India's second largest software services firm Infosys on Wednesday said it has turned carbon neutral, three decades ahead of the timeline set by the Paris Agreement for 2050. The Bengaluru-based company also announced 'Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Vision for 2030' as part of its commitments focused across core areas of climate change, technology for good, diversity and inclusion, energising local communities, ethics and transparency, data privacy and information management.
"Infosys has always balanced success as a business with an unwavering focus on exemplary governance and responsiveness to the needs of the ecology and society. As an early proponent of responsible business, we understand our obligation to integrate ESG factors into what we do, which is only increasing in importance particularly in the wake of COVID-19," Infosys Co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani said in a statement.
He added that Infosys began to take action to combat climate change in 2008 and has achieved carbon neutrality in 2020.
"Today, our 2030 vision reflects how ESG will continue to be integral to Infosys' sustainable business performance," he said in the ESG Vision 2030 report.
As part of its ongoing ESG efforts, including leveraging renewables, orchestrating energy efficiencies and driving unique fully funded community-based carbon offset projects, Infosys is now carbon neutral in compliance with PAS 2060 standards, the company said.
PAS 2060 standards is the internationally recognised specification for carbon neutrality.
Over the past years, Infosys has reduced its per capita electricity consumption by over 55 per cent with the ambition to transition to renewable energy, it said adding that the company was the first Indian signatory to the RE100 global campaign.
In FY2020, over 44 percent of Infosys' electricity consumption was met through renewable energy sources. The company also invested in 60 MW of solar PV capacity.
Infosys has also successfully developed a portfolio of community-based carbon offset projects. These focus primarily on socio-economic development of rural communities and contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The projects address climate change and also benefit over one lakh rural families.
"Right from the first day, Infosys has recognised 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," N R Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys, said.
The company plans to continue being carbon neutral across Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions every year. It also intends to eliminate 75 per cent Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas emissions and reduce by 30 per cent absolute Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Scope 1 refers to direct emissions, Scope 2 stands for indirect emissions from utilities, and Scope 3 covers all the other outside sources.
The company will expand reskilling initiatives to empower 10 million-plus people with digital skills and 80 million-plus lives with technology for good programs in e-governance, healthcare and education, Nilekani said.
He added that the company will nurture greater inclusivity and strengthen gender-diverse workforce with at least 45 per cent women employees.
Infosys will grow its stakeholder focus and bring their interests, whether customer, employee or shareholder, to the fore through an empowered, diverse and inclusive board, he said.
The company will further strengthen data privacy and information security standards across global operations, he added.