How India’s IT Giant Infosys Is Going Green
Infosys is an Indian IT powerhouse and considered one of the country’s most entrepreneurial and innovative businesses. IT companies typically have large office complexes and data centers, both are energy hungry and power costs make up a large share of the cost base.
To reduce energy costs and to go greener, Infosys has been decreasing electricity consumption per staff member by 44% across its Indian business campuses, cutting $80 million of the annual energy bill. In addition, the company is making more and more use of renewable energy. It has installed 2 MW of solar rooftop plants. By 2018, it wants to cover all its power needs from on and off-site renewables.
What Is Infosys Plan?
In order to achieve the energy savings, Infosys has taken a number of steps in retrofitting old buildings and designing new ones. Frankly, none of these are rocket science, but only a few buildings in India are designed in such a way.
The measures include, for example: the size of chiller plants for air conditioning has been reduced; roofs have been painted white to reflect the sunlight and heat; the windows are using shading to keep the offices cooler; natural light in offices is maximized. At least as important is the continuous monitoring of energy performance and good maintenance of the buildings.
One of the more innovative ideas was to use radiant cooling. Cooled water from the chiller plant is circulated in the floors and ceilings of rooms, so that the internal surfaces are cooled. This means that much less air flow is needed to achieve comfortable working conditions.
Infosys found that, after two years, the electricity used for cooling was 30% lower in a new office building with radiant cooling, compared to an otherwise-identical building with efficient conventional cooling. In addition, the cooling plant was smaller and cheaper to install. This technique is being rolled out in new buildings.
The case of Infosys shows that a lot of money can be saved through smarter building designs and simple retrofitting measures. The example will hopefully be followed. Infosys has won the 2014 International Ashden Award for its efforts and made case studies public.