Environmental Performance | Symantec
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Environmental Performance

We take seriously our responsibility to operate in an environmentally sound manner, and we are committed to integrating environmental stewardship into our operational, product and supply chain business strategies. 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.
Download the Symantec Environmental Policy Statement (PDF)
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 and to integrate environmental sustainability to our products and services.
We are committed to being transparent about our environmental performance and to participating in external stakeholder surveys and indices. Symantec is currently listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability and CDP Climate Disclosure Leadership Indices.
Our environmental strategy features four key components:
Symantec's Environmental Strategy
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 other stakeholder collaboration, is key to both mitigating risk and finding opportunity during this transition. 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.

Engaging Employees in Protecting the Environment

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. Each team develops its own initiatives based on the particular environmental needs of its site, region, and country, but with support from Global Green Teams which have Executive level sponsorship.
On Earth Day 2014, Symantec's Green Teams launched the “One Mug, One Planet” pledge for all employees. The goals of the campaign were to help reduce paper cup usage by 15 percent across all operations, achieve 80 percent waste diversion at audited company sites and raise awareness around sustainability and waste reduction. Employees who signed the pledge received a Green Team mug and were asked to take a picture and send in a “mug shot” as part of a creative photo competition. More than 2,400 employees signed the pledge, resulting in a one year savings of $75,000 and 856,000 cups across seven global participating sites.

Addressing Climate Change

As a responsible corporation operating in an increasingly interconnected world, we are working to do our part to mitigate climate change and to respond to our stakeholders’ interests by:
  • Reducing our company’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions, prioritizing electricity use which is the primary source of our emissions. We are applying green building standards to our buildings and making energy efficient system changes at our data centers, often through the use of our own software and technology.
  • Engaging and empowering our employees and communities to contribute and participate in protecting the environment.
  • Building energy efficiency into the hardware equipment we sell and pursuing Energy Star certification for these appliances.
  • 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.
  • Collaborating with other companies in our sector, for example, through the BSR Future of Internet Power initiative to promote clean energy growth.
We are convinced that a strong, international coalition of governments, businesses, and civil society organizations is required to effectively address climate challenges. Symantec supports and encourages efforts globally to pursue comprehensive climate change legislation. Clean energy will promote job creation, encourage greater sustainability, and stimulate new economic opportunities.

GHG Emissions

Symantec began measuring and reporting GHG emissions in FY08 and we report our emissions as part of our annual CDP submission. We have made great improvements in both the quantity and quality of our data since we started tracking our emissions. Our intention is to publish a company-wide goal for GHG emissions reduction in FY16.
Fiscal Scope Pie Chart
Our absolute GHG emissions decreased by 11 percent in FY15 as compared to FY14, and our GHG emissions normalized by revenue decreased by 7 percent. The decrease was primarily due to the large decrease in Scope 3 Business Travel. Our FY15 emissions normalized by revenue were 20 percent lower than FY08 emissions normalized by revenue.
Absolute Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Normalized Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Emission rates are generated using World Resources Institute-recommended greenhouse gas (GHG) conversion factors, which account for variations by region.

We are expanding our efforts to estimate Scope 3 emissions. As members of the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), Symantec contracts our Tier 1 Major Suppliers to implement and abide by the EICC Code of Conduct which was updated in 2015 to include requirements for greenhouse gas emissions tracking and management. We will also require suppliers to complete the online assessment, including greenhouse gas emissions reporting using EICC-ON, and to allow Symantec to audit their processes via the EICC audit program.
In early 2015, EICC was the first industry group to join the CDP Supply Chain initiative. As an EICC member, we are using this initiative to request that our Tier 1 manufacturing suppliers respond to the CDP Supply Chain survey in 2015. Our measure of success for this year will be the level of supplier participation in the EICC-On and/or CDP Supply Chain reporting.
We have estimated emissions associated with our indirect purchasing (i.e. goods and services we directly use in our business but which are not incorporated into our product), product shipping and the use of appliances that we sell to our customers. Our estimates indicate that Scope 3 emissions are at least three times greater than our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We expect that our continuing efforts to more fully and accurately quantify our carbon footprint will help us to identify ways to target emissions reductions associated with our business.

Green IT

Our data centers and labs represent our most energy intensive operations. We are therefore prioritizing energy efficiency and equipment upgrades in these locations.
During FY15, we embarked on a major project to consolidate our labs and data centers into fewer, larger more efficient locations and in parallel we are implementing more virtualized IT environments, deleting unnecessary software applications and upgrading hardware equipment, all of which we expect to deliver significant energy savings.
By implementing energy efficiency improvements in our data centers, we not only reduce our own carbon footprint, we also maximize the economy of scale benefits associated with our Software as a Service (SaaS) based cloud computing infrastructure.
We are working to quantify energy use and emissions associated with our third party operated collocated data centers. All new agreements with third-party data centers include a requirement to provide us with monthly energy use data as well as annual PUE values. By collecting this information, we will be able to measure total energy use and emissions associated with both the data centers under our direct control and our use of third party owned and operated facilities. This data will also enable us to engage with our data center vendors towards future efficiency goals.
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 and applied best practices such as clustering (consolidating machines use), storage tiering, and data deduplication 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.

