Environmental Finance speaks with Tata Consultancy Services' (TCS) Amit Kapur and Subramanian Kuppuswami about the firm's investor-focused digital solutions and the sustainability initiatives that are transforming the business.
Environmental Finance: Can you summarise your approach to sustainability at TCS?
Amit Kapur: At TCS, we view sustainable business as having two distinct aspects. Firstly, 'sustainability in business' encompasses the role of business in creating a more prosperous, inclusive, and greener future for everyone. This helps us drive purposeful innovation through the power of technology for long-term growth and sustainability.
Secondly, we understand the importance of 'sustainability for business'. This is part of a collaborative ecosystem-led approach to ensure highly sustainable, purpose driven business models that will create a better future.
By implementing a sustainability strategy that combines advanced technology with teamwork on an international level, we are better positioned to help our enterprise clients become more sustainable; not just with digital solutions and technical capabilities but also about shared experiences and consultancy.
EF: In terms of TCS' 'sustainability in business', what targets have you set for the company? How do you plan to meet them?
AK: As a multinational organisation with a presence in 46 different countries, we are collectively prioritising how we can efficiently reduce our collective carbon footprint by using renewable energies and a regenerative approach to business. We have enabled this by creating a greater awareness of our natural environment through collaborative sustainability initiatives with our employees, suppliers, customers, and the global community.
In 2021, we launched our Net Zero by 2030 strategy, which includes an ambitious target to reduce absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon footprints by 70% by 2025 (over 2016 base year). To ensure we achieve these targets, TCS will leverage green infrastructure and implement sustainable and energy efficient IT processes through the retrofitting of legacy infrastructure. Alongside this we are ensuring IT-enabled operational efficiencies across all geographies and business units, with green supply chain practices that include climate and sustainability assessments of all new suppliers. Moreover, we are prioritising the procurement of renewable energy for all TCS owned and managed office spaces and facilities.
EF: The company is also looking beyond climate, to natural capital and the circular economy. What initiatives do you have there?
AK: Our corporate sustainability is folded into our triple bottom-line focus of 'People, Planet and Purpose'. Our strategy focusses on reducing carbon footprint, using renewable energy, and a regenerative approach to business through collaborations with our employees, suppliers, customers, and the community at large.
Our initiatives are in-line with circular economy principles, and we apply them within our own supply chain and protecting natural capital through internal operations and value chains.
In addition to climate initiatives, TCS has multiple strategies for a regenerative and circular approach to our business operations. For example, we are reducing our internal water consumption by 3% year-on-year, with 100% recycling of regulated wastes, e-waste, printer cartridges, paper, packaging and plastics.
Conservation and natural capital enhancement projects across TCS campuses have led to 593 species of flora, 187 species of fauna and 39,000 well grown trees being planted. Our approach to waste management and sustainable initiatives surrounding it are helping us increase the circularity of internal operations.
EF: TCS is also undertaking outreach to universities around sustainability. What is your motivation?
AK: Our partnerships with universities provide us with a unique opportunity to collaborate with leading academic researchers in the field of digital technologies and sustainability. By working within an ecosystem of educational institutes and professionals, this enables us to drive innovation in our products and services and address our customers' sustainability challenges with greater impact. Ultimately, this strategy means we can accelerate the successful transition of our clients into a low carbon economy.
By partnering with universities through contests such as TCS Sustainathon™ we are able to engage with students. This is a sustainability competition which challenges university students to design and develop innovative solutions to the most urgent environmental issues facing our world today. In Oct 2022 Sustainathon was launched in UK and Ireland with University of Glasgow to develop sustainable technology solutions that support businesses. These engagements aim to support students and inspire a future generation of sustainability leaders by promoting new ideas and methodologies for resolving environmental challenges. They also enable us to spot and hire talent from universities with the right mix of interest and skills helping us build a future ready workforce.
EF: What other opportunities do you see in your 'ecosystem-led approach' to sustainability solutions?
AK: We see a number of new opportunities within our ecosystem-led approach to sustainability solutions. Firstly, we are seeing the power of geospatial data to provider greater insights into the climate-related impact of business and the economy through tracking and monitoring of environmental impacts across complex global supply chains. We also see an opportunity for the continued use of digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide faster and more accurate insights from the abundance of sustainability-related data and information that is beginning to penetrate the global economy.
EF: The TCS ESG Integration Suite was awarded the ESG initiative of the year (for corporates) award in Environmental Finance's 2023 Sustainable Investment Awards. How does it work, and how are clients using it?
Subramanian Kuppuswami: TCS's ESG Integration Suite is a powerful solution for sustainable finance that helps Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) organisations measure the true Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) performance of their investments or assets. The solution leverages depth & breadth of cloud partner services (Azure, AWS & GCP) and AI algorithms to enable an agnostic 3600 view of assets/investments of financial Institutions or entities, while offering lever to integrate ESG data (Qualification, Governance and Distribution, Visualization) including geo spatial data to drive customer engagement & holistic sustainability reporting.
Our clients are leveraging our solution as an accelerator to reduce their reliance on third-party data providers for company/security-level ESG data and performance scores. This increases the transparency of their investments, company, and portfolio ESG performance assessments, and helps improve the efficiency of their own in-house ESG analysis.
By empowering our clients to gain a deeper and more holistic understanding of their ESG investments and portfolio performance, we can facilitate better identification of ESG-related risks and opportunities. Having visibility on accurate ESG performance data supports targeted engagement with portfolio companies on sustainability-related issues and enables a clearer identification of greener and more sustainable finance options.
Amit Kapur is head of UK & Ireland and Subramanian Kuppuswami is global head of sustainable banking, finance & investments at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
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About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world's largest businesses in their transformation journeys for over 55 years. Its consulting-led, cognitive powered, portfolio of business, technology and engineering services and solutions is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile™ delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development.
A part of the Tata group, India's largest multinational business group, TCS has over 603,305 of the world's best-trained consultants in 55 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $27.9 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, and is listed on the BSE and the NSE in India. TCS' proactive stance on climate change and award-winning work with communities across the world have earned it a place in leading sustainability indices such as the MSCI Global Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Emerging Index. For more information, visit www.tcs.com