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Advocacy Engagements

Domain Brief highlights
Water, Energy, Biodiversity, Waste Management
  • Energy: (i) CSTEP – decentralized solar (ii) As a member of the TERI-CSD ( Business Council for Sustainable Development) India program, we participated in the program track on Energy Efficiency that seeks to advance best practices on energy management and efficiency in different industry sectors
  • Water continued to be a major area of collaborative focus for us in 2014-15. The two major advocacy platforms that we have been deeply involved in are summarized below
    • Advancing the agenda of the Karnataka State Water Network (KSWN) along with the CII Karnataka chapter. The KSWN brings together stakeholders from government, academia, civil society and business to address the most pressing issues in water in Bangalore and surrounding areas. Five area-wise clusters were formed with specific action plans drawn up for each
    • The Responsible Water program seeks to address the pressing issue of ground water in the Sarjapur area in Bangalore. It does this through a combination of scientific hydrogeology and the involvement several citizen groups as part of a unique decentralized governance framework
  • Biodiversity: Our participation in advocacy on biodiversity issues was through two national levels forums – the CII-India Business for Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) and the Leaders for Nature program from the India chapter of IUCN.
  • Waste Management: In collaboration with InfoActiv, an Australia based NGO organization that focuses on e-Waste, we helped create a platform in the Electronic City Industrial area in Bangalore, India. This zone hosts a significant majority of IT companies and is therefore a source of sizable amounts of e-Waste. The platform will help align common interest areas and streamline the processes involved in the collection of e-Waste from bulk consumers. Apart from this, we continued to be part of the sub-committee on ‘Waste’ in the CII National Environment Committee
Horizontal areas in Sustainability and CSR

We continued to strengthen our participation in advocacy on the cause of corporate sustainability as a whole

  • As Co-Chair of the CII-GBC Greenco forum (Bangalore chapter), the goal is to drive the adoption of the ‘Greenco’ framework by industry at large in Bangalore and surrounding areas. The Greenco framework encourages companies to establish a multi-dimensional framework of ecological sustainability that spans the areas of Energy, Water, Waste, Biodiversity and Product Stewardship. Greenco for IT
  • We continued to actively participate in the debate around the CSR provisions of the Companies Act 2013. Our primary position has been that CSR as a mandate may not be the most effective means of getting industry to engage on larger social issues. We also believe that business sustainability plays a critical role in moving the needle forward and must be included as part of the provisions of the CSR rules. Third, as a global corporate citizen, we think that CSR must include community programs of all the countries that a company operates in and should not be restricted to India
School Education
  • We supported a multi-state comparative study which is providing insights into how the textbook markets operate in India; the outcomes of this study are expected to inform later advocacy efforts.
  • Our work with partner organizations such as EZ Vidya to develop capacity in understanding and supporting schools to do Continuous and Comprehensive Assessment (CCE) and SeasonWatch, a national citizen science initiative, were covered in popular media
  • Our social science program with Vikramshila was lauded as an exemplar way of imparting life skills at a joint meeting organized by Jadavpur University and UNICEF
  • The proceedings of the 14th annual Partners’ Forum on the topic of ‘Textbooks and Education’ and of the 13th Partners’ Forum on ‘Assessments and School Education’ have been published & distributed. Summary videos of Forum sessions were also disseminated online through a YouTube channel
  • Kamala Mukunda’s acclaimed book on child learning, ‘What did you ask at School Today’, was brought out in Hindi by Eklavya with our support. The books has been distributed widely among educational NGOs and also to over 500 District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) across the country.
Sustainability Literacy and Education
  • earthian, Wipro’s flagship program in sustainability education for schools and colleges, tries to catalyze advocacy on sustainability learning among young students across the country
  • The scale of earthian’s outreach is significant: over a four year period of 2010-2014, the outreach has been to 3000 schools, 15000 students and 3500 educators,90000 Facebook fans, 45000 Youtube views and 25000 unique website visits
  • XIMB/XSOS
  • We co-hosted – along with IIM Bangalore and the Kenan Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina – a national level symposium on ‘Sustainability in Management Education’. The meet was attended by faculty from more than 15 premier B-Schools from across the country
  • We also hosted a Business Plan competition on ‘Sustainable Public Transport in Bangalore’ as part of IIM-Bangalore’s annual student-led event ‘Eximius’
  • 14 workshops on sustainability learning were conducted for more than 250 teachers from selected earthian schools from across the country
Diversity
  • During 2014-15, we also participated in industry research and advocacy on key Diversity and Inclusion themes. We continued our engagement with external stakeholders where we hold advisory board / core committee positions, namely with Catalyst, NASSCOM and CII
  • Wipro is part of the core CII committee for employment of people with disabilities and also part of the NASSCOM working group on gender inclusion
  • Catalyst is a leading nonprofit organization which works on expanding opportunities for women and business. Wipro’s CEO is on the Catalyst Board of Directors and is also the chair of Catalyst India Advisory Board
  • Our work on Persons with Disability was featured as one of the five case studies globally in a special report that GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) released in Madrid, Spain in March 2015

Speaking engagements in public forums play an important role in building sustainability awareness and advocacy. We actively participated as speakers in several events all through the year, some examples of which are: University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Business School, the Annual CII Greenco Summit at Chennai, the CII-IBBI national conference on Biodiversity, the annual summit of IUCN-India, the annual conference of the India Green Building Council and the National HRD network annual summit.