At Bharti Airtel, we believe that doing business responsibly and sustainably is crucial for building long-term growth and stakeholder value. As the digital landscape is fast expanding globally and touching lives in different ways, we are aligning our sustainability strategy with our innovations in the digital sphere.
Our sustainability strategy revolves around
two key imperatives:
A) Community wellbeing and empowerment through multiple initiatives and innovation;
B) Environment protection through green initiatives and judicious resource management.
From small yet significant efforts to large-scale community and environmental initiatives, our objective is consistent. To ensure a better quality of life for all and partner the global movement to combat environmental hazards and climate change.
At Bharti Airtel, we are partnering the government's initiative to empower disadvantaged communities through need-based intervention in the realm of education, employment generation, sanitation, healthcare, disaster management and environment protection, among others. Working for communities, and considering them key stakeholders in our progress, is helping us emerge as an agent of positivity and change for an aspiring nation.
Imparting quality education to rural disadvantaged children has been the primary focus of the Foundation ever since its inception. The Foundation is committed to help underprivileged children and young people of our country realise their potential. The Satya Bharti School Program is the flagship initiative of Bharti Foundation. It aims to provide free quality education to underprivileged children in rural India, with a special focus on the girl child. The model ensures that children are provided quality education absolutely free of cost through well trained teachers, selected through a well formulated process, from the surrounding communities. It supports students in our schools with free uniforms, education materials, nutritious mid-day meals, among other facilities, in addition to charging absolutely no fees.
In close partnership with 'Educate a Child', a global initiative, Bharti Foundation implements the Satya Bharti Learning Centres Program. The program aims to bridge the education gap of out-of-school children and mainstream them into regular government schools in villages. Under its Quality Support Program, Bharti Foundation is also collaborating with government schools to improve the overall quality of schools. It does so by bringing in its learnings from the Satya Bharti School Program and enabling the leadership and teachers of rural government schools to initiate their schools on the path of constant improvement.
The Foundation has recently announced 'Satya Bharti Abhiyan', an initiative to improve sanitation facilities in rural Ludhiana. In addition to rural household sanitation, it will also improve sanitation facilities in government schools in rural Ludhiana by building toilets for girls, where no such facilities exist.
The Satya Bharti School Program was introduced in 2006. This rural education initiative has the following objectives:
* While the financial year ends on March 31, 2015, these results were declared in the month of May 2015.
Number of Satya
Number of states
Number of students
Percentage of girls
Percentage of children from SC/ST/OBC communities
Confident Face of Change
Anjali Puri, Class VIII, Satya Bharti School, Balial, Sangrur, Punjab
Anjali is one of five children in her family, including four girls and one boy. Her father is a rural hawker, with no stable income source. But that did not prevent young Anjali from going to school regularly. She is so fond of books that she reads even during recess and while she waits for her ride back home.
She took inspiration from her teachers and conducted awareness campaigns in the village to sensitise her parents and the community on the importance of educating girls. As a result, a lot of other girls (including Anjali's elder sister) now go to school. Anjali epitomises the Foundation's credo of leadership through holistic development of children through quality education.
In its pursuit to accelerate the enrolment of out-of-school children, Bharti Foundation initiated the Satya Bharti Learning Centres Program, in partnership with 'Educate a Child' (EAC). This is a global initiative to reduce the number of out-of-school children across the world and Bharti Foundation is a strategic partner to this global campaign. The Satya Bharti Learning Centres (Remedial/Bridge Centres) are set up to enrol out-of-school children back into schools and provide remedial education to develop age appropriate learning competencies.
The program partners with government schools and works along with its leadership and teachers to support them in their journey towards excellence. The program facilitates the desired change in rural government schools through two channels of engagement. It optimises on the existing strengths and it provides catalytic support to bridge gaps identified by the schools' own leadership team. This approach ensures that the schools can succeed on the strength of their own capabilities and motivation.
