Environmental stewardship is an integral part of Symantec's business strategy, both in terms of managing impacts related to the company's operations and the development of new products and services for clients. Because of the importance of environmental issues to the company's long-term success, the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors oversees the implementation of our environmental policy
. Our employees contribute to our environmental efforts by participating in Green Teams based at Symantec locations around the world.
Compliance with all applicable environmental laws and regulations is the starting point for our efforts. Beyond these legal requirements, we continually look for innovative ways to decrease energy, water, and materials use. Our environmental strategy features four key components:
Symantec also adheres to the following environmental directives and regulations:
Engaging Employees in Protecting the Environment
In August 2008, we launched a formal program to establish Green Teams—groups of employee volunteers passionate about the environment—throughout the company. The program has been a great success. Members educate fellow employees about personal behavior changes they can make and identify opportunities for the Facilities and IT teams to implement changes in Symantec's buildings, data centers, and business practices in order to save energy and water and reduce waste. Each team develops its own initiatives based on the particular environmental needs of its site, region, and country, but with support from other teams.
Promoting On-Site Recycling
All of Symantec's Green Teams promote recycling at their sites through awareness-raising campaigns and systemic changes that make it easier for everyone to properly sort waste. For example in Beaverton, Oregon, the local Green Team redesigned its recycling program to include under-desk comingled collection; this resulted in increased recycling rates which reduced monthly waste pick-up costs by one third. In Dublin, Ireland, we have implemented educational programs and placed specially shaped and color-coded receptacles and lists of recyclable materials throughout our offices. As a result, more than 16 types of waste are recycled and 94 percent of all waste from the Dublin offices was diverted from landfills in FY12.
Reducing Paper Use
Another focal point for Green Team activity is paper conservation. Teams encourage colleagues to digitally present materials at meetings, print double-sided when possible, and print only when necessary.
Information technology (IT) plays a central role in business: IT manages information critical to customer products and services, internal and external communications, and compliance with laws and regulations around the world.
"Green IT" is a broad term for efforts to embed environmentally sound functionality into IT: computer hardware, software, facilities, purchasing, and planning. More specifically, Green IT reduces the electricity consumed by hardware such as servers and PCs, the cooling power needed to maintain data centers at appropriate temperatures, and the amount of space needed for data centers. The positive impacts of adopting Green IT include decreased energy needs and generating related cost savings.
Green IT Solutions
At Symantec, we create new opportunities for our customers and our company by providing Green IT software and services. We have developed practices and software tools that apply techniques such as clustering (consolidating machines to use the smallest number possible), storage tiering (only using high-energy, high-performance equipment when necessary), and data deduplication (eliminating multiple copies of the same data) to reduce overall data storage needs. These technologies have enabled Symantec customers (and Symantec itself) to realize tremendous efficiencies and consolidate data centers, reducing energy, GHG emissions, and IT and real-estate expenses in the process.
GREEN DATA CENTER SOLUTIONS
|Symantec's solutions allow clients to implement cost-effective changes that lead to significant energy and cost savings without needing to invest in data center redesigns or premature hardware upgrades.
Learn more about Symantec's Green Data Center solutions:
Green IT in Symantec Operations
Symantec began an internal Green Data Center initiative in 2006 to control rising energy costs and reduce overall CO2 emissions as part of the company's corporate commitment to environmental responsibility. By using hardware-based solutions and our own infrastructure management software, we are minimizing our energy use and utility costs while optimizing data center performance. Additional changes, such as our use of green building techniques in the construction and operation of our data centers, are also helping Symantec minimize its energy use.
We are dedicated to minimizing the environmental impact of every aspect of our business. Symantec therefore builds and operates facilities according to recognized environmental standards, finds ways to use less material and recycle more, and selects vendors based in part on their efforts to conserve resources. We are also committed to minimizing our energy consumption.
