#SustainabilityAgenda: Intel India head Nivruti Rai on why it's time to reaffirm our commitment to sustainability

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a key attribute of employability as millennials and Gen Z are seeking greater purpose in their work, writes Intel India head Nivruti Rai.

Climate change is a serious threat to our planet, people, and economy. Land degradation costs about 2.5 percent of India’s GDP a year; 70 percent of our water is contaminated, and India is the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gas after China, the EU, and the US.

The enormity of this challenge underpins the need for long-term sustainability actions and reinforces our responsibility to pivot the next decade to deliver on India’s sustainability goals for 2030:

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Sustainability is more important than ever before 

The business case for sustainability is growing. Sustainable practices create value and profitability for organisations and their stakeholders by maximising efficiency, enhancing product competitiveness, and increasing brand value. 

Pandemic underlines the need for sustainability 

It has highlighted the critical need for sustainability as businesses and consumers increasingly reinforce their commitment to environmental conservation.

In a BCG study, 90 percent of consumer respondents said they were equally or more concerned about environmental issues after the COVID-19 outbreak, and 95 percent believed their personal actions will help reduce unsustainable waste, tackle climate change, and protect biodiversity. There are conscious efforts to alter lifestyle to optimise energy, minimise water usage, or cut down on environment-unfriendly products.

Sustainability fuels disruptive products and solutions 

Studies show that sustainability spurs product innovation through minimised use of resources. While sustainable products and increased sales are correlated, the trend indicates that consumers would prefer to directly or indirectly associate with brands dedicated to social and environmental sustainability, and are likely to spend more on products from these brands.

Demand for sustainable products on the rise 

As per a study, quoted in an HBR Online article, 73 percent of global consumers are willing to change their consumption habits to lessen their negative impact on the environment. Sustainable product sales have grown by nearly 20 percent since 2014.

Sustainability boosts employer brand 

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a key attribute of employability as millennials and Gen Z are seeking greater purpose in their work. An organisation’s social and environmental commitment has become a deciding factor for them while choosing an employer.

Intel India’s commitment to sustainability goals

Sustainability is a key pillar of Intel’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, called RISE. It focuses on accelerating the adoption of responsibleinclusive, and sustainable practices in our operations and supply chain, and across the technology industry and society. These are enabled through our technology and the expertise and passion of our employees.

Under RISE, our sustainability goals for 2030 include:

• Net positive water use

• 100 percent renewable power

• Zero total waste to landfill

With over two decades journey of driving innovation, technology adoption, and social impact in the country, Intel India is deeply committed to sustainability. It has four focus areas: energy efficiency, community impact, IT infrastructure and products, and supply chain.

Source: Intel

Energy efficiency

Sustainable practices throughout our operations help us minimise cost and maximise efficiency. For example, all Intel India buildings are fitted with sensors to track and optimise temperature, lighting, energy consumption, and occupancy, leading to higher energy conservation.

A few years ago, Intel was the first organisation to set up a solid oxide fuel cell power generation system in India. Installed at our Bengaluru campus, the unit generates 4 MW of power annually and meets about 70 percent of the power needs of Intel India buildings, labs, and data centres.

Community impact 

Our employees volunteer their time and expertise to make a positive impact in communities through activities such as cleaning public spaces, lake rejuvenation, and tree planting.

Water conservation 

Our onsite water management practices allow us to recycle about 90 million litres of water annually. Intel, in collaboration with NGOs CLEAN International and Say Trees, has rejuvenated two lakes in Bengaluru —Nanjapura and Dyavasandra. The revival of these lakes is expected to restore about 100 million gallons of water each year.

First-of-its-kind sustainability lab across Intel 

Reinforcing Intel’s commitment to advance carbon-neutral computing, we have recently set up a Sustainability Lab at our Bengaluru campus. The first-of-its-kind lab across Intel aims to accelerate sustainability in product architecture and engineering through various facets such as mineral sourcing, design, manufacturing, software, hardware, form factor, and more.

The lab focuses on enhancing the repairability, reliability, and usability of products and their components in collaboration with our customers, suppliers, and partners.

As sustainability continues to be a cornerstone of Intel India, we recognise the need to do much more and with greater urgency to enable India to meet the 2030 goals.

I believe collaboration between the industry, government, academia, NGOs, and society is a powerful way to stimulate collective action towards accelerating environmental and social impact. Sustainability is a long-term commitment. Together we can achieve it faster.

Edited by Suman Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)