Bharti Foundation has undertaken a new initiative – 'Satya Bharti Abhiyan' - to improve sanitation facilities in rural Ludhiana. Inspired by the Hon'ble Prime Minister's call to the corporate sector during his speech on Independence Day (2014), to strengthen Government's initiative on this score, the Foundation has adopted Ludhiana district (rural) as its focus area for improvement of sanitation. As part of this program, the Foundation will construct Individual HouseHold Latrines (IHHLs) in houses without such amenities, in over 900 villages across the district, over the next three years. Satya Bharti Abhiyan is also investing in the improvement of sanitation facilities in government schools in rural Ludhiana by building new toilets for girls, where no such facilities exist.
The Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management, IIT Delhi helps develop telecom leaders through excellence in education and research offering MTech, MBA, MS(R) and PhD at IIT, Delhi. In addition, the Airtel IIT Delhi Centre of Excellence in Telecommunications (AICET) was set up under a public-private partnership mode, functioning as an integral part of Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management at IIT Delhi. In FY 2014-15, 120 students were supported through various facilities of the Bharti School to pursue courses in associated fields.
We also have Bharti Centre for Communication in partnership with IIT Bombay and the Bharti Institute of Public Policy in partnership with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (USA) at the Indian School of Business in Mohali. In addition, exceptionally talented students are awarded Bursaries to pursue studies at the University of Cambridge, UK through the Manmohan Singh Bursary Fund.
Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has created a robust platform to generate awareness about various initiatives of Bharti Foundation as well as many other NGOs. Organisations and individuals from all walks of life participated with enthusiasm. Corporate teams ran for Bharti Foundation under the theme – Making a Difference Together.
Young Leader Program
Young Leader Program is a two-week corporate induction initiative. It encourages new joinees of Bharti Airtel to participate in various initiatives of the Foundation. This year 29 Young Leaders volunteered for 21 Satya Bharti Schools in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. They assisted the teachers in classrooms, trained students in various skills, such as communication and leadership and interacted with communities, during their stint with Bharti Foundation.
ACT (A Caring Touch)
A Caring Touch (ACT) is an employee payroll giving programme for Bharti Group of companies. The programme encourages employees to give back to the society in terms of money, time, skills or knowledge. Contributions are matched by the Company as per policy.
Initiatives by Circle Offices
In Good Times and Bad
At Bharti Airtel, community remains our partners in progress. We believe in being with the community, whatever may be the purpose. We participate in community festivities and provide critical help and support to those in need during emergencies. This is part of our sustainability agenda to create value for all.
Celebrating Navaratri: Airtel's Gujarat Circle celebrated the festival of Navaratri with mentally and physically challenged kids. They enjoyed dinner with the team and received a token of appreciation.
The Circle also helped visually impaired girls to put up a kiosk at the office and encouraged employees to buy products that were displayed by them.
The Circle participated in the Clean Bharat Campaign and the awareness walk organised by the State Municipal Corporation.
Rejoicing Children's Day: On the eve of 'Children's Day', Rajasthan Circle organised a three-day online auction of over 50 laptops; the proceeds of which were handed over to Bharti Foundation.
Protecting the Environment: Under the 'Go Green' campaign initiative, the Rajasthan Circle organised a tree plantation campaign in Jaipur. Airtel employees participated enthusiastically in the plantation campaign and planted saplings in large numbers.
Team UPU also contributed in environment conservation. Over 250 employees participated in the event and each person pledged to plant a sapling.
Joy of Giving Week: The week provided the Rajasthan team with another opportunity to show their commitment. The team visited two Satya Bharti Schools in Amber, Jaipur district and asked the school kids what they wished for. The wishes of the children varied from school bags to crayons. A wish tree was created in the Jaipur office bearing fruits, containing the various wishes of children like pencil box and chocolates, among others. Some employees even committed to fulfil such wishes of children.
Christmas Celebration: Bihar and Jharkhand circle celebrated Christmas with differently-abled students at a school in Darbhanga. The team distributed sweets and snacks to students, along with note books, instrument boxes, pencils, pens, erasers, sharpeners, among others. On request, a DTH connection was installed in the school, which will get recharged by Airtel every month.
Celebrating the 68th year of the Indian Independence and remembering the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the nation, Airtel WBO organised a voluntary blood donation camp at its premise. Due to acute scarcity of blood for saving lives, this initiative received much appreciation.
Gujarat circle also organised a blood donation camp at their circle office and Rajkot zone. Around 100 units were donated by employees.
