As a responsible corporate citizen, R.P. Infosystems has been a pioneer in the Country to think about spreading computer literacy across various cross sections of the society and making PCs affordable for all. Alongside this, RP also realizes the importance of Environment Management, which is a global concern today that can have far-reaching adverse effects on the life of this planet if not dealt with properly.
The Company has always been responsible in their approach towards environment sustainability. As a conscious corporate citizen, it has made all efforts towards maintaining ecological balance. Chirag's new brand Greenputer™ comes with the promise of less energy consumption that helps the environment to remain clean and green.
At RP, we believe that being a responsible global organization goes beyond focusing on business objectives and creating customer delight. So we seek to bring environmental consciousness into the heart of all operations, not just our products. And we also believe that this is not a one-time phenomenon – it is a continuous improvement process, striving towards creating more environment friendly products and operations that minimize the usage of hazardous substances and chemicals which have adverse potential impact on the ecosystem. This is not just our way of doing business, but a way of life at RP. We call it Mission Green.
The sections below highlight the key areas of this Mission.
Chemicals policy and management at RP
Our new chemicals policy is based on the Precautionary Principle
While our business objectives remain at providing affordable PCs for the masses, our core vision of Mission Green is to avoid the use of any substance in our products and operations that could significantly harm the environment. We understand that the key therefore lies in achieving an optimum balance between utility, costs and constant innovation and upgradation of materials used in our products and operation processes. We know that it is the right of our future generation to inherit a greener planet, and that’s the reason why Mission Green strives towards creating more environment friendly products and operations that minimize the usage of hazardous substances and chemicals having adverse potential impact on the ecosystem. Our new policy aims that the following substances are best avoided in the production process:
- Materials and substances with known hazardous properties which are harmful to human health and the environment;
- Materials and substances with potential hazardous properties that show strong indications of serious risks to human health and the environment;
- Non-degradable materials and substances with hazardous properties that bio persists and accumulates in the atmosphere to adversely impact human health and the environment.
Going a step forward, our new policy is geared around the Precautionary Principle which means that if reasonable scientific grounds indicate a material could pose serious environmental or human health risks, even if the full extent of harm has not yet been definitively established, precautionary measures should be taken to avoid the use of such substances in products unless there is convincing evidence that the risks are insignificant compared to the overall benefits to the society at large. Our aim is to gradually phase out and substitute such substances in the short to midterm and completely eliminate them over the long term once alternative materials become viable. Our overall goal in this regard is to:
- Eliminate all the items banned internationally under different laws, treaties and conventions;
- Substituting PVC & BFR in desktop models in short term along with Phthalate, Antimony and Beryllium in midterm;
- Eliminate elements which are not banned by laws but are reasonable threat to human health and environment in the long term.
There is a specialized Chemicals Management team at RP’s R&D center to scientifically assess the environmental cause and effect relationship of each component going into its products. Like any PC manufacturer in the World, our production process is also driven by downstream suppliers to a large extent. However, our team jointly works with the Original Design Manufacturers to determine the usage of chemicals and the extent of its relative impact on environment before we proceed with the use of such chemicals. Our team is also in constant touch with fellow researchers and faculty at some of the leading universities in India to constantly seek for new environment friendly chemicals that might substitute the current ones.
Our R&D engineers constantly communicate with its vendors about the evaluation and results of our internal research. RP also collaborates with various government agencies to upgrade and qualify the existing set of Rules and Regulation to ensure the delivery of safe products. Constant monitoring of National policies such as Environment Protection Act (EPA), Hazardous waste Rules, ISI and ISO certification, Directives from Electronics Departments and from local government related to the IT industry provides the basic guidelines, while International Treaties, conventions and directions like RoHS which regulates the Electronics Industry form the overall umbrella.
Based on the new precautionary principle, RP now aims to work more closely with its partner eco system in identifying and eliminating not only the chemicals that are known and already rated as toxic and hazardous, but also those chemicals that might pose a potential threat in the near future to the safety of the environment and human health. This further means that RP shall take all necessary precautions before it decides to use any new chemicals in its upcoming models, apart from gradually phasing out specified substances from existing models.
However, RP fully agrees with the Government of India’s stand that the Indian approach to this issue will require appropriate handling of the IPR issue, since widest possible dissemination will require existing climate-friendly technologies and goods to be made available, especially to developing countries, as public goods. Competitive bidding for such technologies, financed through multilateral funds, could be used to avoid loss to the innovators. The collaborative R&D effort could be similarly funded through a multilateral fund under the UNFCCC with its products being available as public goods, enabling rapid and widespread dissemination. India, like other major developing countries, would be willing to be an active participant in any such initiative. It would also be necessary to provide for large scale capacity building, particularly in developing countries, to enable successful absorption and application of climate friendly technologies. A Copenhagen package incorporating these components, with an accompanying multilateral financing package, would have been an outcome worthy of a concerned global citizenry. India had made written submissions to the UNFCCC on these issues being considered in the ongoing multilateral negotiations, and we eagerly await a constructive outcome on this to fully comply with the global norms.