Adopting Sustainable Building Practices
Symantec's most significant direct environmental impacts result from the materials and energy used in company buildings and facilities. We are therefore dedicating resources to minimize these impacts. Symantec uses the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED
Program, an internationally recognized green building system, to guide the design, construction, and operation of its buildings. Since we began utilizing the system, the majority of Symantec’s fully owned or long leased buildings have achieved LEED Certification. Visit the LEED Rating Systems website
In addition, we apply the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR
system globally to help us manage energy use. The program helps Symantec measure current energy performance, set goals, and track savings. Only top performing buildings receive ENERGY STAR ratings. While ENERGY STAR certification is only recognized in the United States we use the system as a guidance tool for both our domestic and international properties. Visit the EPA's Energy Star Buildings Partnership website
Addressing Climate Change
As a responsible corporation operating in an increasingly interconnected world, we are working hard to do our part to mitigate climate change by:
- Minimizing our company’s GHG emissions by applying green building standards to our buildings and making energy-efficient changes in systems at our data centers, often through the use of our own software and technology. (Energy use is the primary source of Symantec’s greenhouse gas emissions.)
- Helping our customers minimize their energy use and related GHG emissions through the development of software and services aimed at optimizing the efficiency of data center operations.
- Participating in energy and climate-related public policy efforts that protect the environment, encourage renewable energy production, and create green jobs in the technology sector.
These efforts reflect our conviction that a strong, international coalition of governments, businesses, and civil society organizations is required to effectively address climate challenges. They also respond to our stakeholders’ concerns and queries into what actions Symantec is taking as a company to contribute to a climate solution.
Symantec began measuring, tracking, and reporting GHG emissions in FY08. Since that time, we have made great improvements in both the quantity and quality of our data. We anticipate that electricity use will continue to be the largest contributor to our GHG emissions portfolio and that our electricity use will further increase in the foreseeable future. The reason for this increase is primarily due to the fact that since we began tracking our GHG emissions, our business has evolved to offer cloud based data-storage solutions. Since these are energy-intensive services, it is extremely difficult for us to reduce electricity use while the business is growing. Furthermore, hardware technology has improved to allow for more intensive computing in the same footprint, so our electricity consumption has also grown on a per square foot basis.
Nonetheless, we are building and operating our facilities to maximize their energy efficiency, with a special focus on reducing energy use in R&D labs and data centers. Our increasing usage of energy sub-metering at our largest energy-consuming facilities enables us to continuously monitor our energy performance; identify best practices; and ultimately shrink our carbon and energy footprints.
Symantec also supports and encourages government efforts globally to pursue comprehensive climate change legislation. Clean energy will promote job creation, encourage greater sustainability, and stimulate new economic opportunities. Initiatives include participation in:
Reducing Waste through Recycling
By reusing and recycling materials and equipment, we extend their useful life and reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. Symantec is focused on reducing waste not only through source-reduction initiatives, but also by pursuing on-site recycling initiatives and environment-friendly equipment disposal. For example, to increase the amount of paper being recycled, we use paper shredding vendors at facilities around the world to shred and then recycle confidential documents.
We also devote considerable effort to ensure that we do not simply throw away surplus equipment. Refurbishment and reuse is especially important for electronics and other e-waste because they often contain metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, gold, and silver, which have multiple significant environmental impacts—from their initial mining to potential environmental contamination if they are not recycled or disposed of properly.
The first stop for older equipment is our IT department, which assesses it to determine if it meets minimum operational and hardware requirements and can be productively reused. For example, when we consolidate data centers, we save servers and other devices, preventing the generation of e-waste and saving the costs of purchasing new equipment. We donate still-functional equipment that is not sufficiently powerful for our use to nonprofit organizations and schools through Silicon Valley StRUT (Students Recycling Used Technology)
and Microsoft Authorized Replicator Program; these donations avoid end-of-life recycling or disposal costs and help recipients maximize budgets and meet program objectives.
