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Infosys Ltd Wednesday said it has achieved carbon-neutral status, 30 years before the 2050 timeline set by the Paris Agreement, meeting its own target set nine years ago.

In recent years, the Bengaluru-based IT services company has reduced its per capita electricity consumption by over 55%, as it moves to renewable energy. It has also developed several community-based carbon offset projects focusing on socio-economic development of rural communities and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The company said in its Annual Sustainability Report 2020 that even while its workforce grew 166% over the last decade, its electricity consumption grew only 20%. At the end of FY20, Infosys had 243,454 employees worldwide.

In FY20, nearly 44% of Infosys’s electricity consumption was met through renewable energy sources. The company invested in 60MW of captive solar photovoltaic capacity.

“Right from the first day, Infosys has recognized and fulfilled its responsibilities towards overcoming the challenges in our context. It has also taken on new responsibilities like reducing carbon emission, improving air quality, optimally using water and solar power," Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy said in a statement.

“The company’s ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) road map for 2030 reflects its continued aspiration to be a well-governed model organization for diverse talent with an inclusive workplace and community strategies to leverage technology for good," said Salil Parekh, CEO & MD, Infosys.

Infosys was also India’s first signatory to the RE100, a global initiative by firms committed to using 100% renewable energy.

Globally, tech firms are working towards carbon-neutral status, but are expected to take another decade to achieve the target. Apple Inc. has committed to be 100% carbon neutral for its supply chain and products by 2030. Facebook Inc., too, has a 2030 target of net zero emissions for its supply chain, employee commuting and business travel. Google, already a carbon-neutral company, aims to run all of its data centres and offices on carbon-free energy by 2030. In January, Microsoft Inc. showed plans to become “carbon negative" by 2030.

In India, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd has achieved its 2020 target of reducing its specific carbon footprint by 50% (relative to baseline year 2007-08).

Ulka Kelkar, director, climate program, World Research Institute India, said, “Infosys was the first Indian IT company to put an internal price on carbon. This has helped them account for climate change while making business decisions and go for cleaner energy options."

As part of its ESG vision for 2030, Infosys will continue to be “carbon neutral across Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions every year as well as eliminate 75% Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions and reduce by 30% absolute Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions," Infosys said in a statement.

Sharan Poovanna and Nidheesh M.K. contributed to the story.

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