In Kolkata, a team led by the CEO and accompanied by other ECs visited 'PARIVAAR', a house for disadvantaged children, with some gifts this Diwali. The team distributed stationeries (crayons, pencils, pencil boxes, sketch pens, notebook, drawing book) and chocolates.
Airtel Zonal Team at Ludhiana, with the help of Bharti Foundation's regional team, adopted five villages in Ludhiana to build community awareness for personal hygiene and household sanitation.
The Swachhta Pracharaks chose Republic Day to announce the launch of a campaign titled 'Swachh Raho Swasth Raho'. It aimed to increase awareness against the hazards of open defecation and the lack of personal hygiene through various initiatives.
The team promoted the campaign through various activities, including marching with banners and placards, staging role-plays and door-to-door activities.
The month-long initiative witnessed door-to-door campaigning with over 600 households. It also sensitised communities against the contamination of water bodies and the subsequent spread of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and cholera. This consequently helped the community members to cultivate healthier habits for improved health.
Ludhiana Zone employees participated during the inaugural session of the sanitation week, where employees picked up brooms and waste disposal bags, along with Bharti Foundation Team and Satya Bharti School Students, to strengthen the message on hygiene and cleanliness. In addition to the community, students from other local government schools also joined the programme.
Bharti Airtel promptly responded to the emergency situations arising due to floods in Jammu & Kashmir. The Circle joined hands with the local government authorities to conduct relief work. Its channel partners organised a day-long community kitchen in Srinagar to provide food and water.
The Company offered free-calling facility for 60 minutes per day for five days to each of its subscribers. It also set up five VSAT terminals at critical areas and relief camps to create public Wi-Fi hotspots, thus enabling free data services. Airtel also distributed blankets and eatables at Yateem Khana, Batmaloo.
APO circle associated with the NGO Goonj organised a three-week drive to collect wearable old cloth for flood victims. The drive helped in collecting more than six cartons full of wearable clothes and shoes.
Airtel NESA in Support of Flood Victims
In response to a severe natural disaster in Meghalaya, Airtel NESA launched a flood relief campaign in the region. The team volunteered to help victims. The team distributed dry food items like rice, lentils, salt, glucose biscuit and drinking water to over 2,000 families affected by the flood.
Paving Pathways to Progress
IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL)
Empowerment of farmers is a critical
priority for us. In line with that
objective, Bharti Airtel touched millions
of farmers through its partner IKSL.
A major achievement of the year was
the successful implementation of the
fisheries project with the Government
of Odisha. IKSL added
2 Lakh fishermen to the network in Odisha to provide information on fisheries. The lifesaving alerts provided during cyclones have been widely acclaimed.
The Government of India has awarded IKSL for managing the prestigious 'Kisan Call Centre' Services of Government of India. Apart from empowering with information, farmers and their children are also enrolled as 'Kisan Mitras' to spread the IKSL programme among other farmers.
IKSL received the prestigious 'Economic Times – Telecom Award' under the category 'Use of telecom for Social good'. Besides, IKSL bagged the 'CSI award for excellence in IT during the year.
Energy on the Horizon
Rooftop Solar Energy at Main Switching Centres (MSC)
Bharti Airtel has installed six more solar plants in FY 2014-15, taking the total capacity to about 0.74 MWp, installed at 12 MSC locations. These on-grid solar plants are expected to generate green energy of 1.1 Mn units, reducing emission of 900 tons annually.
Solar and Battery Hybrid Solutions
As a part of the Company's corporate mandate to help protect the environment, it is aggressively implementing green (battery, solar, hybrid, Li-ion and biomass) solutions at its owned sites. Airtel has about 2,800 owned BTS sites in Hexacom Rajasthan and the North East. Over 250 sites have installed hybrid solutions to cut down diesel consumption. This step aims to reduce carbon emissions by 6,000 tons annually.
Trial on New Energy Solutions
The Company had a successful pilot of DC Aircon Micro-cooling solution at owned sites. This will help switch off Aircon sites, where critical transmission equipment is installed. The Company has conducted trial on natural cooling unit for Aircon elimination and thermo-electric cooling for 3G sites have been tested.