Equipment that has reached the end of its useful life is sent to third party vendors for proper recycling. When possible, we utilize local contractors or large companies that recycle locally in order to support community economies while reducing transportation costs and CO2 emissions. These vendors offer services such as hardware retrieval, asset tag and identifier removal, sorting, and environmentally responsible data wiping, cleaning, and destruction procedures.
Symantec strives to reduce water consumption at all its global sites and facilities. Programs we have begun implementing at various sites include:
- Water saving plumbing fixtures, including low flow toilets, low flow or waterless urinals, and motion sensor faucets and aerators
- Water-efficient landscaping
- Irrigation management
- Storm water management
We are working to raise participation rates and increase water conservation efforts worldwide. One area of focus is landscape design and irrigation under the LEED program. When possible, we plant native vegetation and design the landscape to capture rainwater and parking-lot runoff to prevent it from entering storm drains. We are also installing irrigation systems that reduce or stop unnecessary irrigation.
Software Packaging and Delivery
Symantec is simultaneously pursuing two strategies to minimize the resources used for software delivery. First, the company is finding more ways to "reduce, reuse, and recycle" throughout product packaging manufacture and transportation. Second, it continuously improves product downloading processes and promotes customer options to purchase and receive products electronically to wholly avoid the production and transportation of CDs, DVDs, and packaging.
A significant majority of Symantec software products are now downloaded electronically by customers and thus require no packaging at all. For the remaining products, Symantec continues to minimize the materials used and to incorporate recycled and recyclable materials to the greatest degree possible.
ELECTRONIC VERSUS PHYSICAL PRODUCT DELIVERY
|Symantec has offered customers the ability to download software rather than buying it on CDs for more than a decade. Online downloading greatly reduces post-consumer waste as well as Symantec's carbon emissions from product transport.
Symantec is reducing global travel and using environmentally responsible providers when possible. Symantec's supply chain group is also working to reduce its transportation carbon footprint. For product transportation, we use environmentally preferable options when possible, including the "green" programs of DHL, UPS, and FedEx, and the use of rail transport vs. trucks and sea freight vs. air freight when feasible.
Symantec uses state-of-the-art video and audio technology in the form of HP Halo Collaboration Studios to encourage and enable face-to-face collaboration without travel. The Studios deliver high-definition video images of conference participants and shared laptop images and objects. We installed our first Halo Studios in several global locations in 2007 and have continued to expand studio locations, company-wide, since that time.
When travel is absolutely necessary, we use environmentally responsible service providers whenever feasible.
- We prefer airlines with strong corporate responsibility strategies and airplanes that can use biofuels.
- Our preferred car rental vendors report on their CO2 emissions and include hybrid or bio-fueled vehicles in their fleet. For example, Avis reports on CO2 emissions, offers carbon-neutral driving to customers, and has an “eco collection” group of vehicles that have emissions of less than 120 g CO2 /km.
To further educate employees about environmentally preferable travel options, Symantec posts articles and company travel facts on the internal Symantec Travel Blog.
Commute Reduction Program
Symantec's Commute Reduction Program is a suite of initiatives designed to reduce the environmental impacts of employees' daily commutes at several sites in the United States. Efforts to encourage and facilitate the use of alternative transportation include:
- Adding bike racks, locker rooms, and showers to facilities.
- Hosting rideshare bulletin boards and/or commuter information kiosks.
- Reserving priority parking spaces for drivers of carpools or alternative fuel vehicles.
- Providing shuttle services at the company's larger locations.
- Commuter Spending Accounts (CSA) that allow eligible employees to set aside pre-tax funds to pay for certain commuting expenses.
Ways2Work is a formal alternative work program in North America. The program provides a comprehensive set of policies, guidelines, and tools that help employees assess and implement a flexible Commute Reduction Program where appropriate. Such programs can be implemented at our largest owned sites around the world, depending on local needs, regulations, and laws, and the availability transportation alternatives.
Symantec collaborates with Smarter Travel Workplaces to offer the Smarter Travel Program in Dublin, Ireland. We also host a car sharing website, bicycle challenges and premium car parking spaces for those who car pool in various locations.