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Infosys bags Green Oscar for eco-friendly buildings

May 23, 2014 16:18 IST

Infosys bags Green Oscar for eco-friendly buildings

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Aditi Khanna in London

India's information technology major Infosys bagged the prestigious Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings, referred to as the Green Oscars, for its cutting-edge design of new buildings which helps keep offices cooler and maximises natural light.

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Image: Infosys, Bangalore
Photographs: Amit/Wikimedia Commons

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The Bangalore-headquartered firm bagged the annual award for "seizing every opportunity to reduce energy consumption in its existing buildings - from reducing the size of chiller plants for air conditioning to painting roofs white so they reflect the heat".

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Photographs: Reuters
Tags: India

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The Ashden Clean Energy for Women and Girls Award also went to an Indian project, Mumbai-based Greenway Grameen.

The rapidly growing clean cook-stoves business, co-founded by entrepreneurs Neha Juneja and Ankit Mathur, won for its affordable cook-stoves to improve the quality of life for Indian women.

"So far the company has sold more than 120,000 stoves, thanks to clever marketing and a focus on designing a product that women actually want to use," the awards panel said.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Greenway Grameen

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Five Indian projects were shortlisted for this year's awards. The remaining three projects were being named runners up in their respective categories.

Sakhi Unique Rural Enterprise (SURE), a not-for-profit social enterprise in central Maharashtra was runner up in the Women and Girls category.

SURE has selected, trained and supported more than 600 women micro-entrepreneurs to sell clean energy products like solar lanterns and cleaner cook-stoves to other women.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sakhi Unique Rural Enterprise

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The Rajasthan Horticulture Development Society came in second in the 'USAID Ashden Energy for Agriculture Award' for a solar-powered water pump project.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Ashden

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Mera Gao Power from Uttar Pradesh was runner up in the 'Citi Ashden Award for Innovation in Finance' category for pioneering the use of unsubsidised commercial micro grids, which have so far connected more than 20,000 families to clean, affordable power.

"India is a hotbed of innovation in sustainable energy: from social enterprises that are meeting the energy needs of some of the poorest people in the country, to an IT giant that's achieving staggering energy savings across all its business campuses.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mera Gao Power

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"Together all five organisations are leading examples of what can be achieved. The rest of the world should take note," said Ashden Awards founder Sarah Butler-Sloss.

"Ashden winners around the world are showing that with ingenuity and determination, huge progress can be made in slowing the pace of climate change and transforming people's lives in the process," she added.

A total of 14 Ashden Award winners, including projects from Africa and Southeast Asia, were announced at the Royal Geographical Society ceremony in central London.

Winners will receive up to 40,000 pounds and global recognition as one of 2014's green energy leaders. 


Photographs: Courtesy, Mera Gao Power

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