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SUSTAINING OUR ENVIRONMENT

As responsible stewards of the environment, we strive to protect our resources for the future, better manage climate change risks and enhance the quality of life for our associates, clients and the global community.

 

REDUCING OUR IMPACT ON THE PLANET


We focus on protecting and preserving the environment in which we live and work, while delivering meaningful cost savings from greater energy efficiency and waste reduction to benefit our company, clients and shareholders.

We apply the same innovative thinking and collaborative effort to environmental sustainability programs that we do to solving clients’ business challenges.

Our key environmental efforts are:

  • Operating with a well-defined environmental policy that has aggressive goals for reducing energy and water use, waste and emissions.
  • Implementing initiatives under our Go Green program, including the use of renewable energy, improved facilities design, and re-engineered business processes, to reach our environmental goals.
  • Engaging employees in grassroots Green Brigade programs designed to raise environmental awareness, plant trees, clean up public spaces, reduce waste, among other efforts.
  • Promoting environmental stewardship through company policies that encourage the use of public transportation, ride-sharing, bicycles, telecommuting and other “green commuting” practices.

OUR APPROACH

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP GOALS AND PERFORMANCE


Sustaining the Planet

We are committed to leading our industry in energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling. While Cognizant is a knowledge-based business and is physical asset-light, we still view environmental stewardship as a business imperative.

Cognizant has set organization-wide goals for energy and carbon emissions. Our original goal was to reduce energy consumption and emissions by 40% per capita by 2015 compared with our 2008 baseline. We achieved this goal ahead of schedule by focusing on energy conservation, efficiency and productivity. We cultivated alternative energy sources, reduced energy waste, and generated higher productivity per unit of energy—all of which helped us reduce per capita energy consumption by 53% over that period.

  • COGNIZANT GOES GREEN

    ENSURING A HEALTHY AND SAFE PLANET FOR ALL

    In 2016, our associate volunteers, known as Green Brigadiers, were involved in meaningful environmental projects, such as planting trees, cleaning up waterways and public spaces, collecting e-waste, encouraging green commuting and educating students about conservation.

    Renewable Energy

    In 2013, we began purchasing renewable energy for our campuses in India. In 2016, we procured 120,996,945 MJ of renewable energy, which amounts to 11% of our global energy consumption. In 2017, we will increase renewable purchases significantly, obtaining additional energy from biomass, wind and solar.

    We rely on a team of energy experts who focus on energy efficiency, along with business requirements and equipment availability. We make decisions regarding new or retrofit systems based on these factors.

    Water

    As a professional services business, we do not use water in our supply chain. Accordingly, while we do not see an opportunity to significantly reduce water use, we do compile and study water usage data and look for ways to conserve water. Our operations also harvest rainwater and do not draw on any local body of water. We recycle water at our sites and reuse this recycled water.

    Waste and Effluents

    We work to reduce our impact on the environment by managing waste in an efficient and sustainable manner. To help our associates contribute to this objective, we have installed e-waste recycling bins across our facilities in India, and we encourage associates to dispose of e-waste responsibly. E-waste is recycled through Cognizant-authorized recycling partners.

    Transport

    As a global company, travel is a major contributor to our environmental footprint. We have placed a significant emphasis on reducing travel by using video conferencing and telepresence facilities. To date, we have deployed close to 500 telepresence and high-definition video units across our India facilities, significantly reducing our air travel.

  • OUR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES AND PRACTICES

    CONTINUALLY IMPROVING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE

    Our policies are based on internationally recognized standards and frameworks from organizations such as the United Nations Global Compact, International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). We have implemented an Environment Management System, as defined by ISO 14001 standards, in our India and UK offices, which enables us to identify and control the environmental impact of our activities. Our system has been certified at eight of our facilities in India.

    Organizational Responsibility

    Our Senior Director of Sustainability, who report to our company’s Chief Operating Officer, oversees performance across all aspects of sustainability. This individual leads our Go Green team, which focuses specifically on our environment, health and safety performance. This team manages our annual Carbon Disclosure Project data gathering and reporting, our ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification processes, works with facilities management on energy efficiency and water conservation programs and organizes our Green Brigade volunteers across the globe.

    Training and Awareness

    The Go Green team provides frequent Company-wide communications on topics ranging from energy and resource conservation to personal conservation. We provide environmental training through e-learning and resources such as our Energy Handbook to our facilities management teams to ensure they are trained in best practices in energy management and conservation.

    Monitoring and Follow-Up

    The Go Green team gathers data monthly and annually, following industry standard protocols to gather and report environmental performance information, such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. In key areas such as energy use, we produce a monthly dashboard on energy consumption, and use Six Sigma and lean techniques to work with managers at under-performing facilities to learn from the best practices employed by top-performing facilities.