Environmental Sustainability Initiatives at HCL Infosystems|Business Ethics|Case Study|Case Studies

Environmental Sustainability Initiatives at HCL Infosystems

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG100
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2007-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Dell Inc.
Industry : Computers, IT and ITeS
Countries : Global

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"With the growing demand for PCs (personal computers) and other electronic products in India, concerns over the environmental impact of e-waste are both timely and legitimate. HCL Infosystems therefore deserves applause for its voluntary initiatives in environment protection, as demonstrated by the launch of RoHS1-compliant HCL PCs today. We can now expect other players to soon join HCL in taking similar initiatives, which will ensure a safe and rich environment for our country."2

- Vinnie Mehta, Executive Director, Manufacturers' Association of Information Technology (MAIT)3, New Delhi, in 2007.

"HCL loses its top position to Wipro in the sixth Indian version of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics. Its overall score has not changed since the last ranking as it has not made any fresh commitments and /or progress on any of ranking criteria." 4

- Greenpeace India5, in March 2009.


By the first decade of the 21st century, environmental sustainability had become a core part of business decisions of companies in the information and communication technology (ICT) industry (Refer to Exhibit I for a glossary of terms pertaining to this industry and its environmental impact).

For these companies, green practices were not only aimed at conserving environmental resources and reducing energy consumption but also as a sound business practice to enrich the brand value as their customers increasingly preferred to work with 'greener' vendors.

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1] Restriction on the use of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS), a directive issued by the European Union, attempted to restrict the usage of hazardous substances such as Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipments. The regulation, which came into effect on July 01, 2006, stipulated that products should not contain more than the specified levels of these chemicals.
2] "HCL Announces HCL Esafe Programme to Spearhead its Environment Protection Initiatives," www.prdomain.com, October 9, 2007.
3] MAIT is an organization representing IT industry related activities in India such as hardware, training, and research and development. It is involved in improvement of IT education and its usage thereby contributing to the economic development of the nation. To strengthen the IT industry of India, it has worked with the central government on policy issues and has been involved in market development activities.
Source: www.mait.com (Accessed on May 5, 2009).
4] "Guide to Greener Electronics,'' India Version 6, www.greenpeaceindia.org, March 2009. This report ranked electronic and electrical equipment manufacturers on certain green parameters such as their impact on the environment, their policies on taking back obsolete products, their response to climate changes, and their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint.
5] Greenpeace is a Netherlands-based nonprofit organization working toward most serious environmental concerns such as oceans and forest conservation, encouraging the usage of renewable energy, toxic chemicals expulsion, and nuclear disarmament. It was started in the year 1971 and as of May 2009, it operated in 40 countries. It raised funds only from individuals and foundations, and did not accept contributions from governments and corporations to preserve its autonomy.
Source: www.greenpeace.org (Accessed on May 5, 2009).


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