Sustainability Management Performance of Wipro

The report represents our experience as a consultant group for Wipro to understand its current sustainability and management system and the possibilities present to improve it. The report at first analyses the current system that has been already set and followed. Then it looks at how Wipro can address the present sustainability issues and the strategies

that are needed to move a step forward in the right direction. In India, WIPRO is one of the tops and most successful private sector organizations which has its company running on various sustainable practices and approaches. We as a consultant address the important issues which are present with our deep understanding of the company and the subject, present important recommendations that can be followed for the betterment of the company towards its sustainability goals. Following these recommendations will create a better name for its company which in turn will help it attain its business goals.

Limited”, later abbreviated to ‘WIPRO’. It was set up to manufacture vegetable oils before venturing into different fields (1). The company has nearly 2 lakh employees working across six continents. The company entered the Indian IT industry during 1980 by manufacturing and selling minicomputers and 1990s they leveraged their hardware R&D design and software development expertise and began offering software services to global clients. Later in 2013, the company demerged the non-IT Diversified Businesses. The company has been providing IT Services for 3 decades now and today their focus is entirely on the global Information Technology business. Wipro is listed on National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India and New York Stock Exchange in the U.S.A. The company believes that their values are the core part of the company’s identity and spirit. WIPRO is run on four core values which are; “passionate about clients’ success, treat each person with respect, be global and responsible, Unyielding integrity in everything we do” (2).

They have good energy, water, renewable sources, and food management: Reduction of electricity usage, Daylight sensors, Reduction of water usage, wastewater treatments, Generation of electricity from renewable resources. Also, increasing biodiversity and many more achievements. According to assessments by several external actors, Wipro has been ranked 1st in the 2010 Asian Sustainability Rating (ASR) of Indian companies and is a member of the NASDAQ Global Sustainability Index as well as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (3). In November 2012, Greenpeace ranked Wipro first with a score of 7.1/10 (4).

Starting from zero, Wipro’s renewable energy footprint has steadily expanded to 100 million units today comprising more than 25% of their overall energy consumption. Wipro’s investments in green buildings have yielded savings of more than 100 million units of electricity over the past five years alone. They have also invested significantly in water conservation and efficiency within their organization. Wipro basically concentrates on sustainability.it deeply resonates with their values. The organization’s values correlate to their motto or value i.e. “Because it is the right thing to do” (5).

WIPRO has good strategies towards sustainability like saving costs, managing their competitors and environmental risks by their leaders of business units. WIPRO has more advantages than disadvantages towards their sustainable development and management aspects.

WIPRO is the global leader in information technology, consulting, outsourcing and business process services. They also provide services for industries like education, medical and finance industries. According to the company chairman, sustainability management is not just an initiative but the pillar of the company which the business is developed and a commitment to the society and environment. He feels that “A company should act on sustainability driven by the larger vision of its desire to make an impact and difference on some of the most pressing sustainability challenges that face us.  In doing so, it should focus on not more than two areas – for us in Wipro, it is Education and Ecology – rather than spread itself too thin. The company should see its involvement in sustainability as a long-term exercise without being blinkered by short-termism that one often sees in the business world.” Through reading and learning about the contribution of the company to the society, we found out that WIPRO interest in sustainability is enormous and decided to do our report on the company.

For realizing our report and project we have decided to gather information through the employees of the company as one my group member has many friends working in the company. We have planned to frame a few interview questions to be asked to the employees and collect information based on that. We have started to research on the sustainable management articles and reports through which we have found out their concern towards the environment and how active their approach towards the environmental impacts. There is a lot of information available on the company website which we can work on. So, the methods we will be using to gather information on their sustainability management are:

  1. Articles based Research (Newspaper, company articles, and other interviews)
  2. Wipro Company websites and other competitor’s company websites-based Research
  3. Interview-based Research [APPENDIX]

Apart from technology-driven value creation, it is important for the organization to create an atmosphere that will make the employees participate in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. According to their report, Wipro says it is important to have transparency and compliance on different sustainability aspects within their operations and in their extended value chain. So Human Rights, Labour Practices and Environmental Diversity being key among them (5). To govern this an effective corporate governance is required and everyone should have a clear understanding of the roles. To ensure this, the Board of Directors of the company has adopted ‘Corporate Governance Guidelines’ which consists of the best corporate governance practices. These guidelines provide a systematic and structured framework for the Board to review and evaluate the Company’s performance in an independent manner, while at the same time providing assurance to the Directors in terms of their authority to oversee the Company’s management (6).