Resource Conservation

Adopting Sustainable Building Practices

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, and operation of its buildings.
We have established a goal of obtaining a minimum of LEED Gold certification for all new Symantec-owned and long-leased facilities. We went beyond this standard for our two facilities in Pune, India were we have achieved LEED Platinum certification. The facilities were recognized for alternative transportation, energy efficiency, aligning with regional green building priorities, and water efficiency. We reduced potable water usage at one site by 54 percent from the calculated baseline design.
Symantec Building In addition to LEED, 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.

Visit the EPA's Energy Star Buildings Partnership website.

Conserving Water

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.
This year, we have added estimated water use at sites where we do not purchase it directly to our global water use tracking. We have also added estimated water use at these sites to our FY14 data for comparison purposes. Our global water consumption (purchased and estimated) decreased by 29,087 cubic meters, or 3.6% in FY15 as compared to FY14. Normalized by revenue, our water consumption decreased by 1% in FY15 compared to FY14.
Absolute Water Consumed

FY14 and FY15 data have additional estimated water consumption for sites where Symantec does not have operational control of the water utility bill.

Normalized Water Consumed

Water consumption data for FY08 to FY13 was compiled from Symantec's owned or long leased facilities (where Symantec has operational control of the water utility bill) worldwide. The FY14 and FY15 data has been verified (limited assurance) by a third party vendor. FY14 and FY15 data have additional estimated water consumption for sites where Symantec does not have operational control of the water utility bill. Of the total FY15 water, nine percent was consumed in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), 38 percent was consumed in APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan), and 53 percent was consumed in the AMERICAS (United States, Canada and South America).

We recognize that different regions experience different levels of water resource constraints, both currently and looking to the future. 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 helps us to target our water conservation efforts.
We are particularly cognizant of the importance of water conservation at our sites in California and Arizona which are experiencing unprecedented drought conditions and we are working on a number of fronts to reduce our water demand. 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 developing plans to replace turf with drought resistant planting. We have cut back significantly on window washing, and specifically pressure washing. We are also developing signage and email bulletins to encourage our employees to cut back on water usage where possible, and we are incorporating water efficient fixtures to the renovation of our Mountain View buildings in Northern California.
We are participants in the CERES Connect our Drops campaign and have signed on to support three proposed policies designed to promote sustainable water management 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.
At one of our LEED Platinum facilities in Pune, India, another water-stressed region, we reduced potable water usage by 54 percent in FY15 from the calculated baseline design.

Waste Reduction and Landfill Diversion

By reusing and recycling materials, we reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. Symantec is focused on reducing waste through source-reduction as well as recycling programs.

E-waste Recycling

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 third party 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.

Travel and Events

Business Travel

Between FY14 and FY15, GHG emissions from our business travel decreased by 36%. This significant reduction in travel was mainly due to Company restructuring and a strong focus on reducing internal travel. In addition, while the air miles flown decreased by 27%, the associated GHG emissions decreased by 39% due to reduced air travel emission factors.
When travel is necessary, Symantec works with its travel vendors to help us to reduce the environmental impacts of our travel.
  • We prefer airlines with strong corporate responsibility strategies and are monitoring the development of airline biofuels.
  • Our preferred car rental vendors report on their CO2 emissions and include hybrid or bio-fueled vehicles in their fleet.
  • We incorporate sustainability criteria to RFPs for external meeting venues.
  • We have begun to request that hotels we do business with explain how they can meet the disclosure requirements of the emerging Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) standard.

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.

Sustaining our Global Corporate Events

Symantec began integrating environmental considerations into our event strategies for the first time with our Vision 2012 event. We believe that by integrating sustainability principles we will not only reduce the environmental and social impact of our conferences, but also improve their quality and business results.
During FY15, our Events team implemented lessons learned from previous events to incorporate even higher levels of sustainability into the Symantec Vision Symposium series.
The team achieved several notable performance milestones:
  • 100% of key suppliers contracts included sustainability
  • 89% waste diversion rate
  • 88% reduction in waste compared with the last pan-European Vision conference in Barcelona
  • 67% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with the Barcelona event
  • 39% of food was locally sourced
  • 19,228 trees pledged to be planted
  • Trained 43 children to be Climate Justice Ambassadors
  • 89% delegate awareness rate of the event’s sustainable practices
Our efforts were recognized during early 2015, when Symantec’s Vision Symposium 2014 was selected as the winner of the most prestigious global award in the meetings and events industry: the IMEX-GMIC Green Meeting Award 2015.

Responsible Sourcing

Software 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 greenhouse gas emissions associated with materials extraction, manufacture, transportation, installation of the software product and packaging waste. Where we continue to supply physical products, we are working with our suppliers to make them smaller and lighter to reduce the materials used and we are also incorporating more recycled and recyclable materials, such as paper laminates instead of plastics.
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.
Read more about Symantec’s supply chain responsibility.