Virtusa champions sustainability in IT/BPO industry

Saturday, 5 January 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Virtusa Corporation, a global IT services company that offers a broad range of information technology services, including IT consulting, technology implementation and application outsourcing, was presented the bronze trophy of commendation in the ‘Private Institute’ category at the National Green Awards held in Colombo recently.

The award, which was presented in recognition of Virtusa’s Code Green initiative, one of the fundamental pillars of the company’s corporate sustainability program, making Virtusa the first ever IT company in Sri Lanka to win a ‘green’ award.

Virtusa, as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), has institutionalized sustainability in its business practices and made numerous efforts under its Code Green initiative including, but not limited to, climate change management, reducing per capita energy consumption, vehicle transport and air travel, managing e-waste and segregated waste, and adhering to a green procurement policy.

The objective of the company’s sustainability program is to ‘reduce its environmental footprint with ethical maturity, respect and dignity to all.’ Virtusa hopes that its initiatives will encourage other IT companies to follow suit and strive towards positioning Sri Lanka as an emerging ‘green’ IT/BPO destination.

Kris Canekeratne, Chairman and CEO of Virtusa stated, “Our approach is to reduce the environmental footprint of our services delivered to clients by leveraging tools and processes to improve quality metrics like ‘reduce cycle time’, ‘increase right-first-time’ and ‘better reuse’.”

Denver De Zylva, Director of Virtusa, who heads the company’s Environment Health and Safety Program said, “Our core philosophy is to ‘do more, and better with less’ in a sustainable manner, directly contributing to consistent reductionof our environmental footprint across all products and services delivered to our clients.” Virtusa was one of the first respondents to Central Environmental Authority’s (CEA) initiative of public-private partnership for e-waste management, under the chairmanship of Charitha Herath. Commenting on Virtusa’s achievement Herath said, “Companies must consider environment sustainability as a core business strategy. Virtusa has been highly supportive of CEA’s initiative and has been able to achieve significant reductions of overheads by thinking and acting green. I believe Virtusa has set an example and a benchmark for IT companies in Sri Lanka in sustainability.”


Amongst the many sustainability milestones of Virtusa, securing the ISO 14001:2004 certification for the company’s Environmental Management System (EMS) and BS OHSAS 18001:2007 certification for the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OH&S) by the British Standards Institute for all its ATCs (Advanced Technology Centers) in Sri Lanka and India, highlighting the company’s continued commitment towards maintaining standards and industry leadership in sustainability practices.  

Energy management

Policy implementations such as annual targets set for reduction in energy usage, server virtualisation policy to reduce number of machines, PC shutdown policy, idle machine hibernation policy and prohibiting the purchase of CRT monitors and fluorescent lights were done at the SLATC which contributed significantly towards reducing per capita energy consumption.    

Climate change management

Virtusa carries out CO2 emissions monitoring using the guidelines and procedures of the Green House Gas Protocol Initiative for purchased electricity, shuttle transport and business air travel. In 2011, these emission calculations were verified by the EU SWITCH-Asia Funded EEPEx Project.

The Carbon Footprint Report for Virtusa Sri Lanka for FY11, which was compiled as an output of this process found that Virtusa’s conservation efforts had reduced its absolute carbon footprint by 400 tonnes of CO2eq, which included a 31% reduction in per capita energy consumption over the last three years.

Waste management

Virtusa is one of the first companies in Sri Lanka to obtain a ‘Scheduled Waste Management License’ from the Central Environmental Authority (CEA). In compliance, Virtusa’s e-waste is collected and handed over to registered e-waste recycling agents of the CEA under the Basel Convention, to be recycled in an environmentally friendly manner with proper recycled end user certificates.