Green Power Wheeling for Data Centres and MSCs
To further enhance the energy
efficiency, Airtel has been implementing
the renewable sources of energy like
solar, wind and hydro.
In FY 2014-15, Green Power Wheeling agreements for the procurement of green energy, under open access of 45 Mn units per annum, have been made for three Data Centres at Chennai (Wheeling through Wind Power), Bangalore (Wheeling through Hydro Power) and Noida (Rooftop Solar Power Plant) and one MSC location at Pune.
Conversion of Indoor Sites to Outdooor
During the year, Airtel partnered with its tower companies, which helped convert indoor sites to outdoor sites. Over 12,500 sites have been converted to outdoor, thus reducing the energy consumption of these sites by about 25%. Sites are converted mostly installing FCU for switching off the Aircon, thus making them feasible for installing green energy solutions like solar and Li-ion, among others.
Outdoor Site Deployment
During the year, over 90% of new sites were deployed as an outdoor site, eliminating air-conditioner usage.
New Sites Deployment as Sharer
The Company has put up more than two-third sites as sharer site. This helped reduce energy consumption significantly.
Partnering for Greener Network
Green Projects with Bharti Infratel
Bharti Infratel (Infratel) has been working closely with Airtel for removing Aircon from sites. This year, over 3,600 sites were converted to outdoor, using FCU and micro-cooling solution, making 6,000 sites outdoor till date.
Besides, Infratel has installed about 700 solar solutions at sites in the current financial year, taking the total to 2,200. Infratel continues to be the leader in solar site deployment across all tower companies in India. In addition, Infratel has tagged 5,500 sites as green sites.
Project Green Cities with Indus Towers
Project Green City was launched by Indus Towers few years back, and over 22,000 sites have been tagged as green sites, until this year. Indus Towers has converted over 9,000 sites in the current year, totalling 13,700 sites outdoor, till date.
The increasing volume of waste generated by the telecommunication sector has been a matter of grave concern. Airtel, as one of the leading companies of telecommunication sector, manages both physical and e-waste, generated from its premises. The Company has adopted a proactive approach by ensuring end-to-end traceability and recycling of waste. Airtel continuously monitors the waste generation at each stage, and track the procedure of waste disposal.
The Company ensures that all electrical and electronic components and even highly inflammable fuels are handled and disposed of responsibly, by registered and licensed recyclers. In FY 2014-15, over 1,700 tons of e-waste was recycled as per Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) norms.
Airtel deploys the best-in-class digital assets throughout its services. The Company aims to reduce paper usage by promoting the use of electronic billing and online payment methods. Over 65% of Airtel's total post-paid mobile customers have switched over to paperless bills. More than 15% of these customers were converted in FY 2014-15 alone.
We take a holistic perspective at value creation, which encompasses caring for the community and being responsible for the environment across the world.
Africa's mobile revolution is creating new vistas of opportunities for its people. Mobile applications are invariably helping save lives, create livelihoods and wealth for many across the continent. Health, education and development of youth potential have been identified by Airtel's stakeholders as key CSR areas.
Some Major Initiatives Include
Awards and Recognition
In line with the Company's overarching objective of helping elevate the quality of life for people across geographies, Airtel Bangladesh has spearheaded multiple community outreach initiatives. Some of the initiatives during the year include organising blood donation camps, encouraging talent through awards and accolades, participating in heritage events like 'Chittagong Boi Mela' and also sponsoring sports in Khulna to raise funds for the welfare of freedom fighters.
The Company has undertaken multiple initiatives in Srilanka to drive community wellbeing and environment protection. Some of the important initiatives on the community front, during the year, comprised the following: helped generate awareness against child abuse; provided assistance to The Lady Ridgeway Hospital (refurbishing the walkways to look colourful and educational, among other activities); conducted workshops on leadership and professional skills in schools, universities and academic institutes throughout the country; and introducing NFC Technology for public transport in Sri Lanka.
As a part of the Company's global mandate to help protect the environment, the following initiatives were undertaken: reducing the usage of plastic and paper; encouraging the use of e-bills; cutting down the use of diesel at site locations; taking steps at site locations to ensure health and safety; ensuring a pest-free clean environment at all Airtel's sites.