Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wipro's Vision of Sustainability finds recognition with CDP and DJSI

Author:- P. S. Narayan

Earlier this week, two important sustainability related announcements were made. First was the release of the Global Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (or CDLI) that comprised the top 51 companies from across 10 industry sectors; the CDLI recognizes industry front-runners who have a strong, demonstrable program on greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reductions. This was followed by the announcement of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a long running assessment of 'best-in-class' companies from across the world on multiple sustainability criteria. Both these announcements are much awaited every year and are considered gold standards - or the Oscars - in the Carbon and Sustainability spaces.

CDP and DJSI have wide acceptance worldwide with the result that the playing field is very competitive. For example, this year, the DJSI attracted 1544 companies of which 340 made the final global rankings; the IT Services sector had 32 participants with just 4 making the cut. The competitive frenzy can be gauged by the fact that past performance or credentials is no guarantee of continuing in the DJSI - this year saw heavy weights like IBM, Dell and GlaxoSmithKline drop out of the global listing. The CDLI is even more selective with just 51 constituent companies.

Wipro is honored to be the only company from India to be included in these rankings. What makes it distinctive and special is the fact that we have made it to the DJSI (World) ranking for the third year in succession. Starting from our first year of participation in 2010, we have improved our scores significantly every year - moving from being just a DJSI member in year 1 to being the Bronze leader in 2011 and finally to being ranked #1 as the sector leader this year in the Computer Services and Internet sector.

Likewise, we have been top ranked in the CDLI India version for the last three years. This year saw us better that record by being one of just seven companies from the IT sector to be included in the global CDLI ranking along with the likes of Google, Microsoft and Nokia.

In our view, we could not have progressed even this far in our sustainability journey if we had adopted the conventional 'CSR' kind of approach that is based on a narrower notion of 'giving back' to society - a notion that is inherently patronizing and hence unlikely to be effective. These recognitions provide a reaffirmation for Wipro's approach and vision of sustainability - a vision that is grounded in the belief that business must engage deeply with the larger issues of sustainability if it has to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

Note: More details about DJSI and CDLI can be found at these links.