RP adheres to the draft e-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2010. The Individual Producer Responsibility that RP follows under these Rules, among others, states the following:
- Collection of any e-waste generated during the manufacturing process and channelizing the same for recycling or disposal;
- Ensuring that all electrical and electronic equipment are provided with a unique serial number or individual identification code for tracking their products in the e-waste management system;
- Collecting e-waste generated from the ‘End of Life’ of their products in line with the principle of ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ (EPR), and to ensure that such e-wastes are channelized to a registered dismantler or recycler;
- Setting up collection centers or take back system either individually or collectively for all electrical and electronic equipment at the end of their life;
- Providing contact details such as address, telephone numbers/helpline number and e-mail of dealers and authorized collection centers to consumer(s) or bulk consumer(s) so as to facilitate return of used electrical and electronic equipment;
- Creating awareness through publications, advertisements, posters, or by any other means of communication and information booklets accompanying the equipment, with regard to the following:
- Information on hazardous constituents in e-waste electrical and electronic equipment;
- Information on hazards of improper handling, accidental breakage, damage and/or improper recycling of e-waste;
- Instructions for handling the equipment after its use, along with the Do’s and Don’ts;
- Affixing appropriate symbols on the products to prevent e-waste from being dropped in garbage bins containing waste destined for disposal;
- Obtaining an authorization from the concerned State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee in accordance with the prescribed procedures;
- Maintaining necessary records of the e-waste handled and filing annual returns to the concerned State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee.
RP’s overall e-waste management policy aims at providing efficient and easy product recovery options to consumers under IPR/EPR to facilitate responsible product retirement of all its manufactured products along with taking financial responsibility for the same. The key objectives of the policy could be summarized as below:
- Taking appropriate action during the design and production stage of products itself so that it facilitates easier dismantling and recovery/reuse at the end of life stage;
- Extending the recycling facility to all its users regardless of the fact of when and where they had purchased the product;
- Creating a telephonic process of e-waste recycling request registration, where customers (both individual and corporate ) can register their requests for disposal of their e-waste with the assurance that the entire process of recycling/disposal of WEEE will be carried out by an authorized recycling agency and Toll Free Help-desk for answering queries related to WEEE / E-Waste / Recycling;
- Establishment of collection points in co-ordination with the tied-up authorized recyclers all over the nation;
- Increasing customer awareness on E-Waste recycling and participation of our valued customers through take-back schemes for old computers;
- Inclusion of the e-waste related FAQs and contact details of its e-waste collection centers in all the products shipped.
RP has a comprehensive binding agreement with Justdispose™, one of the top Recycling houses in the country to provide complete E-waste recycling solutions to us. The entire recycling process is described here
. Through this, RP has extended its e-waste collection program to reach each of its customers spread across the country and ensured the scientific handling and disposal of its products. For more information, please visit their website at www.justdispose.com
Thus RP, as part of its individual producer responsibility (IPR) encourages its customers to help recycle end-of-life products by facilitating separate collection and recycling by an authorized and licensed recycler in an environmentally friendly manner. We seek the support of all of our valued customers to help promote recovery and recycling of EEE.
For any information related to this and e-waste recycling request registration, please call our Toll Free Helpdesk: 1800 345 6365 or Justdispose ™ at +912502393939.
Support for global mandatory reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions“Our people have a right to economic and social development and to discard the ignominy of widespread poverty. For this we need rapid economic growth. But I also believe that ecologically sustainable development need not be in contradiction to achieving our growth objectives. In fact, we must have a broader perspective on development. It must include the quality of life, not merely the quantitative accretion of goods and services. Our people want higher standards of living, but they also want clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe and a green earth to walk on.” Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
It is India’s view that the planetary atmospheric space is a common resource of humanity and each citizen of the globe has an equal entitlement to that space.
