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India’s Tech Sector and the Carbon Footprint | English Lesson

Jun 16, 2022

This is lesson number 44, and today’s topic is the carbon footprint and India’s tech sector.

So, check out this headline, which was published on the webpage of the Financial Times on June 12, 2022, and see how much you understand:

The headline reads: 

 India’s tech sector switches on to renewable electricity

The country’s IT giants are finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint

Let’s break this headline down to see what it means, and see which vocabulary can be useful for you to use.

The first word is ‘tech’.  Tech is short for ‘technology’. ‘Tech’ is absolutely acceptable as a replacement term. It’s faster and easier to say than ‘technology’. Tech.

Next, the phrasal verb ‘switch on’. ‘Switch on’ doesn’t mean to ‘switch’ (that is to exchange one thing for something else). No. ‘Switch on’ means to energize. For example, you ‘switch on’ the lights in your home. And of course, if you ‘switch on’, you can also ‘switch off’.  ‘Switch on / Switch off’.

So, what is going on here. In this case, the tech sector is ‘switching on’ renewable electricity. So, in other words, the tech sector is using renewable electricity to power their companies.

And ‘renewable electricity’? Well, renewable electricity is usually understood to be electricity generated by solar energy, wind energy, biofuel, or hydro energy. This is relatively clean energy compared to dirty non-renewable electricity generated by heavy polluters like coal and gas.

And what does ‘IT’ mean? IT stands for Information Technology. So, the really big IT companies, the giants, are finding ways to reduce their so-called ‘carbon footprint’, in other words, they are reducing the amount of fossil fuels they rely on to power their companies. Reduce the non-renewable electricity, you reduce the carbon footprint. That’s the goal.

So, listen again:   

India’s tech sector switches on to renewable electricity

The country’s IT giants are finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint

I encourage you to read the article. It is pretty interesting because it describes a new challenge faced by tech companies that are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.  You see, on one hand, these IT companies have been successful at reducing their dependence on non-renewable coal-generated electricity that powers their corporate offices and installations, but on the other hand, they are now faced with a new problem. How do they measure and reduce the use of non-renewable electricity now being used by all of their workers that now operate out of home offices. That’s a really good question!

 

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