IT Services is predominantly an urban-centric sector and the impacts on biodiversity are rarely direct and not of the same order or scale as in biodiversity zones in the hinterland e.g. the Western Ghats reserve. Therefore, our approach since inception more than five years back has been to turn our focus inward on our own campuses, many of which have reasonably large non-built up spaces. Our goals are twofold: (i) to convert five of our existing campuses to biodiversity zones and (ii) to design all our new campuses on biodiversity principles.
Existing campus retrofits: We have initiated two programs in the last three years to convert existing campuses to biodiversity zones – (i) our Electronic City campus in Bangalore and (ii) our campus in Pune.
Electronic City campus biodiversity project: The first stage of our campus biodiversity project - the butterfly park – was completed in March 2013. The park is witness to hundreds of migratory butterflies who stop over in the park for nearly a month in their 400 Km pre monsoon annual migration from western to the Eastern Ghats in India. The second phase of the project, a ~3 acre Wetland park, is currently underway and expected to be completed in mid-2016.
Pune campus biodiversity project: We have started work on biodiversity retrofit projects at our two campuses in Pune with a baseline assessment of flora and fauna biodiversity. This project envisages thematic gardens – aesthetic and palm garden, spring garden, Ficus garden, spice and fruit garden – through plantations of native spaces specific to the local geography. For one the Pune campuses, the total number of native species has nearly trebled from 49 to 167 in the first year.
The Electronics City biodiversity project was featured as case study in a CII publication released at Conference of Parties at Korea. Wipro is one of the five member companies in India of “Leaders for Nature (LFN)”, a joint initiative of IUCN, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Hivos, and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).
In all these programs we work closely with expert partners in biodiversity, conservation, ecological design and communications. Building employee connect through expert talks, workshops and field visits to community research centers in forests, is a critical aspect of the program. As part of this larger advocacy, we arranged for industry workshops that were facilitated by International Union of Conservation Network (IUCN) at Kolkata and Bangalore on Wetlands and Urban Biodiversity.