Symantec Reduces GHG Emissions, Shares Challenges, Invites Action

by | Sep 29, 2017

Cyber security company Symantec Corporation reduced GHG emissions by 15% in fiscal year 2017, surpassing its 3% annual reduction target. Since FY15, the company has reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 19%, according to its latest Corporate Responsibility Report. The company’s goal is to reduce GHG emissions by 30% in 10 years.

Symantec said it is achieving its GHG emissions reductions mostly as a result of three initiatives: energy efficiency projects that reduced overall energy consumption; space consolidation efforts that created a more efficient global office footprint; and an internal cloud platform initiative that reduced the company’s data center footprint.

The company also says it has passed its milestone of one million students educated in STEM, investing just under $10 million to achieve this.


Symantec’s CR Challenges: Acquisitions Lead to Interruptions…

In an article outlining the company’s progress, Symantec’s VP of corporate responsibility Cecily Joseph also shared some challenges the company faced in the last year. As part of Symantec’s CR efforts, it set a goal of increasing the percentage of women globally, and the percentage of underrepresented minorities in the US, by 15% by 2020. However, Joseph wrote, “In this past year, we have not made sufficient progress towards our goal. We are integrating diversity and inclusion criteria into our attraction, retention, and advancement strategies, but have failed to move our numbers.”

While Symantec engaged in a number of CR efforts – including the company’s CEO signing the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, and initiating a series with Triple Pundit on how companies can work to improve equality by increasing diversity in their ranks – it faced challenges in other areas. Many of its CR efforts were especially challenged by organizational changes and acquisitions. “These changes impacted our ability to affect the mix of people at Symantec and increased employee turnover, affecting both our diversity progress and our employee volunteering efforts,” Joseph wrote.

Employee volunteering, in fact, dropped by 10% during the year, primarily due to competing internal priorities and employee turnover following the acquisitions.


Steps to Overcoming CR Challenges

Companies that are committed to a culture of corporate responsibility know that ups and downs are part of the process. Acknowledging the areas where a company hasn’t met its goals can lead to new commitments and fresh ideas. Symantec, for example, has designed a competitive benefits program to encourage volunteer and philanthropic efforts. The program allows employees to gain corporate support for any activity with a registered nonprofit organization. These initiatives include:

  • Symantec’s Take 5! challenge, which encourages employees to volunteer for at least five hours each fiscal year;
  • Matching Gift program: Symantec matches up to $1,000 per employee per year,
  • Dollars for Doers: Symantec makes a donation of $15 per volunteer hour, up to $1,000 per employee per year;
  • Nonprofit Board Service: Symantec encourages our employees to serve on nonprofit boards, and they can request a lump-sum Dollars for Doers payment of their full annual allotment without accounting for hours;
  • Symantec Service Time Programs, which provides employees with up to five working days for volunteering.


Interesting Call to Action

Symantec is actively seeking feedback on its most recent corporate responsibility report. In fact, the company invites readers to answer survey questions about the report and in return, says it will donate $50 (up to $50,000) to its partner Common Sense Education, which supports digital safety education for kids.

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