Wipro started its formal sustainability journey in 2001 with Wipro Cares, our community care program followed by Wipro Applying Thought in Schools (WATIS) in 2002, an initiative that addresses issues of systemic reforms in school education. This pursuit of good citizenship is a deliberative choice Wipro made in line with its core values of Wipro.
Over the years, our programs have expanded in scope and scale with significant initiatives getting added around ecology, workplace and employee engagement, customer stewardship, and suppliers. Running through these diverse programs is a common thread of thinking that reflects our position on sustainability.
- Business wields enormous power and influence in today’s world, both, economic and sociopolitical. With this power comes the concomitant responsibility make a difference in the larger social context. For us, this starts with a set of foundational values as embodied in the Spirit of Wipro: ‘Intensity to Win’, ‘Act with Sensitivity’ and ‘Unyielding Integrity’. These values emphasize respect for all stakeholders and are the ethical bedrock of conducting business which is non-negotiable under any circumstance.
- In engaging with the issues of sustainability, business must do so in a manner that is consistent with its core drivers; a spirit of innovation, financial and operational rigor, a keen focus on outcomes are hallmark attributes of the business sector and these must inform business action in sustainability in equal measure. In the absence of this, the approach to sustainability is likely to be peripheral and hollow. What this also implies is that there is nothing that business must do that seems to be driven by the need to oblige or comply.
- Related to the previous point is our conviction that we should be deeply engaged with our partners rather than treat it as an outsourcing exercise. This involvement must manifest in a carefully and deliberately chosen set of initiatives without spreading oneself thin. For similar reasons, we prefer to avoid using the term Corporate Social Responsibility as the term can be perceived to have a patronizing connotation to it; Sustainability is a more inclusive and appropriate term that suggests a proactive, comprehensive, and collaborative approach
During the course of our sustainability journey, we have tried to establish a formal framework for our sustainability program which address proactively the concerns of our stakeholders as well as contribute to their well-being. We identified our workforce, customers, suppliers, proximate communities, civil society networks and future generations as our stakeholders with whom we share mutual relationship of interest, influence and impact. Our engagement with our stakeholders and our materiality assessment gave us insights into issues relevant to our business as well as stakeholders and identify possible areas of engagement. For more information on our stakeholder identification and materiality assessment, refer to section on ‘Materiality Determination’.
We have formulated eight guiding principles to guide our approach to sustainability. The principles add to the rigor of our sustainability program. The principles are listed below and is discussed in detail in the subsequent sections.