Corporates contribution – Green offices

You enter your office building and go straight to the parking lot. What do you get to see there? Parking is not allowed in the basement. Wonder Why? Just to increase vegetation. Not only this, there are preferred car parking areas for car pooling vehicles and recharge stations for alternative vehicles. Now imagine this! Your office uses sensitive air-conditioners that automatically alter the room temperature depending on the number of people in the room. It also uses eco-friendly paint on the walls. The structure of the office building designed in such a way that it uses 95% natural light. One need not get worried or surprised because the office (Company) has planned to work in a green environment. Corporate India is steadily waking up to the benefits of green architecture including significantly lower running costs and a better brand image. Companies are also increasingly acknowledging the benefits of green architecture not just from an environmental perspective, but even from a cost management angle.

Green Revolution has become essential:

Different companies may have different reasons but the most important reason for a company to move towards a green architecture is its commitment towards environment conservation. Patni’s green IT-BPO Knowledge Centre in Noida is a case in point. It is designed to use less energy, water and natural resources as well as creates less waste. The state-of-art facility is built as per the guidelines of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) India Green Building Rating System for New Construction. It is one of the first few buildings in India that is being jointly audited by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

People are the most important assets of a company and it is vital to provide them with a healthy work environment. This becomes all the more important to companies, as they run their BPO and KPO operations on a 24×7 basis. Green environment provides occupants access to natural light and outside view which has a pleasant and soothing effect on them. In addition, productivity of people having access to natural light can be about 15% higher. While Green Buildings require between five percent to seven percent additional investment, the cost can be recovered within 24 to 30 months.

In case of Cisco, the company feels that its employees need a green and a healthy environment to be truly productive. Cisco campuses have ergonomically designed workplaces, recreational facilities and green areas to provide employees with world class work environment.

Leveraging a new online community, Cisco Green, employees are now sharing best practices and their recommendations to help Cisco meet its environmental goals. Employees are also sharing their perspectives via short video clips downloadable from a new green focused website. Cisco also has group multiple email aliases of green-minded employees who share information. The network can become a green platform for technology to help transform the way in which we manage global environmental challenges.

Some of the green initiatives at the campus include-rain water harvesting for irrigation and fertilization, garbage/organic waste recycling into biogas for cooking, usage of socially responsible green materials, daylight harvesting for internal environment, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) with electronic ballasts, use of occupancy sensors in enclosed spaces, harmonic filters for power conditioning and energy saving, etc.

Motorola’s manufacturing facility near Chennai was recently honored with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDR) silver certification by the Indian Green Buildings Council. Under the LEEDR Green Buildings Rating System, the facility was evaluated on several parameters such as efficiency of water usage, energy, materials and resource selection, besides indoor environmental quality. Their Plant implements rain water harvesting, capable of collecting about 10,000 kilolitres of water. They have a green belt surrounding the premises covering approximately 120,000 square feet and adopted a whole-building approach to sustainability. Greenhouse gas emissions, to combat climatic change, it is critical for the building industry to rapidly adopt sustainable design practices.