The principle of equity, therefore, implies that, over a period of time, there should be a convergence in per capita emissions. Any global Climate Change regime which results in merely freezing of the huge divergence in per capita emissions will not be acceptable on grounds of equity. Furthermore, in tackling the challenge of Climate Change, both production and consumption patterns need to be addressed, with a willingness to address lifestyle issues. India believes that Climate Change, which we all agree is an extraordinary challenge, deserves an extraordinary response. All countries of the world, developed and developing, need to join in a collaborative effort, to bring about a strategic shift, across the globe, from production and consumption patterns based on carbon-based fossil fuels to those based on renewable energy and non-carbon fuels. India strongly feels that a global package should be developed which:
- Commits developed countries to significant reductions in their GHG emissions;
- Achieves the widest possible dissemination at affordable costs of existing climate-friendly technologies and practices; and
- Puts in place a collaborative R&D effort among developed and major developing countries, to bring about cost-effective technological innovations and transformational technologies that can put the world on the road to a carbon-free economy.
Such a package will go beyond market mechanisms and competitive economic models, which would not be able to, by themselves, to achieve the scale of response required.
The mandate of the fifteenth Conference of Parties (COP) in Copenhagen was to enhance long-term cooperation on Climate Change under Bali Action Plan (BAP). While it was not about re-negotiating the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its mandate was long-term cooperation in terms of enhanced action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (Mitigation), and increasing the capacity to meet the consequences of climate change that has already taken place and is likely to continue to take place (Adaptation). Along with these objectives, sufficient financial resources (Finance) support and technology transfers (Technology) from developed to developing countries were also on the Agenda.
As far as India is concerned, it has announced a National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which incorporates its vision of sustainable development and the steps it must take to realize it. In the context of multilateral negotiations under the UNFCCC, the BAP envisages nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) as they are called, based on the national circumstances and priorities of the developing countries themselves. Moreover, the BAP also stipulates categorically that these actions i.e. NAMAs must be “supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building.” It is also important that an equal emphasis must be accorded to actions required for Adaptation.
This is extremely important for the following reasons:
- Climate Change is taking place not due to current level of GHG emissions, but as a result of the cumulative impact of accumulated GHGs in the planetary atmosphere. Current emissions are, of course, adding to the problem incrementally. Even if current emissions were, by some miracle, reduced to zero tomorrow, Climate Change will continue to take place. The accumulated stock of GHGs in the atmosphere is mainly the result of carbon-based industrial activity in developed countries over the past two centuries and more. It is for this reason that the UNFCCC stipulates deep and significant cuts in the emissions of the industrialized countries as fulfillment of their historic responsibility.
- The UNFCCC itself does not require developing countries to take on any commitments on reducing their GHG emissions. This was also recognized in the subsequent Kyoto Protocol which only set targets for developed countries, the so-called Annex I countries. It is inevitable that the pursuit of social and economic development by developing countries, will result in an increase in their GHG emissions, for the foreseeable future. This is recognized in the UNFCCC itself. Despite this, India has already declared that even as it pursues its social and economic development objectives, it will not allow its per capita GHG emissions to exceed the average per capita emissions of the developed countries. This effectively puts a cap on our emissions, which will be lower if our developed country partners choose to be more ambitious in reducing their own emissions.
- India can, by no stretch of imagination, be described as a so-called “major emitter”. India’s per capita CO2 emissions are currently only 1.1 tonnes, when compared to over 20 tonnes for the US and in excess of 10 tonnes for most OECD countries. Furthermore, even if India is No. 3 in terms of total volume of emissions, the gap with the first and second-ranking countries is very large. The US and China account for over 16% each of the total global emissions, while India trails with just 4%, despite its very large population and its rapidly growing economy.
Thus, for developing countries like India, the focus of Climate Change action cannot just be current emissions. There is the equally important issue of Adaptation to Climate Change that has already taken place and will continue to take place in the foreseeable future even in the most favourable Mitigation scenarios. India is already subject to high degree of climate variability resulting in droughts, floods and other extreme weather events which compels India to spend over 2% of its GDP on Adaptation and this figure is likely to go up significantly. Therefore, it was India’s stance that the Copenhagen package must include global action on Adaptation in addition to action to GHG abatement and reduction.
RP strongly agrees with the above basic stance of India on GHG reductions and aims to follow the NAPCC framework as relevant to its operations.
We feel appropriate regulations and policies in line with the prevailing circumstances are critical elements of enabling the low carbon economy in India, and have been proactively engaging with the Government on different dimensions of climate change regulations. Internally, we have already taken the following actions on sustainability:
- ISO 14001 Certification of operations and RoHS Compliance on our products;
- Significant reduction in business travel by encouraging Tele-con & Video-con facility that are available across all our branches and offices;
- Usage of alternative sources of energy for lighting e.g. LED lights and reduction in electricity consumption to the best possible extent at all Offices / Establishment of the Company by switching off AC / Fan / Lights / Systems and such other electrical appliances when not required;
- Car-pool policy within employees and explore usage of ‘clean’ fuel for transport fleet like CNG;
- Significantly reduce the usage of paper and paper products in all our offices and operations.
