By Nicholas Ismail, Global Head of Brand Journalism, HCL Technologies Ltd.
Every part of the organization must act and work together to drive the change needed to meet sustainability goals. This is true of all carbon emitting industries. According to an update from a 2017 peer reviewed study, the ICT sector generates approximately 5.5% of the world’s emissions and will consume 20% of all electricity by 2025.
HCL Technologies’ board, partners, and the 210,966 employees operating in 52 countries have committed to a sustainable pact by working in a socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible way. This is fundamental in delivering tangible impact when it comes to achieving sustainability objectives and creating a better future.
When HCL Technologies was founded by Shiv Nadar in 1976, the values of humanity, responsibility, and a people-centric culture helped shape HCL Technologies commitment to sustainability. The launch of the 2022 Sustainability Report has revealed the significant progress the company has made including the steps taken to deliver on its sustainability vision, across environment, social, and governance; following the ACT, PACT, IMPACT philosophy.
HCL Technologies aims to align to the 1.5°C Pathway, achieving Net Zero by 2040, reduce absolute scope 1 & 2 emissions (owned or controlled by a company) by 50% by 2030, transitioning to 80% electricity usage to renewable energy by 2030 and achieving zero waste to landfill at all owned facilities by 2025.
The environment strategy focuses on four key dimensions – emission reduction, carbon offsets, climate related solutions, and climate risk mitigation; all measured by HCL Technologies’ Environmental Management System (EMS).
Progress has been made on the environmental focus of the sustainability journey, including:
Climate change: 70% reductions in per capita Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions in the last decade.
Eco-efficiency: Recharged 21 times more water than consumed during the year 2021-22.
Climate change/eco-efficiency: Over 7.3 million square feet of office space in India are platinum rated by the US Indian Green Building Council (USGBC) for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED).
Renewable Energy: Increased the renewable energy portion of overall energy consumption to 17.7% in FY2022.
Zero Waste: All campuses in India are free from ‘Single use plastics’.
Renewable energy: Globally 18% of energy consumed comes from renewable sources.
Most of HCL Technologies’ energy consumption comes from its buildings and data centers. The company has transitioned to using 50% renewable energy for the operation of data centers.
It has also deployed several initiatives within buildings to improve energy efficiency.
One such initiative was the replacement of conventional lighting with LED lighting in all major facilities including workspace, café/pantry, pathways, and basements. This resulted in an energy saving of 1,569 MWh of absolute energy consumption, reducing 1,240 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
For more details on HCL Technologies environmental and energy saving initiatives, read the full 2022 Sustainability Report.
HCL Technologies’ social strategy aims is to improve the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) knowledge and skills of employees, improve the gender diversity in the workforce to 40% women by 2030, increase gender representation in senior leadership levels to 30% by 2030, and become recognized among the best employers in key operating geographies.
The following progress has been made in the social element of the sustainability journey:
Human capital: Over 191,746 employees participated in career and performance development reviews, up from 153,393 in FY21.
Citizenship: 3.7 million lives have been positively impacted through HCL Foundation initiatives: education, health, skills development, environment, disaster risk reduction and response – 55% of the beneficiaries of our HCL Foundations projects are women.
HCL Technologies has numerous internal and external initiatives that focus on increasing and diversifying skills, promoting diversity and inclusion, and connecting employees around the world.
The Skills @ Scale Program is an exclusive career management program for individual contributors and first-time managers. It provides upskilling opportunities for employees to advance in their career. At the same time, this program provides the organization to address the l challenge of retaining and preparing in-house talent for future anticipated roles.
This program is in its fourth year and has helped save approximately $131 million in new hires and training.
For more details on HCL Technologies’ social initiatives, read the full 2022 Sustainability Report.
Good governance is a testament to an organization’s ethical standards.
HCL Technologies’ governance approach seeks to strengthen the sustainable supply chain process, integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) into Risk Management and Internal Audit processes, and be recognized as a leader for information security practices and data privacy standards.
The following progress has been made in the governance journey:
Sustainable procurement: 89% of total procurement spending is now on locally sourced goods and services.
Governance and ethics: the Board’s Diversity Committee (created in April 2016) was redesigned to become the ESG and DEI Committee of the Board.
HCL Technologies’ corporate governance principles include integrity, fairness, equity, transparency, accountability, and commitment to values. These are upheld across a variety of board committees.
For more details on HCL Technologies governance and ethical initiatives, read the full 2022 Sustainability Report.
The CEO view
When it comes to sustainability and the profound impact it will have on an organization, its employees, and ways organizations operate, CEOs and other leaders must inspire and effectively communicate the changes ahead.
"Our future is an outcome of our choices not circumstances...Today, our multifarious actions towards sustainability, as detailed in this report, stand upon this legacy of innovation, entrepreneurship, humanity, and a people centric culture working in tandem with local communities.
“As the world is put to the test with rising environmental complications and social disparities, we at HCL Technologies believe that business has an important role to play in overcoming these challenges. We have therefore embedded Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into the very core of our business and operations strategy to ensure sustainable and responsible progress for all our stakeholders. In this endeavor, we are guided by our philosophy of “Act-Pact-Impact”.
The path ahead
HCL Technologies realizes its sustainability initiatives are and will continue to have a significant impact on the future of humanity and the natural world. Making an impact requires a commitment to a sustainability journey.
Environmentally, over the next two years, the company is targeting fleet electrification and increased use of virtual collaboration tools to reduce the need for business travel.
The company has also partnered with the World Economic Forum’s UpLink program and committed $15 million over the next five years to support entrepreneurs who are focused on driving innovation in freshwater resource management.
Socially, improving levels of gender diversity is a priority – with a target of 40% women in the organization by 2030.
From a governance perspective, the mandate remains clear: to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices in vendor and supplier ecosystems, ensure procurement aligns to sustainability requirements, and to further integrate ESG into risk management and internal audit processes to better predict their impact on business functioning.
Moving forward, all strategies, operations, and interactions will be integrated with a sustainable perspective.
Click here for a detailed look at HCL Technologies 2022 Sustainability Report.