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Let the sunshine in

Capgemini’s campuses have made a significant step towards a net zero future – our Bangalore and Hyderabad campus in India are two shining examples

With solar rooftops and reduced consumption, Capgemini’s Bangalore and Hyderabad campuses in India are exporting surplus renewTaking a more responsible approachable energy back to the state electricity grid.

Taking a more responsible approach

“Our goal is to get all our Capgemini campuses in India to use resources more efficiently and responsibly,” says Viswanathan R, Senior Director Engineering Services, Corporate Real Estate Services, in India. That might seem like a major undertaking, but the real ambition is to become ‘net zero’– where all the activities of the company result in no net impact on the climate from greenhouse gas emissions. 
“We look at everything holistically, whether it’s energy, water or waste,” he continues. “How do we use them? How do we treat them? How do we reduce landfill? And it’s not just about the environmental goals of the organization – it’s also about society at large.” 

Capgemini’s sustainability journey in India started in 2012 when we first started building our local environment program. ““Capgemini has large campuses in almost all large cities in India,” says Viswanathan. “We have a real-estate footprint of around 14 million square feet of office space. The energy required to run these is huge. In 2015, our baseline year for data, the level of renewable energy we were using was zero percent. Now, it’s 25 percent across all the facilities we own and operate across the country.”

Net zero ambitions

As part of Capgemini’s commitment to becoming a net zero business, our first step is to be carbon neutral no later than 2025 – and this major milestone has already been achieved.

Bangalore: A net zero campus

One of our biggest campuses, in Bangalore, became the first corporate campus in India to receive the ‘Net-Zero Energy – Platinum’ certification from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), for generating at least as much energy as it uses.

Letting the sunshine in

To achieve this efficiency standard, Viswanathan and his colleagues have literally let the sunshine in. “We get bright sunlight for around 300 days a year in India, so solar power is a good choice for energy,” he says. “We have fitted solar panels on the roofs of our facilities, and developed solar gazebos, pedestrian walkways, car ports, a solar-powered amphitheater, and even solar-powered ‘trees’. Most of the common areas of our campuses are now managed by our own production of electricity.”

With many employees working from home since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for energy in India’s offices has been considerably reduced. “The campuses in Bangalore and Hyderabad have even generated surplus electricity via solar power”, says Viswanathan. “We have been able to export this back to the grid – and this clean energy is actually helping to decarbonize the Indian grid.”

Solar-powered trees

Solar-powered trees are artificial structures topped with solar panels. These offer shade for colleagues to chat, relax, and hold informal meetings – while powering their laptops and phones using the solar canopy above.

A catalyst for change

The success of the Bangalore campus is a significant milestone in the road to a net zero future. “We are always looking to build efficiencies,” says Viswanathan. “It’s a self-imposed challenge and it’s our duty to the environment to do better. With our Mission Million Trees initiative, for example, we have committed to grow 1 million trees at our India offices this year.

“We want to be catalysts for change – and any climate action needs to benefit the wider society directly. Each one of us is contributing to the climate crisis, but more importantly, each one of us can be part of the solution.”

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