Tata Teleservices to increase focus on green initiatives

By Editor


Tata Teleservices to increase focus on green initiatives

Greentech Lead India: Tata Teleservices is committed to a
sustainable and green ecosystem. For the company, reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions and carbon footprint mitigation are an intrinsic part of gene pool,
and something that the Group has embraced in a huge way. Climate change is a
subject the group takes seriously, and its Go Green strategy allows us to
initiate comprehensive, alternate energy-saving programs aimed at reducing our
carbon footprint. Rajeev Narayan, senior vice president, Corporate Communication,
Corporate Sustainability and Climate Change, talks about Tata Teleservices’
green initiatives:

What are the Green initiatives adopted by Tata

In keeping with this approach, Tata Teleservices is
pursuing many initiatives to mitigate GHG emissions. As a major step to reduce
carbon emissions from DG sets, we have deployed fuel cells which work on LPG.
This is a joint project with Plug Power of the US and Hindustan Petroleum (HP).
Around two-and-a-half years back, we decided to implement fuel cells at 500
sites where electricity was very unreliable -this was then the biggest project
of its kind in the country.

The larger picture is that we have around 40,000 sites,
and growing, with our tower company VIOM Networks, which is our partnership
venture with Quippo Telecom Infrastructure. The potential to make a difference,
therefore, is quite large, and we are taking Going Green very seriously in
every aspect of our business – tower and majority establishment power supply
arrangements, handsets, etc.

We have experimented with fuel cells to produce
electricity via an electrochemical process, as against the combustion process
utilized by diesel generators. The process is more efficient, and allows for
both lower operating costs, as also the lowest-possible emissions. Generally,
fuel cells could be cost-effective for off-grid sites where grid power is not
feasible, or the quality/availability is bad. The commercial aspect of this is
being worked on for larger volumes, since the trials that were conducted
indicated successful results.

We are also working on fuel cells with cheaper Indian
fuels like methane, etc., which would make it the best option – being both
competitive and environment-friendly.

We also have other company-wide initiatives like Print
Manager, Bio-Blocks, Green Buildings, Water Harvesting, Green Plantation
Drives, and so on. We sensitize and encourage employees on the ‘Green’
front – TTL has an Eco Club names Prakriti, under the aegis of which employees
regularly take part in environment-friendly initiatives such as Nature Walks,
Plantation Drives, Cleanliness Campaigns and so on.

What are your plans to dispose the e-waste generated by
the company?

We are committed to responsibly dispose of the e-waste
generated by the company. To do so, we recently tied up with TESS-AMM
Recyclers, a registered e-waste recycler headquartered in Singapore. We also
recently approached Tata Group SCM to explore a Group-wide tie-up with TESS-AMM
so as to extend our knowledge and experience in this area. 

Most people are unaware of e-waste recycling
opportunities. How do you spread the word about your program?

We utilize various communication mediums such as internal
employee mailers, Live Media screens in our cafetaria, screen-savers, posters,
etc., across TTL offices. In addition, we release quarterly updates on
Corporate Sustainability which talks about various eco-friendly initiatives
undertaken by the company. For the collection of e-waste, we have placed
e-waste boxes in all our offices and select company – owned retail stores. To
encourage employees to deposit their e-waste, we run campaigns
like e-waste collection drives from time to time.

Is there a policy to deal with data privacy in TTL’s
e-waste management? Please explain.

Yes, we have an E-waste Management Policy in place, which
is available on the Intranet and covers identification and segregation of
electronic waste, reuse and recycling recommendations, disposal of electronic
waste at contractors’ sites, as also collection and disposal methods.

What has the response been for this e-waste recycling
program at TTL since its launch?

The Ministry of Environment released its guidelines on
e-waste recycling in 2011, but Tata Teleservices has been managing its e-waste
responsibly since 2009. TTL is amongst the few companies in the country that
has a streamlined and effective process for recycling of e-waste, and is is
committed to reducing its Carbon Footprint, knowing that being a telecom
service provider, we are indirectly responsible for generating some quantity of
e-waste – both on account of building business (i.e. increase in the number of
mobile phone users) as well as conducting business operations (computers,
peripherals, etc). The response towards all our e-waste initiatives, till date,
has been extremely encouraging and we hope to continue undertaking many such
initiatives in the future as well.

Is e-waste recycling a potential business in India?

Like China, India is also confronted with a huge problem
of e-waste – both locally-generated and internationally-imported; and also both a
lucrative industry and yet a serious threat to human health and the
environment. While there have been some initiatives to set regulations for
e-waste management, these are still far from sufficient as, by and large, these
are still typically being dismantled and recycled by hand in India, in large
unorganized scrap-yards. However, with the advancement of technology in India,
we expect e-waste recycling to become a potential business in the future.

What has the impact of the TTL e-waste recycling program
on carbon reduction been? Any estimate?

We evaluate the company’s Carbon Footprint intake with
the help of Tata Quality Management Systems (TQMS), which conducts an
energy-saving audit periodically and suggests various measures to save energy
and reduce our Carbon Footprint. Since e-waste management is a recent
phenomena, there are no carbon credits are available against the responsible
disposal of electronic waste. Therefore, we have the record only for the
quantity of e-waste disposed off so far.

What are your plans on utilizing renewable energy

As a telecom operator, we will continue to utilize
renewable energy resources, both on the network front and at the operational

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