Organizations do not exist without stakeholders. Every organization is in interaction with different stakeholders to create value for everyone involved either directly or indirectly. But Wipro claims that stakeholder engagement is more than interactions and has a greater purpose to serve such as understanding risks and opportunities associated with social, environmental and economic climate that the business is present in. So, Wipro has engagement with eight stakeholders which are responsible for sustainable business practices and they act as valuable input to their materiality determination process (6).

Wipro follows the principle of focusing ‘within as well as outside the boundary’ which for them is a strategic choice of looking at sustainability as a boundary-less continuum and this is the backbone of their sustainability framework. They have divided this continuum into two dimensions which are business responsibility and social responsibility.

Business responsibility is about the organization fulfilling its essential duties and obligations and running its business with integrity and ensuring that the ecological footprint of its operations is minimized. The second dimension of social responsibility is about looking beyond the boundaries of the organization and contributing towards the development of the larger community. While this categorization is conceptually useful, the right approach is to look at both the dimensions as an integrated continuum which is based on the same fundamental principles. Based on this Wipro has a sustainability framework which their business runs on (6). The figure below shows the sustainability framework of Wipro which is divided into six different core structures. See Figure 2

Wipro business landscape is shaped on their talent management approach and wants to deliver transformation, change, and growth. Their strategy is built on their values and informed by globally recognized principles of business responsibility. Wipro feels that the rapid transformation of business models and technology landscape ask for the high demand for automation and digitization which reduce technology cycle. Since IT marketplace is a highly competitive one, Wipro focus is on talent and innovation, so they can meet the high level of competence, expertise, and learning agility. Wipro has its office located globally and employees of different talent and workforce are present all over, so it is important to have a workforce pattern and Wipro has its significant portion of its management focusing on their employee welfare. In the recent past, changes to immigration laws & regulations and risks to offshore business models have also made an impact on their strategy, particularly in their approach to attract local talent (6).

Wipro states that in order to prepare for this dynamic business environment, they need to continue building a best-in-class organizational culture to attract, build and retain talent across levels, globally. Wipro creates a culture that drives performance, enables a Digital mind to set and enhances overall employee experience. Their efforts are targeted towards both on improving the demographic diversity as well as building an inclusive culture through our various Diversity & Inclusion programs. Since the client expectations and automation is rapidly changing it is important to invest in programs that equip the organization with exceptional skills and competencies. This helps in defining the needs and development of employees and this is vital for the organizational sustainability and Wipro is just doing that. They are upskilling, cross-skilling and reskilling along with building designs to drive ideation and innovation (6).

Wipro has programs which influence all aspects of an employee’s life including physical, mental and emotional well-being. Protection of employees from injury or occupational disease is also a major objective to Wipro and they continue to enhance safety & security at the workplace by prescribing policies & procedures, creating awareness and imparting training. With all the technological advances happening in the immediate environment, Wipro continues to keep pace in embracing the digital trend and it is finding ways to use digitization and talent analytics to drive business outcomes and bring about employee delight and maintain environmental standards and sustainability (6). Wipro claims that it is providing clean energy products and services which are energy efficient and renewable. They have managed to build IT platform based remote energy management services and have installed solar panels and solar PV in all the locations of their buildings. Biogas and thermal projects are also installed in the vicinity. Eighteen buildings of the company have been converted into green buildings where all environment-friendly procedures are followed by the employees. Green computing is one of the major focus of Wipro where Energy star 5 desktops and laptops are installed. The data centers are calibrated to deliver high performance and be energy efficient by 15-20 %. Their process optimization includes supply chain, dematerialization and inventory efficient smart grid systems which are all benefitting the sustainability. They have come up with IT solutions for enabling smart grid infrastructure (7).

Information and communication technologies now play a vital role in driving efficiency and productivity advances through dematerialization and automation for most upcoming businesses. With the continuing influences and adoption of new disruptive technologies like Big Data, Analytics, Internet of Things and Mobility, this trend is being further strengthened. This trend of disintermediation is changing the interactions between the consumer and businesses which would otherwise take place in the presence of a mediator, disintermediation gives the consumer direct access to information without the interruption of a mediator. Due to this, many upcoming business models are being created and e-commerce is gaining wide acceptance. IT which is paving way for different and unique opportunities for product innovation, resulting in the democratization of ICT making technology more accessible and affordable to customers. All these trends contribute to IT becoming more and more ubiquitous in everyday life addressing different needs of end users. Wipro’s investment on products, platforms, frameworks, and solutions is vitally centered around Wipro HOLMES artificial Intelligence PlatformTM (HOLMES). According to the data collected, the number of patents Wipro held (and applied for) has been increasing year by year. Over the years Wipro has been investing more than USD 1 billion dollars in acquisitions, making sound investments in innovative business models like BPaas (Business Process as a Service) (6).

