The human ecological footprint has tripled since 1961. In the coming decades, our planet will be a very different place. By 2050, there will be an additional three billion people on Earth and 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities. With the growth of China and India’s economy and population, the pressure on natural resources will grow. Risks associated with poverty, land degradation, water scarcity and climate change are now pressing in with increasing urgency. Under usual business conditions, we may need multiple earths to support us.
Business, like other parts of society, will be seriously affected by these challenges facing the world. Leaders across the world are asking similar questions today: What can we do to ensure sustainable growth and development in a world where the deterioration of the eco system is becoming alarmingly commonplace; where climate change runs the risk of being accepted as inevitable; and where inflation in food and energy prices is already being rationalised as a scarcity of resources.
We too were faced with this question as we got to work on our sustainability agenda. The logic that we followed for creating the agenda was simple. An enterprise reflects the values of all its stakeholders–including employees, customers, investors, shareholders, government and society at large. It is an integral part of society and the environment it operates in, and everything we do for our business growth impacts the ecosystem. Therefore, the evolving expectations of stakeholders today have redefined the very concept of business to include sustainability issues.
In other words, sustainability is simply good business. Integrating broader societal concerns into company strategy makes sound business sense. Our own interests can be realized by incorporating the interests of all those with whom we have a mutually dependent relationship into our operating model.
At HCLT, we are translating this holistic understanding into actions based on our values and collective wisdom. First, the trust and transparency which upholds our transactions with all stakeholders energizes us to rethink business as usual. Second, the Employee First philosophy empowers HCLites to speak up and provide ideas on doing things differently. There exist many channels for youth leaders to lead the company towards a better tomorrow. Third, our customers think collaboratively and partner with us on innovation. And finally, the world is getting smaller, more interconnected and facilitates our work across borders. Digital and physical infrastructures are converging, giving us the ability to conduct business responsibly.
What we are doing is important, but what we will do in future even more so. We know that we need to do more to give back to the environment and society. We also know that our transformational journey is incremental and every step we take will get us a little closer to our vision. This journey has been outlined in our ’Sustainability 10’ framework, available in this report.
Rebalance is our first attempt to consolidate, align and reinforce all the actions taken so far into a comprehensive sustainability agenda. Our sustainability program rests on the 4 R’s – Responsible Business, Redefine Workplace, Renew Eco System and Repay Society.
Our sustainability priorities are multi-fold. Employee wellbeing, creating a culture of innovation through trust and transparency, and exceeding customer expectations are priorities to us. While working on business growth we give equal importance to the eco system. Through our sustainability efforts in the past, we have been able to cut down our per capita carbon footprint by 18.5% since 2008. We are following a detailed plan, including investments for renewable energy, to decrease the emissions by 20% in 2020, and have set ourselves a goal to reduce water consumption by 5% in the next 3 years. The ‘Power of One’ at HCLT will continue to drive our outreach programs and inclusive growth. Every HCLite will spend a day with the community in the next few years.
We are a signatory of UN Global Compact (UNGC) and its 10 principles. The HCLT senior management team is active in World Economic Forum (WEF). We will leverage these global forums to learn and adopt new practices, as well as contribute to public policies.
Through this first report, we have been able to identify our role for and in a sustainable future. We are ready to break the defined boundaries of our role as a company, and are open to partnering with all our stakeholders - employees, customers, investors, governments, non-governmental organizations, academia and educational institutions – to Rebalance and build tomorrow’s society.
Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & Whole time Director