainability measures and they are in expansion mode right now,” he said.
The Greenpeace statement added that since the Indian version of the study has been merged with the international one, all the companies have also been assessed on their performance on managing e-waste generated from their products in India. “Many global companies did not even develop an e-waste management programme for India, which casts a doubt on their ability to meet obligation put on them under the newly enacted e-waste (management and handling) rule.”
“Wipro is committed to the cause of offering environment friendly products, processes and systems,” said Raghavendra Prakash S., general manager and business head of Wipro Systems and Technology. “We have made adequate investments in various programmes in the area of green sustainability.”