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Corporate Responsibility in Action

Stop Talking, Start Planting

Plant-for-the-Planet Partnership Raises Awareness about Environmental Sustainability at Vision Symposium event series
Created: 28 Aug 2014 • Updated: 28 Aug 2014
Claudia vH's picture
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Symantec Vision is our flagship conference to demonstrate thought leadership and accelerate sales through impactful experiences. The conference delivers face-to-face insights, information and experiences needed to secure and manage an information-driven organization. Vision takes place as a global, multi-day Vision flagship event in North America and as regional Vision Roadshows in several locations around the globe.

At Symantec, we strive to embed corporate responsibility throughout our business, and we see our corporate proprietary events as a great opportunity to walk the talk, and to put into practice our commitment to environmental and social sustainability. At Vision we integrated an event sustainability strategy that minimizes the event environmental footprint, positively contributes to social benefit, and delivers economic efficiencies.

Engaging and supporting local communities as well as international sustainability causes when planning an event is just one best practice component of designing and operating a sustainable event.

After partnering with Plant-for-the-Planet for the first time at Vision in Barcelona in 2012, we continued our support for this children and youth organization at Vision EMEA, a roadshow taking us to Dubai, Munich, Paris and London. Investing in this legacy program that raises awareness of issues relating to climate change and environmental protection through education and planting trees aligns with Symantec’s commitment to environmental responsibility. 

Plant-for-the-Planet is a global initiative that aims to raise awareness amongst children and adults about the issues of climate change and global justice. The organization was started in Germany in 2007 by Felix Finkbeiner, then a nine year old boy, who was inspired during a class project by learning about the story of Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. He started the campaign with the idea that children across the world could plant one million trees per year in their country. Plant-for-the-Planet has since grown to a global movement and now manages the Billion Tree Campaign of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), also inspired by Wangari Maathai. The campaign’s patron is H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Under the Plant-for-the-Planet Billion Tree Campaign, people, communities, organizations, business and industry, civil society and governments are being encouraged to plant trees to improve the CO2 balance and enter their tree planting pledges online. The campaign raises awareness of the many environmental and social benefits of trees including:

  • Mitigating the impacts of climate change through the sequestration of carbon
  • Contributing to local economies through products such as timber
  • Supporting the environment through soil regulation, erosion control, regulating water cycles and providing habitats for biodiversity

While the goal of the campaign was initially to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year, it has grown immensely and now has a goal to plant 14 billion trees planted worldwide.

Walking-the-talk:  Showcase and communicate

Sustainability at Vision is communicated prior, during and post event like for example a dedicated sustainability website (example: Vision Symposium London), inclusion in HTML campaign and in onsite program guide among other.

As an example the keynote at Vision Symposium in Munich concluded with a presentation by Frank Giessen, Senior Manager Business Development, who explained to the audience that the very nature of Symantec’s business -- assuring the security, availability and integrity of our customers' information-- requires a global culture of responsibility. And, that at Symantec we embrace strategies and take action to improve our society and environment. He outlined our support for Lichtblick Hasenbergl, White IT and in particular Plant-for-the-Planet, where he was joined by a young Plant-for-the-Planet Ambassador highlighting the Plant-for-the-Planet partnership and cause encouraging attendees to sign up to the pledge to plant trees at the onsite stand in the Expo area. 

For Vision Symposium EMEA series a pledge site was created to collect pledges during event series: http://int.plant-for-the-planet.org/plant/helpnow.aspx?id=73.                          

10,932 pledges were collected in total for Vision Symposium series to date for Dubai in Munich.

In Munich a total of 6.737 trees were pledged. Symantec broke the ice by doing the first pledge to plant 3.775 trees by donating $5,000. These trees will be planted for Symantec at Plant-for-the-Planet’s grounds in Campeche, Mexico. A call to action made in the opening keynote and in several communication channels achieved additional 2.962 pledges from employees, customers, partners and one analyst to plant trees.

Vision Symposium Paris and London are still to take place in October, so we will see how many pledges we will collect in total from customers, partners and employees.

We look forward to bringing you more details on Symantec’s sustainable events initiative and progress over the next few months.

You can visit the following website to enter your pledge for Plant-for-the-Planet, or reach out to your local Green Team or Environmental_Responsibility@Symantec.com to learn about other ways to support environmental causes in your region. If you'd like to learn more about event sustainability, please send an email to Claudia_Hullenaar@Symantec.com.

Below are some photos highlighting the partnership with Plant-for-the-Planet at our Vision Symposium Munich event.

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The keynote at Vision in Munich addresses the importance of environmental sustainability by highlighting the conference’s partnership with Plant-for-the-Planet and encouraging attendees to pledge to fight climate change by planting a tree.  

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Symantec employees sign up to the Plant-for-the-Planet pledge at this years’ Vision Symposium event in Munich.

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Impressions Plant- for- the- Planet at Vision Symposium in Munich: Stop Talking. Start Planting.

Claudia van’t Hullenaar, Global Corporate Events, EMEA