- Carbon Disclosure Project – Ongoing as part of our overall “Sustainability Program”: Watch this space for our first Sustainability Report
We also aim at achieving Green Building status based on LEED standards. Our new office complex that will come up at Rajarhat, Saltlake shall be a complete LEEDs certified Green Building.
Renewable Energy: Solar Power Plant
The National Action Plan on Climate Change points out: “India is a tropical country, where sunshine is available for longer hours per day and in great intensity. Solar energy, therefore, has great potential as future energy source. It also has the advantage of permitting the decentralized distribution of energy, thereby empowering people at the grassroots level”.
Based on this vision a Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission has been launched under the brand name “Solar India”. The objective of the National Solar Mission is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.
To achieve this, the Mission targets are:
- To create an enabling policy framework for the deployment of 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022;
- To ramp up capacity of grid-connected solar power generation to 1000 MW within three years – by 2013; an additional 3000 MW by 2017 through the mandatory use of the renewable purchase obligation by utilities backed with a preferential tariff. This capacity can be more than doubled – reaching 10,000MW installed power by 2017 or more, based on the enhanced and enabled international finance and technology transfer. The ambitious target for 2022 of 20,000 MW or more, will be dependent on the ‘learning’ of the first two phases, which if successful, could lead to conditions of grid-competitive solar power. The transition could be appropriately up scaled, based on availability of international finance and technology;
- To create favourable conditions for solar manufacturing capability, particularly solar thermal for indigenous production and market leadership;
- To promote programs for off grid applications, reaching 1000 MW by 2017 and 2000 MW by 2022;
- To achieve 15 million sq. meters solar thermal collector area by 2017 and 20 million by 2022;
- To deploy 20 million solar lighting systems for rural areas by 2022.
The mandatory use of the renewable energy purchase obligation by utilities backed with a preferential tariff is extremely encouraging. The solar power purchase obligation for States may start with 0.25% in the phase I and to go up to 3% by 2022. This could be complemented with a solar specific Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism to allow utilities and solar power generation companies to buy and sell certificates to meet their solar power purchase obligations, similar to developed nations that require utilities to provide a percentage of their electricity sales from solar generation. Rather than building their own solar plants to meet these targets, these suppliers often buy Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to achieve compliance with the state's renewable portfolio requirements.
In an ambitious project, RP Group has taken 70 acres of land at Jamuria, near Burdwan, West Bengal, to set up a 15 MW Solar Power Plant over the next 3 to 5 years at an estimated investment of INR 250 Cr. With this, RP aims not only to substitute its business as usual requirements, but also add renewable energy credits beyond business as usual. The initial estimated time period of commissioning is 15 months from the date of getting all approvals and clearances. The layout of the facility is given here.
Due to the sheer size of the project, RP plans to either sell a part of the SRECs associated with the system or direct power to the grid at preferential tariff to help recover a percentage of the capital cost. However, RP shall not claim any environmental benefits in terms carbon emissions reduction for the part of SRECs/ direct power it ultimately decides to sell at preferential tariff depending on the project economics, and will only ‘retire’ any additional differential amount as appropriate.
As part of its overall Sustainability Program, RP shall set an equally ambitious target to reduce its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 2015. Retiring any additional SRECs from the Solar Power Plant would mean that RP would, from that point on, prevent the emission of a substantial amount of carbon dioxide per year. Based on initial estimates, the 15 MW plant shall reduce approximately 65,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per annum. The solar power system is designed to last for 30 years or more.
Energy efficiency of New Models of specified products
Energy Star® 5 specification is the highest independently certified standard in energy efficiency. Energy Star® qualified products and practices helps one not only to save money, but also the environment as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy. Desktops, Notebooks, and Workstations that displays the Energy Star® label meeting these stringent requirements has highly efficient power consumption and other hardware specific features that, based on EPA estimates, could annually save up to 130 kWh of electricity and prevent up to 200 lbs of green house gas emissions (enough to fill a large room). Moreover, Energy Star® compliant computers can save even more energy by using Energy Star® power management features that allows the computer to enter a very low power consumption mode when not in use for a specified period of time. The EPA estimates that these power management features, when enabled on Energy Star® qualified computers, could save up to 500kWh of electricity annually, which translates to roughly saving greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking a car off the road for 3 weeks.
Since Energy Conservation is one of the key goals of Mission Green, as a policy, it has been decided that all our new models in the future will exceed Energy Star® 5 standards. For our existing models, we are working towards getting 50% of our Nu-Edge series Energy Star® 5 compliant, while 100% of our Eco-Edge series exceed Energy Star® 5 standards.