Earth Day Special | India Inc. commits to a cleaner environment

Earth Day Special | India Inc. commits to a cleaner environment

New Delhi: Seven years ago a Philips CFL light used to cost Rs700. Today, you can pick one up for Rs100 or less. As the prices of energy saving products have gone down, the awareness of using energy efficient gadgets has gone up. While companies are using R&D to develop more environment friendly and cheaper products the general public is responding too.

As the world celebrates Earth Day today, the celebrations are intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. Corporate India is taking several intitiatives too.

Mathew Job, marketing director, lighting division, Philips Electronics India Ltd feels there is a need for a dual strategy — to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and realistically assess the implications of the changes that are already upon us and adapt accordingly.

Philips Electronics invented CFLs is now promoting LEDs for home lighting and new age lighting solutions in India. "In 2006 alone, we sold energy saving products, which contributed to a reduction in installed load of more than 1,000MW of power," says Job.

"Organizations across the globe are gaining better understanding of the benefits of going green and introducing products which cater to those benefits. Thus, maintaining and practicing green standards has now become a collaborative effort all over the world and is not specific to developing or developed countries, says Sharad Srivastava, director-sales (India & South Asia), Western Digital.

Srivastava adds that corporate India needs to understand that using energy efficient technology is not just a passing fad; it’s here to stay. Organisations must encourage their customers consume less electricity and make going green a way of life as we do not have any alternative to the increasing energy depletion. As we gain better understanding of going green, we will realize it not only helps the environment but also can result in significant cost savings.

Other companies have come up with special activities in their campuses to mark the Earth Day. Cisco, Bangalore has set up emission testing booths in its premises on 21 and 22 April.

"Cisco is committed to reducing, reusing and recycling E-Scrap," says Varghese M. Thomas, vice-president, corporate communications, CISCO–India & SAARC.

"We have asked our employees to bring unused, non-working, or end-of-useful-life electronics to work, and they will be redeployed. Both household electronics and Cisco-brand electronics will be accepted on the event of Earth Day. The products may include for example, mobile phones, cables, TV’s, monitors, PDA’s, laptop and desktop computers", says Thomas.

Cisco has also set up green booths in their campus to showcase all the green initiatives undertaken on campus.

Applied Materials, Bangalore has organized a special training sessions to mark the Earth Day for all its managers and team leaders on conserving energy and will be inculcating environment practices within their teams.

All managers and team leaders at Applied Materials are undergoing a training session on conserving energy and will be implementing environment friendly practices within their teams. Over 30 Applied employees with family along with NGO ’Tree for Free’ will plant trees in 2 partner government schools. Employees will go to these schools and give presentations to children on environment conservation. One of the schools has a solar energy enabled computer lab sponsored by Applied Materials.

Intel’s plan for Earth Day includes collection of E-waste from employees or recycling, planting Bio-Diverse trees in campus and also gifting a plant to every willing employee. Apart from these activities, Intel, through a series of internal initiative and communication is creating awareness about environmental issues and simple things one can do to make a difference.

Says Rahul Bedi, director, corporate affairs, Intel South Asia and business operations manager, Intel India: "Bio-diversity is an indicator of the quality of life in a region. Bangalore, one of the richest, green regions in Karnataka, has been a victim of large-scale environmental crisis. Intel aims to help its employees and people of Bangalore appreciate the unique relationship between various species of flora and fauna and also re-establish the habitat of these species along with Eco-Watch. We have initiated a series of documentation and field-based activities."