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Infosys turns carbon neutral: Implications for Bengaluru

Bengaluru lockdown: Public transportation services which include KSRTC, BMTC and private buses will remain suspended during the period. (PTI)Premium
Bengaluru lockdown: Public transportation services which include KSRTC, BMTC and private buses will remain suspended during the period. (PTI)

  • Lack of mass mobility solutions in Bengaluru has forced people to rely on private vehicles which is the biggest source of pollution in India’s technology capital. There are over 8.5 million vehicles plying in the city which has just over 10 million residents

BENGALURU: Infosys Ltd, one of India’s largest software exporters, has turned carbon neutral, allowing it to effectively lead the battle against the threat of climate change.

But the impact of this feat is undercut in Bengaluru--the site of Infosys headquarters--by factors like lack of options for mass transit, sustainable development of roads and other infrastructure, environmental experts said.

“Longevity and success for a company comes from living in harmony with the context in which it operates," N.R.Narayana Murthy, founder, Infosys, had said in a statement on Wednesday.

Outside of the Infosys campus, the city administration hasn't done much towards sustainable development, leading to steady erosion of green cover, dependence on traditional power generation, increase in pollution, a dip in the quality of air and water in one of India’s fastest growing, albeit unplanned, city.

“This is a good time for policy makers to pivot from traditional power generation and speed up out of the box thinking," Deepak Sriram Krishnan, associate director at World Research Institute (WRI) said.

Experts also said that there is no location-wise breakup of the carbon neutral phenomenon which makes it harder to know the contribution of each centre towards this achievement.

Environmentalist Dr Yellappa Reddy said companies like Infosys should speak more to the government on sustainable development.

“The city planners are widening roads by chopping trees for smoother traffic flow. Infosys should speak out against this," Reddy said, adding that the “government will listen to companies".

Bengaluru, like other large metros in India, has seen sporadic, unplanned growth wipe out swathes of green cover, pollute and lakes and the environment and bring down the quality of life of its citizens.

The lack of mass mobility solutions in Bengaluru has forced people to rely on private vehicles which is the biggest source of pollution in India’s technology capital. There are over 8.5 million vehicles plying in Bengaluru which has just over 10 million residents. A significant portion of this are IT professionals who, for the lack of last mile connectivity and a host of other reasons, continue to use their own vehicles. The government has even cracked down on car-pooling due to archaic regulations that fail to address the changing requirements of a city like Bengaluru.

Unchecked, unscientific and unregulated construction is the second most important factor for pollution.

Inadequate infrastructure to deal with garbage and inability to treat sewage water that flows into natural water bodies has not helped the city either.

Infosys may have initiated sustainable goals but Bengaluru city administration and government are yet to see this, let alone catch up.

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