Every day it becomes clearer that our ability to protect the future depends directly on recognizing the limits of our planetary resources. A sharp focus on environmental performance not only supports our business objectives – it also contributes to the urgent action needed to combat global climate change and other environmental challenges. When we address environmental issues head-on, we can reduce cost and risk while enhancing our company’s status as a responsible corporate citizen. Reflecting the importance of environmental issues to the company's short and long-term success, the Board of Director's Nominating and Governance Committee has oversight of our environmental performance.
Our environmental strategy addresses our responsibility as an individual business and as a global stakeholder to create a world where connectivity and environmental health can flourish. It features five key components:
Download the Symantec Environmental Policy Statement.
Compliance with all applicable environmental legislation is the starting point for our efforts. Beyond these legal requirements, we look for and implement ways to decrease energy, water, and materials use. We integrate environmental stewardship into our operational, product and supply chain strategies.
We are committed to being transparent about our environmental performance and to participating in external stakeholder surveys and indices. Symantec has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index since 2007 and was listed on the CDP Climate Disclosure Leadership Index in 2013, 2014, and 2015. We received an A- for our CDP Climate Change response in 2016 and 2017.
We believe that enhanced transparency and the movement to a low-carbon economy are important for sustainable economic growth. We believe that company action, in partnership with stakeholder collaboration, is key to both mitigating risk and finding opportunity during this transition. In 2015, we joined the Obama Administration and 140 other companies in the American Business Act on Climate Pledge prior to the landmark COP21 Paris climate negotiations. Through our participation, we committed to play our part in promoting a low-carbon future by realizing the GHG reductions climate scientists tell us are needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
In FY16, Symantec set a new goal to reduce GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2025 (compared with FY15). The goal includes Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and emphasizes energy reduction opportunities in our offices, labs and data centers, as well as a transition to cleaner sources of energy.
We intentionally set an ambitious target aligned with climate science, as we believe it is necessary to take aggressive steps for substantive change.
Electricity use in our data centers, labs and offices account for more than 90 percent of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. We are pursuing a three-pronged strategy that specifically targets electricity consumption in these locations:
Thanks to this approach, as of the end of FY18, we had achieved a 32% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions since FY15, meeting our goal 7 years early! Reflecting our continued commitment to reduce our climate impacts, we have set a new goal to reduce emissions by a further 30% over the next 15 years. This goal not only captures our scope 1 and 2 emissions but also includes scope 3 emissions arising in the supply chain for the energy we use.
While our scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions are where we can most directly reduce our impact, we recognize our responsibility to address our broader carbon footprint, including indirect, or Scope 3 GHG emissions. In FY17, we became a signatory to the Science Based Targets Initiative. This initiative commits us to a comprehensive accounting of Scope 3 emissions and to setting a science-based goal that incorporates both direct and indirect GHG emissions.
Please visit our corporate responsibility report performance data for our most recent GHG and energy use data.
We partner with other companies and non-governmental organizations in several ways to realize a better future for the planet. We are a signatory to the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) Climate Declaration, which calls for America’s public and private sectors to unite in combating climate change. We are also participants in the CERES Connect our Drops campaign which aims to promote sustainable water management policies in California. These policies aim to achieve the following: minimizing and reporting of water leaks, removal of barriers to onsite water recycling, and better groundwater management and reporting.
We are an active participant in the BSR Future of Internet Power initiative, working alongside several other major technology firms to promote the increased use of renewable power by the data center industry. We are also a member of the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, led by WWF and the World Resources Institute. As announced at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, we joined 20 other companies making new commitments via the Step Up Coalition to leverage our collective technologies and resources towards materially reducing global GHG emissions.
Partnerships with One Tree Planted, Planet Water Foundation and Solar Buddy have also helped us to achieve our environmental objectives.
Adopting Sustainable Building Practices
We design offices and data centers that are healthy for our planet and people; the decisions that are made during the design, construction and operation of our buildings have a significant influence on our overall environmental impact. Symantec uses the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program, an internationally recognized green building system, to guide the design, construction, fit out and operations of our buildings.
We pursue certifications such as LEED & WELL for major renovation projects for Symantec-owned and long-leased facilities. We have achieved the highest possible LEED rating of Platinum at four facilities in India (EON Pune, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bangalore). The facilities were recognized for alternative transportation, energy efficiency, aligning with regional green building priorities, and water efficiency.
