As we mentioned before that sustainable business practices run beyond environment sustainability. In India a large segment of population lives in rural areas, these areas have lots of potential however they lack infrastructure and good employment opportunities. Hence an essential part of sustainable business practices is to penetrate this untapped market and at the same time improve the standard of living of those living in the rural India. When a Company moves from urban to rural market it has to face lots of challenges as the rural market requires huge investments as they lack the environment in which a firm can sustain.
It is an organization’s responsibility to make sure that as they mend profits from the potential rural market they do not harm the interest of the rural society. IDEA -Nokia partnership on Nokia Life Tools (Agriculture, Education and Entertainment services) Idea Cellular partnered with Nokia as the operator billing partner for rolling out Nokia Life Tools Services. This is a tool which has been specifically customized for farmers and rural communities living in remote areas. Life Tools is a service providing them with information specific to their livelihood and personal enrichment.
The Life Tools program in India focuses on Agriculture and Education services with Entertainment as a supplement and there are various subscription schemes. Entertainment: This provides users with regional news updates, astrological predictions, cricket news as well as ringtone download. Despite being an agricultural country, Indian farmers face lots of challenges and hardships due to lack of sufficient information and knowledge related to modern techniques of farming.
The problems farmers encounter are not only with Mother Nature they face the more pressing issue of marketing their produce. This initiative taken by Idea cellular would provide Indian farmers an opportunity to avail agricultural as well as educational services which would help them to improve upon their knowledge and skills. On the other hand many farmers find the market price feature very helpful as it helps them in avoiding middlemen exploitation. Now they can get the prices directly from their handsets and choose which market to sell the produce in.
Network Infrastructure Initiative Reducing Carbon Footprint Idea pioneered the concept of ‘Shared Telecom Infrastructure’ services, along with a few other industry leaders in the wireless space. This initiative is committed towards continuous innovation endeavors, optimization of future tower rollouts and enhanced operational efficiencies leading to a substantial reduction of carbon foot print. Use of Environment Friendly Sources of Energy.
a) The Indian telecom industry’s first collaborative, cross-industry consortium to encourage the development of environmentally sustainable mobile networks was also led by Idea, and supported by the GSMA. It aimed at developing bio-fuels as a source of power for wireless networks in rural India which are located beyond the reach of the national electricity grid, was conducted in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The learnings of the research were later handed to the infrastructure company which owns the towers, to explore broad basing of the program.
b) Idea has explored a Solar Hybrid Solution for running Base Transceiver Station (BTS) in parts of rural Bihar. We plan to install Solar Hybrid sets at 200 sites by end of financial year 2012. This will reduce the fuel consumption of power generator from running for 15-16 hours to less than 5 hours a day in these locations. c) Idea is also part of the Fuel Cell project. The project aims at exploring the usage of Hydrogen as an alternate energy source to power mobile base stations. Currently, a trial project, if successful, this program has the potential of reducing the usage of a regular power generator to Zero. Idea has also taken up various other projects which have been aimed at finding alternate source of energy to fuel base stations. This does not only has an environment impact but also helps the company in reducing their operating expenditure.
Communication Initiatives Idea is known for its informative ads which aim at various societal issues like Go Green, Use Mobile Save Paper, Education for All, Break the Language Barrier, etc a) India is a land of a billion people talking in 22 recognized languages, 850 mother tongues and 22,000 dialects; it is also a land of opportunities for the young Indians who are ambitious, go-getters, and have dreams in their eyes. However, this diversity and vastness, at times, poses a hurdle in the growth of the youth of this country. Taking note of this growing concern of the society, IDEA Cellular has set out to demonstrate how a simple solution can build bridges between people speaking different languages.
b) With a subscriber base of nearly 10 crore, Idea had an opportunity to influence a large mass of people by promoting green initiatives through our various communication programs and customer service initiatives. Idea designed the campaign to highlight numerous ways of saving paper, and thereby saving the green cover necessary for the health of the planet, by using a range of mobile based value added services in day-to-day activities to replace paper.
c) Another recent and ongoing initiative is e-Bill which is being consistently promoted by Idea to ensure that more and more users opt for this service, and contribute towards saving paper. Breaking all conventions, Idea has now conceived another innovative program which is aimed at reducing plastic consumption on a large scale. Idea has now introduced the ‘PICO’ card, which is a half-size plastic card that bears the SIM card, in a new connection kit.
For decades, new mobile users have been handed out welcome kits by operators which carry a large size plastic piece with the SIM card inserted in the box. Idea has now become one of the first operators, globally, to introduce the new PICO card which is expected to save over 90% of plastic used in manufacturing regular cards. Considering that Idea adds about 2 million new connections every month, this initiative would result in substantial reduction of plastic usage.
e) All company communication to shareholders and investors, such as Notices, Annual Reports etc. are sent through e-mail rather than printed copies through post, thus dramatically reducing printing and mailing costs while making a positive impact on the environment. Employees Based Initiatives a) Idea’s HR operations have all been enabled online for its over 7,000 employees, to ensure that there is minimal paper documentation. This has again helped save tonnes of paper that would have been used in day-to-day HR related transactions and communication.
b) Idea uses smart ICT solutions such as teleconferencing, videoconferencing, web chats etc. for internal communication amongst employees to minimize travel. c) ‘Bus Karo’ is an initiative centered around a large group of Idea employees who commute to office, daily in their own cars. Through the program these employees use a pooled bus service for office commuting in peak hours, everyday. One such bus potentially lessens 30 cars from everyday traffic jams, saving over 1200 tonnes of Carbon emissions per annum.