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Sustainability is the new Internet; will create jobs, growth: Kris Gopalakrishnan

Suman Layak     November 14, 2011
Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Infosys, summed up a whole session at the India Economic Summit 2011 (IES) in Mumbai on Monday, when he said sustainability will be for the 21st century what the Internet was for the 20th. "It will drive growth and create jobs," he said.

In this post-lunch session at the IES, organised by the World Economic Forum, Gopalakrishnan spoke about how Infosys had tried to make its employees and buildings use less and less energy and had taken such solutions to its clients too.

Tulsi Tanti, Chairman and Managing Director of Suzlon Energy and a Co-Chairman of the event, participating in an open event like this after a long while, pointed out how the Suzlon campus in Pune tried to be self-sufficient in water.

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Gopalakrishnan spoke about shower cubicles that are self-sufficient in water. They use solar energy to purify the water and one can actually take a bath every hour using the same water.

The session's mood was set by Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director of Godrej & Boyce. He spoke about how cities, especially Mumbai, could become sustainable by mixing commercial and residential properties and abandoning concepts where people travelled for three hours to work. He also spoke about how large residential projects - especially tall ones, should be built around transport hubs.

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Godrej, an evangelist for Green buildings, pointed out that if we built an energy-inefficient building today, we were locking in the inefficiency for 30 to 50 years. He stressed that we should look closely at solar water heaters.

Gregory Barker, the United Kingdom's Minister of State for Climate Change, pointed out mechanisms for retrofitting buildings and entire localities to new energy efficiency norms that helped tie up the payment for such expenses with their electricity bills had worked well in the UK and also spawned entrepreneurship.

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