Wipro Ventures have made some critical investments for four new startups in fiscal 2017 to facilitate and provide their clients with new technologies that are reshaping the future of enterprises, especially in Cybersecurity, Customer Care Automation, Business Process Automation, and Big Data Lifecycle Management. Through Wipro’s Horizon program new technologies are being nurtured, to incubate thinking Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cybersecurity, Digital, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things (IoT), and Software Defined Everything (SDX). These emerging next-generation digital technologies and their collaborative methodologies can drive sustainability by way of digitalization and dematerialization, system integration and optimization (6).

Wipro’s unique Customer Centricity framework is used in all key accounts to drive appropriate actions that continually help customer satisfaction by adding sustainability to their work. The key objectives of their framework are detailed below:

  1. Customer Value Creation: Value creation to the customer, over and above contracted.
  2. Dissatisfaction Reduction: Actions on stated areas of dissatisfaction.
  3. Assure hygiene: Actions to ensure standards are maintained and avoid future dissatisfaction.
  4. Experience enhancement: Actions related to engagement and relationships (6).

Wipro encourages sourcing and diversity in the supply chain from the local economy. They identify and engage enterprises owned by woman and person with disabilities and these suppliers constitute 3% total supplier spend. Local sourcing provides employment opportunity, lowers cost and minimizes environmental footprint. Indian suppliers contribute 45% supplier spend. Wipro identifies supplier by a formal process who follow the sustained business performance. The suppliers are categorized into two types Strategic Suppliers and Tactical Suppliers. Strategic Suppliers are responsible for the successive strategic business outcome for Wipro, any issues resulting in sustainability may result to dent Wipro’s objectives. Tactical Suppliers contribute to only a small part of the overall spend. Wipro’s supply-chain is based on the principle of ecological sustainability, workplace responsibility, and ethics & integrity.

Ecological sustainability: Wipro expects products and services from the supplier to exceed environmental standards and to establish ecological sustainability program in their operations.

Workplace Responsibility: Wipro wants their supplier to adhere to rules such as human rights, health, and safety, minimum wages, number of working hours, labor welfare, and encourage them to source from local economy (6).

Wipro applying thought in schools was started in the year 2001 to work towards issues on education. The issues are complex and long-term efforts were needed to address it. Civil society organizations have a major role to play, i.e. to bring up the education transformation. Wipro’s focus was to develop a civil society organization to work on issues relating to education in a systematic manner. Wipro as supported over 51 organizations which implemented 113 projects relating to education (6).

Wipro-Earthian

Wipro’s sustainability education support and drive sustainability thinking and learning activities in schools and colleges across various regions of India. Wipro-Earthian covers two programs: The Wipro-Earthian Awards program and Continuous Engagement program. The Award Program aims at expanding outreach to schools and colleges located at remote places, rural areas. The program encourages students to engage themselves in sustainability issues in depth for a period of four months and it provides school students with exposure to biodiversity and water and encourages college students on urban sustainability problems related to Waste, Water, and Mobility. Continuous Engagement program is integrated to promote sustainability education in school and colleges and create practices within the institutes to enhance sustainability footprint through the learning process (8).

Wipro Cares

Wipro Cares is a trust that supports the developmental needs of communities. The main area of focus is the environment, health, and education and it is funded by employee monetary contributions. Wipro Care is providing health care facility for more than 50000 people across three states in India, they are also supporting the victims during natural disasters, and Wipro Care as engaged themselves in social forestry in certain regions of Tamil Nadu (7).

