India: An Unlikely Pioneer of Green Building Initiatives?

Author: Nick Hart  Image Source: Flickr

Infosys Awarded Highest LEED Ratings For Its Buildings

Infosys Awarded Highest LEED Ratings For Its Buildings

Infosys has been awarded LEED Platinum certification

Just as with the other newly economically advanced nations, India presents an intriguing paradox: plenty of intellectual nous and a strong desire to adopt green building ideas, offset, though, by systemic problems like chronic overpopulation, environmental festering, and a chaotic infrastructure.

Nonetheless, India has shown—and continues to show—a remarkable determination to adopt green building technologies. Leading the way, India became the first country in the world, back in 2013, to institute corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. A law was established requiring around 8,000 companies in India to invest two percent of their profits per year on CSR programs. The likelihood of companies feeling compelled to actually use such investments on green building practices is questionable, but the law at least provides encouragement to corporations to think along the right lines.

One such company that took up the gauntlet is IT powerhouse Infosys. In 2014, the company took a bold step in embracing the government-inspired green building initiative. When it decided to expand its campus in Hyderabad, the company constructed one building using traditional methods and one built to modern energy-efficiency standards. The latter building, which was awarded LEED Platinum certification, uses 38 percent less energy than the traditionally constructed building, and cost 1 percent less to build.

It has been the usual practice in the world’s developing economies to build traditionally then retrofit subsequently to incorporate green building techniques. The Infosys example, however, demonstrates the economic and sustainability advantages of building green from the start.

Perhaps India is not just setting an example to its peers—Brazil, Russia, and China—but also showing the first world a green thing or two.