Two Indian companies, Infosys and Greenway Grameen, have emerged winners of this year’s edition of the International Ashden Awards. The green energy awards were presented at a prestigious ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Infosys, ever since 2008, has reportedly cut more than $80 million off its electricity bills and reduced electricity consumption per staff member by 44 percent.
According to an Ashden Awards communication, the company has succeeded 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. Cutting edge design of new buildings also helps keep offices cooler and maximises natural light.
Rohan Parikh, Head of Green Initiatives and Infrastructure of Infosys, said: “At Infosys, we have always been conscious of our responsibility to drive efforts that reduce our consumption of resources. Being a winner at this year’s Ashden Awards is an acknowledgement of our leadership in sustainability: we want to be a role model not only for other corporates but for the entire society.”
“Infosys wins the 2014 Ashden International Gold Award for their game-changing work in sustainable buildings. They are pioneers in making large commercial buildings super energy-efficient and sustainable, and as such they are a fantastic role model for others to follow. By making an unassailable case for investing in energy efficiency, the company has set the standard for other large businesses and their CEOs, in India and worldwide,” the Ashden Awards judging panel commented.
Meanwhile, Greenway Grameen has been in the limelight for its clean cookstoves business, which has been co-founded by entrepreneurs Neha Juneja and Ankit Matthur two years after they completed their MBA in 2008.
Greenway Grameen’s mission is to provide an affordable, desirable cookstove to improve quality of life for Indian women. In just three years the company has sold more than 120,000 stoves, thanks to clever marketing and a focus on designing a product that women actually want to use.
According to Neha Juneja, Greenway Grameen Founder, “We are thrilled to be selected as a winner of the 2014 Ashden International Awards. My team and I have been continually impressed with and excited by the work that past Ashden winners have put forth and thus feel so honoured to be placed among such an elite group. Recognition from Ashden is no small feat and drives us to be even more resolved in our commitment to bring clean, affordable, desirable products to rural consumers.”
While Greenway Grameen won the first ever Ashden Clean Energy for Women and Girls Award, the runner up was Sahki Unique Rural Enterprise (SURE).
Infosys was awarded the first ever international Ashden Award for Sustainable buildings, while Kéré Architecture finished runner up.
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