In their report, Wipro has stated that it recognizes the environmental challenges that face humanity today are as critical as are economic imperatives and hence ecological sustainability is an essential part of their approach to responsible corporate citizenship. Wipro conducts natural valuation exercise to find out its unsustainable dependency on vulnerable natural resources. This exercise helps them to get an overall integrated environmental impact assessment of their operations and upstream suppliers. In addition to this, they continue to explore additional and specific quantitative and qualitative metrics to evaluate water and waste management in their campuses. They also aim to baseline and set specific goals to reduce their footprint associated with key Scope 3 categories (like emissions from Business Travel and Commute), Ozone-depleting refrigerants, indoor air quality, and noise pollution. The India GHG Program is a center for excellence on GHG accounting in India. The program promotes a more competitive, profitable and sustainable business environment; broadens engagement between policymakers and the business sector in supporting the overall advancement of national goals, and is creating a pool of adequately trained and certified GHG practitioners, plus measurement and management professionals. The outcomes of these assessments contribute to Wipro’s sustainability program design and stakeholder engagement (6).

Wipro’s ecological sustainability program directly addresses many environmental issues. It is an integral part of many of their key programs, internal and external and across stakeholders. The environmental reporting of Wipro covers all global operations. India has 55 locations including 3 operational data centers and 163 overseas locations which include 7 customer data centers (7).

Figure 3 Wipro ecological sustainability ( sustainability report 2016-17)

Energy efficiency and GHG mitigation

Wipro approach to energy efficiency and GHG mitigation is centered on the following approach where firstly, the energy and emission parameters are baselined, and later ambitious, scientifically valid and traceable goals are set by them. In the end, robust mitigation programs are developed. A robust mechanism of measuring and reporting performance metrics is a primary requirement to set scientifically valid, traceable and accountable goals. Wipro has standardized the process for an accounting of Scope 1 and 2 emissions and has also completed the valuation of externalities (all Scope 3 heads). Wipro current emissions target for Scope 1 and 2 is based on SBTi (Science-Based Target Initiative) from WRI (World Resources Institute), which runs from 2015-16 to 2019-20 (6).

Wipro has made a 70% increase in energy saving through server virtualization from last year, that is by replacing the old physical servers with the virtualization technology on the fewer numbers of the server. Wipro had 2,920 virtual servers running on 312 physical servers which provides an energy savings of around 12.5 million units per year. Wipro claimed to have an increase of 35 % of energy saved than the previous year. Considering the amount of energy, they consume it is a huge change. This was solely based on severing rating which was of 0.75 KW power operating for 24 hours and 5 days a week. Wipro believes that this is a conservative estimate considering the many servers run for the whole week without any break and their power rating range from 0.75 kW to 1 kW (6).

The Operational and business data along with employee commute valuation is derived from actual data which is found and recorded for a few global locations and environmental categories. By using Truscott’s econometric input-output model to calculate the natural capital embedded in goods and services which considers the capital spent across different sub-categories of procurement. In the 2016-17 financial year, the natural capital valuation of the environmental impacts relating to Wipro’s operations and supply chain was equal to INR 11,476 million which is roughly 2% of Wipro’s revenue and 7 % of Wipro’s profit in the same time period. The largest contributions came from GHG emissions which are 46%, water consumption 25% and air pollution made of 19%. The total energy consumption which is made up of electricity and backup diesel generated electricity for office areas across all their global operations in IT field is 315 Million Units of electricity in which India contributes to 289 Million units. Data centers in India and overseas (USA and Germany) contribute to an extra amount of 85 Million units of electricity. 96.6 million units of renewable energy were procured through Power Purchase Agreements with private producers, out of which 76.5% account for zero carbon emissions (6).

Wipro, for energy efficiency, they drastically moved on to Floor Area-based metric (FAR) from ‘per employee’. The accepted standard is EPI or Energy Performance Indicator which is equivalent to Energy Per Unit of Floor Area for a defined number of working hours per day (6).

Water Stewardship

At Wipro, water stewardship is done from the three inter-related lenses of Conservation, Responsibility, and Security. Their goals are predicated on many dimensions. Water efficiency is one of the goals where continuous improvement in their operations is done (freshwater uses per employee). The next thing is responsible sourcing which ensures water management in proximate communities, especially in locations that are prone to water scarcity. Another approach is recognizing water availability as a business risk, to proactively assess and plan for the water security of the organization in a manner that is congruent with the first two objectives (6).

Wipro launched a program in 2013 with the aim of minimizing absolute freshwater consumption by 20% by FY2018-19 through an integrated approach. This approach involved implementing standard metering infrastructure and procedures across campuses. The integrated rainwater harvesting into the consumption side of the campus water cycle. The water governance was improved by building user awareness and it involved water plumbers. They improved recycling levels through ultra-filtration with eventual use for non- contact applications other than landscaping and sanitation (6).

