India Inc

Infosys among finalists of 2014 Green Oscars

Information technology giant Infosys leads five Indian clean energy projects that have been selected as finalists for the annual Ashden Awards.

The awards, referred to as the Green Oscars, recognise worldwide contributions towards green energy initiatives and a move away from fossil fuels.

Infosys has been nominated in the ‘Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings’ category for the Bangalore-based company’s cutting edge design of new buildings which helps keep offices cooler and maximises natural light.

“Since 2008, global IT giant Infosys has cut more than $80 million from its energy bills and reduced electricity consumption per staff member by 44 per cent. Its success lies in seizing every opportunity to reduce energy consumption in its existing buildings – from reducing the size of chiller plants for air conditioning, to painting roofs white so they reflect the heat,” reads the nomination statement.

The other finalists include two projects from Maharashtra – Sakhi Unique Rural Enterprise (SURE) and Greenway Grameen – which have been nominated in the ‘Ashden Clean Energy for Women and Girls Award’ category.

SURE is a not-for-profit social enterprise in central Maharashtra that has selected, trained and supported more than 600 women micro-entrepreneurs to sell clean energy products like solar lanterns and cleaner cookstoves to other women.

Mumbai-based Greenway Grameen’s mission is to provide an affordable, desirable cookstove to improve quality of life for Indian women.

The Rajasthan Horticulture Development Society has been shortlisted for the ‘USAID Ashden Energy for Agriculture Award’ for its solar-powered water pump project and Mera Gao Power from Uttar Pradesh has been nominated in the ‘Citi Ashden Award for Innovation in Finance’ category for pioneering the use of unsubsidised commercial micro grids, which have so far connected more than 20,000 families to clean, affordable power.

“India is a hotbed of innovation in sustainable energy: from social enterprises that are meeting the energy needs of some of the poorest people in the country, to an IT giant that’s achieving staggering energy savings across all its business campuses. Together all five organisations are leading examples of what can be achieved. The rest of the world should take note,” said Ashden Awards founder Sarah Butler-Sloss.

A total of 14 Ashden Award winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London next month.

Winners will receive up to £40,000 and global recognition as one of 2014’s green energy leaders.

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