The Climate Group and CDP today announced that one of India’s largest Information Technology corporations, Infosys, has become the first Indian company to join RE100, a global platform for major companies committed to 100% renewable power. On the same day, they also announced that the consumer brand leader, Unilever, is also supporting the global push for 100% renewable power.
Infosys (NYSE: INFY), a leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing and next-generation services, with clients across 50 countries, has taken great strides during the past seven years to become sustainable in its operations. As part of its commitment to RE100, Infosys aims to become carbon neutral by 2018. The company is already working to reduce its per capita electricity consumption by 50 per cent from its 2007-2008 levels and source all its electricity from renewable resources by 2018.
Speaking about the announcement, Ramadas Kamath, Executive Vice President and Head - Infrastructure and Sustainability, Infosys, said: “We are working towards building a clean energy future. Expanding the share of renewables is key to addressing the chronic energy crisis our country is facing today. By taking the first step towards hundred per cent renewables, we want to lead the way in creating a sustainable future and bring about an energy transformation in India.”
During fiscal year 2015, Infosys met 29 percent of its electricity needs - about 72.08 million units - for its locations across India through green power. During the same period, Infosys generated almost 3,000 MWh of electricity through its onsite solar PV installations across India.
Unilever has just reached a new milestone of 1 million tonnes of CO2 savings since 2008 in its manufacturing network. Energy consumption has been reduced by 20% - the same energy used to run 40 factories or the equivalent in carbon of over 800,000 acres of forest in one year. This has also resulted in significant cost savings of €244m.
Savings in CO2 have been delivered by a global strategy, including circular economy approaches, for example:
- In South Africa, a bi-product of the seed oil from Flora, Stork, Rama and Rondo is used as a fuel in the boilers to deliver energy back into the factory.
- In the UK Marmite factory, 18,000 tonnes of solid Marmite waste is converted into methane via an anaerobic digester which is used to provide 30% of the factory’s thermal energy.
Unilever has a target to reach 40% renewable energy by 2020 and will work towards 100% of renewable energy in the future. Unilever has also joined RE100 campaign to accelerate the scale-up of renewable power to create a healthier and more sustainable environment. The goal is for at least 100 of the world’s most influential businesses to join RE100 and commit to going 100% renewable for electricity.
Commenting, Unilever Chief Supply Chain Officer, Pier Luigi Sigismondi said: “We’re delighted to have hit this milestone in our CO2 reduction. Across our supply chain we are increasingly turning to energy provided by wind, solar and biomass, converting heat from our manufacturing processes into power for our factories. We are on track to reach our target of 40% renewable energy by 2020. Climate change is having a huge impact on the environment and on business. Ahead of Climate Week in Paris, we are continuing to show that sustainability is a driver for growth, and the only long-term option for business in a volatile world.”
Unilever and Infosys join some of the world’s most influential companies such as IKEA, Swiss Re, BT, Formula E, H&M, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, among others, which are taking bold steps to create transformative change needed to drive a clean energy revolution.
RE100 was launched at Climate Week NYC on September 22, 2014. Eighteen companies have now joined the campaign and made a public commitment to become 100% renewable, including founding members IKEA and Swiss Re. As the campaign spreads in India, it is expected that more Indian companies will switch to renewable power and demonstrate the huge opportunity that exists in India’s growing clean economy.