Pollution And waste management

Wipro by its innovative methods has decreased the MSW intensity from 3.26 Kg to 1.55 Kg per employee per annum. They have reduced their Landfill intensity by half from 3.12 to 1.55 Kg per employee per annum. The company’s inorganic waste is 100% recycled. Waste management is done at the source and is applied as a regular practice at all locations with the active involvement of employees. From the waste generated, 80% of organic waste is processed at the campus and the remaining 20% is used as animal feed in farms. According to their data, the total quantum of waste collected was 7484 tonnes in 2016-17, against 6368 tons in 2015-16. In Indian campuses, the 88.8% of the total waste is recycled by various in-house recycling units and vendor tie-ups who are authorized. The small proportion of the remaining waste is incinerated, and the rest of the waste is sent to approved landfills. The three air pollutants in the full year produced by Wipro is 98.3 tons (NOx), 9.6 tons (Sox) and 18.8 tons (SPM). Wipro claims that 322 tons of life e-waste was collected and recycled by various vendors in the year 2016-2017(6).

Campus Biodiversity:

Wipro has made contributions for energy reduction, lower carbon intensity, water retention and quality of air by constructing campus biodiversities in Bangalore and Pune. The Bangalore campus is migration heaven for butterflies for a month in their 400 km pre-monsoon annual migration. In Pune campus, consist of 240 species of native plants and they are protected and taken care of (6).

At Wipro, they think it is critical for a business to engage with the multiple social and ecological challenges that they face. They believe that such engagement must be deep, meaningful and formed on the bedrock of long-term commitment so that is the way by which real change can happen on the ground. They are reaching out to rural communities by providing healthcare, livelihood, primary education, and water sanitation. Wipro is advocating urban communities by monitoring pollution, education, and health. They have set sights on future generation and are providing environmental sustainability (6).

The word Environmental Sustainability is one of the dimensions of Sustainable Development which refers to preserving the quality of the natural environment for a long time. Hence, business-related organizations need to adopt environmentally sustainable business practices to achieve Sustainable Development.

According to Gibson “sustainability is an essentially integrative concept which is lost when sustainability is depicted as the intersection of social, economic and ecological interests and initiatives” (9). The good strategy is one which solves the difference between the baseline and the desired position of the company by showing a long-term commitment on what the company wants to achieve and shows their focus and scope of the work, by engaging, challenging and with hard work they can reach their goal. Wipro is a good example of an organization adapting excellent sustainable business practices (5).

The main vision of Wipro lies in its spirit. Their spirit is defined by their intensity to win, act with sensitivity and unyielding integrity. From its practices, it can be said that it has a globally respected and sustainable business. Wipro contribution to sustainability can be seen through their sustainability report based on the latest Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) G4 comprehensive framework (6).

Wipro is known for its growth in sustainability, which is linked to the wellbeing of the company’s employees-ecosystem and business partners, local communities and the environment. The sustainability policies of Wipro have a specific set of paths and goals which links the stakeholders and the environment equally and by embedding it in everyday activities. From their public relations and policy regulations, it can be understood that they are having good collaborations with governments and clients and helps in developing sustainable solutions and governance frameworks. Sustainability is built in the root level of Wipro, over the past few years, the company has built future proofed businesses to their clients, employees, and investors. At the same time, the company is working on fulfilling their responsibility towards the planet and to future generations. From the healthcare services and training for employees, from energy saving methods and cooling technology to investments in renewable energy, the company has achieved few milestones along the way that vindicates company’s vision and endeavors.

Wipro has cultivated and adopted a sustainable approach to business. Sustainability is one of the key factors for their success which they have built into the core pillar of their business. From the time Wipro was established they have not only implemented future-proofed businesses for their clients, but also for their investors and their employees and at the same time working towards fulfilling company’s responsibility towards the planet and their communities. Wipro has sustainability policy interactions with stakeholders such as an employee, investors, clients, and governments to develop sustainable solutions, governance frameworks and influences day-to-day actions.

Workplace Sustainability

Wipro sustainability practices are shaped by the Spirit of Wipro values, Code of Business Conduct (COBC), as well as principles of the U.N. Global Compact, U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles & Rights at Work (1998). While these provide the guidelines and direction for responsible business conduct at a global level, Wipro policies are shaped and customized by local regulations and law of land but even then, they have done a good job in following most of the principles (6).

Their commitment to uphold and promote human rights and interests of the global workforce can be seen in their long-standing and integrated Code of Business Conduct & Ethics.

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