Environmental Responsibility at Symantec: How We're Doing and Where We're Headed
By Kelly Shea, Symantec Global Sustainability Project Manager
As we prepare for the release of Symantec’s FY13 Corporate Responsibility (CR) report, this is a good time to provide additional context around our environment performance – where our focus is as a company, how we’re doing and our goals over the next year.
As a company, we are committed to positive social impact and operating with integrity and respect for the environment. Our environmental strategy includes four major sustainability pillars to lessen our impact on the environment, including green IT, responsible sourcing, resource conservation and travel & events.
The electricity we use to power our data center and labs, along with associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, continues to represent our largest environmental impact. To address this issue we’re devoted to achieving ENERGY STAR and LEED certification. We achieved three LEED certifications this past year, including our first Platinum certification in Culver City, California, and now have 20 LEED-certified facilities and one renewal for a total of 21 certifications representing 80 percent of our eligible real estate square footage. Additionally, as the FY13 CR report points out, we decreased our absolute GHG emissions by 88 metric tons from FY12 to FY13.
One of our ongoing sustainability goals over the next year is energy efficiency. To maximize efficiency in our most energy intensive facilities, we are focused on continuously improving Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) —a metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a lab or data center. According to our data, in FY13 we expanded energy sub-metering coverage to 73 percent of our lab and data center facilities by square footage and have calculated an average PUE ratio of 1.44 across these facilities—a result significantly lower than our ongoing PUE goal of 1.7 and the industry average PUE of 2.
Our long-term environmental strategy will focus on further embedding corporate responsibility into our core business strategy. We are working toward institutionalizing environmental management through our Environmental Management System (EMS), which provides a structured framework for engaging stakeholders from across the business in identifying business risks and opportunities related to environmental sustainability, and for determining strategies to address those risks and opportunities. We are also looking to uncover new opportunities through the development and delivery of products and services that enable our customers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and better adapt to the physical impacts of climate change.
Next in this series: Stay tuned Thursday for the launch of our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report!