While we are not a water-intensive company, we do have locations in water stressed areas and we recognize the importance of using water efficiently. We publicly report on our water policies and practices through the annual CDP Water survey. We publish water use data in our corporate responsibility report performance tables.
We recognize that different regions experience different levels of water resource constraints, both currently and as projected for future years. We use the World Resource Institute’s (WRI) Aqueduct tool to identify which of our sites are located in regions that face the highest level of water related risk. This tool helps us to target our water conservation efforts.
We are particularly cognizant of the importance of water conservation at our sites in the Western United States which experienced unprecedented drought conditions over the past several years and are set to face longer, more extreme periods of drought in the future. We have implemented a range of initiatives to reduce water used for landscaping, including cutting back on irrigation frequencies, turning off fountains, pruning and mulching to reduce the need for watering, and replacing turf with drought resistant planting. We are also using signage and email bulletins to encourage our employees to cut back on water usage where possible, and we have incorporated water efficient fixtures to the renovation of our Mountain View buildings in Northern California.
By reusing and recycling materials, we reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. Through our ‘Going Green in 2018’ campaign, Symantec reduced single use plastic bottle usage by 93% in our Dublin site and by 100% in our Culver City site. We are also piloting projects in FY19 to reduce landfill waste.
By reusing and recycling electronic equipment, we extend its useful life and reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. 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.
Symantec prioritizes opportunities to reuse spare parts and relocate old inventory in order to avoid the purchase of new equipment. Equipment that has reached the end of its useful life is sent to responsible vendors for proper recycling. These vendors offer services such as hardware retrieval, asset tag and identifier removal, sorting, and environmentally responsible data wiping, cleaning, and destruction procedures.
We strive to reduce the environmental impacts of business travel, and encourage employees to use teleconferencing or videoconferencing to replace in-person trips where possible. When travel is necessary, we work with travel vendors to help us mitigate impacts. For example,
Symantec's Commute Reduction Program uses Transportation Demand principles (TDM). TDM programs are a combination of services, incentives and actions that reduce Single Occupant Vehicle (SOV) trips and help to relieve traffic congestion, parking demand, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Efforts to encourage and facilitate the use of alternative transportation include:
Symantec believes that by integrating sustainability principles into our corporate events we will not only reduce the environmental and social impact of our conferences, but also improve their quality and business results. We engage with partners that align with our event strategy and aim to reduce the overall carbon footprint of each event.
Symantec Appliances are developed to comply with global, regional and specific local environmental regulations. To continually improve our overall environmental performance of products, parts, materials, and suppliers, we analyze them throughout the product development lifecycle the products pass through to ensure they meet all applicable requirements.
We collaborate with various business functions, such as engineering and supply chain management to consider environmental aspects and how to reduce their associated impacts on the environment. Examples include material management to use less materials and remove harmful substances where possible, thereby increase recyclability and lower the need for extracting new raw materials. Increasing energy efficiency of products during their use phase through new innovative components that require less energy, while improving the product's performance. Extend product longevity through service and support and provide easy to use product take back options for responsible product disposition.
We are committed to provide our customers with technology appliances that are designed, manufactured and used in more sustainable ways than previous product generations by reducing their environmental impact and keeping products and materials in its lifecycle for longer, while delivering better customer value.
Product Packaging and Delivery
The majority of Symantec software products are now downloaded electronically by customers and thus require no physical product or packaging materials. Migrating away from selling physical software avoids GHG emissions associated with materials extraction, manufacture, transportation, installation of the software product and packaging waste. Where we continue to supply physical products - both software and appliances - we are partnering with our suppliers to procure sustainably sourced product in-line with our environmental strategy.
While increasing product performance, we have reduced the size and weight of our physical products to reduce the amount and type of materials we use and to allow for more efficient transportation. We incorporated recyclable materials in parts of our appliances and recycled content, such as paper laminates instead of plastics.
For product transportation from the factory to regional logistic centers to customers, we use environmentally preferable options whenever possible, such as rail transport vs. trucks and sea freight vs. air freight.
Symantec encourages employees to get personally involved in environmental stewardship through our Green Teams initiative. 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. Teams develop grass roots initiatives based on the particular environmental needs of its site, region, and country, and also work on common goal projects with support from the Global Green Teams which have Executive level sponsorship.