Monday, March 27, 2017

How can Indian corporates be more environment friendly and socially conscious ?

Kochi International Airport, the world's FIRST AND THE ONLY totally green 100% solar energy powered energy neutral airport in the South Indian state of Kerala has been unchallenged in solar energy implementation for the past one and a half years. It is not that the technology needed to effect such an energy changeover is not available elsewhere, but is the commitment and the leadership that is lacking in the developed economies of the world.

Kochi airport has also taken a giant leap to greening the airport by growing vegetables and creepers in the areas surrounding the solar panels. Due to constant water cleaning and washing of the solar panels, wild vegetation started growing around the panels. By growing organic vegetables  as it has the manifold benefits of

The green organic produce at Kochi airport
a) preventing birds from flying to peck at the wild fruits and berries which grow around the panels, these birds are an environment hazard for aeroplanes at the airport.

b)preventing wild shrubs from growing around and covering the solar panels, blocking the sunlight on the panels and

c) giving the needed ambient temperature around the panels to help the solar panels generate energy at greater efficiency.

d) The fourth and most important benefit of growing vegetables around the solar panels is the feeling of camaraderie it generates and help improve the motivation levels and labour relations environment at the airport.

e) The fifth benefit is that it ensures that the employees get good organic vegetables grown at the airport premises at very subsidised rates.

Sasken Technologies, Domlur, Bangalore, 
Sasken Technologies at Domlur area in Bangalore (click here for the link) has also started growing organic vegetables at a vacant one acre plot in their campus which is keeping the employees busy during their freetime and promoting great harmony in the company. It is yet to be established whether such greening opportunities have a direct impact on improving employee productivity besides improving the personal work-life balance of the employees.

Home roof solar panels
As a researcher I am interested in knowing the impact of such environment sustainability initiatives from forward looking organisations in Kochi and Bangalore on the employee productivity and employee-employer relations.Over time, has this resulted in any other benefits for the organisations like better worker satisfaction and morale ?

Another greening opporunity is in the area of power generation. With Sasken taking the lead in greening in a literary sense, a sure step for the Information Technology (IT) industry in Bangalore to take up the sustainability initiative of the country is to make a project plan in switching their energy needs over a fixed time period of five to ten years from non-renewable sources to renewable sources like solar, wind energy etc. In-house power generation plants can be a big motivator for other organisations / institutions and educational institutions around the country to switch to more environmentally sustainable energy sources.

Chinnaswamy Stadium Bangalore, rooftop solar panels
IT majors like TCS, Infosys, WIPRO, HCL and educational institutions can take up a solar energy generation  initiative in their offices in Bangalore and other cities to help the country tide over its energy crisis and help reach energy to distant parts of the country which are still unreachable. Rooftop solar pl;ants on government offices across the country is yet another great opportunity.

Another great sustainability initiative from Tamil Nadu govt is where organisations in Tamil Nadu have the opportunity to produce energy through wind turbines installed in Tirunelveli in south TN which is fed to the TN Electricity Board grid which can be tapped from any other point in TN by the same organisation. Corporates should take up such sustainability initiatives and opportunities in other parts of the country.

Sasken Technolgies, photo courtesy Bangalore Times.
Kochi airport - photo courtesy Mathrubhumi and Deccan Chronicle.

george..


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