Results tagged “Corporate Responsibility”

Celebrating Our Roots

In order to see how far you’ve come, it’s important to take a look at where you started. In honor of our 5-Year Corporate Responsibility report, I sat down with Dr. Charles Geschke and Dr. John Warnock, the co-chairmen of the Adobe board, who founded Adobe 31 years ago, to talk about our corporate responsibility roots and how they’ve grown. Here’s a sneak peek of our conversation:

On the company’s roots
Dr. Geschke: When we started, we wanted to build a company that we wanted to work at. That meant giving back to the community. We set aside a percentage of our profits each year and then we put the employees in control of our philanthropic direction. We wanted employees to be proud that they worked at a company that was supporting our community’s needs.

On being a good corporate citizen
Dr. Warnock: We had no idea how successful Adobe would become. We’re thrilled to see that the company continues to give back in so many ways. It’s amazing to see what these employees have accomplished.

On the evolution of our Corporate Responsibility program
Dr. Warnock: Our corporate headquarters is a power plant. That means the building produces its own energy. Now they’re aiming to produce as much energy as they consume. It’s incredible to see how far Adobe has come in all areas of CR.

We’ve made some pretty significant changes over the past few years and we have a lot more to do, but we wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for the commitment to the community Adobe established from the very beginning. Next up: Net zero in 2014!

A Year in Review: Adobe Corporate Responsibility in 2013

From actively engaging our employees, to driving operations efficiencies, to positively impacting communities, we believe in the power of creativity to inspire positive change. We’re rounding out the end of the year with a look back on some of our key corporate responsibility achievements in 2013.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • For the first time, 100% of the waste from our San Jose headquarters was diverted from the landfill – the equivalent of almost 215 garbage trucks.* We also produced 27% of our San Jose energy onsite with renewable electricity, effectively using our headquarters as a power plant and reducing our dependency on the grid.
  • 70% of our global office space in now LEED certified, and we’ve officially taken on the USGBC Building Health Challenge – a pledge to promote health and wellness and to catalyze industry change in building healthy places. Next year, we’ll continue to work towards our goal of achieving Net Zero status at each of our owned facilities in North America by 2015.
  • For the second year in a row, we were able to distribute 73% of our software electronically in an effort to reduce the need for packaging. For the minimal amount of software we do distribute in physical form, we hope to reduce the amount of packaging per product unit by 80% next year, double the target we achieved in 2011.
  • $59 million in product donations, $13 million in cash charitable contributions, and thousands of hours of volunteer work resulted in an interactive light installation at the Children’s Creativity Museum, a new playground for children in Palo Alto, and a gardening day in our offices, just to name a few.
  • We reached 25% more youth as a part of our Adobe Youth Voices program this year, culminating in the AYV Awards and a week-long gathering of young people and educators from around the world.

We’ve been working steadily towards these accomplishments for years. We’re not stopping now – we’re going to keep creating change in the years to coming, causing this ripple effect to continue to spread.

Thank you to our customers, employees, and partners for helping us create a more sustainable future. While 2013 was a great year, we’re confident that we can make an even bigger impact in 2014.

*Source: Calculations are based on United States Environmental Protection Agency document, Waste Transfer Stations: A Manual for Decision-Making.  

Creative Kindness

Adobe is well-known for being a creative company and that extends to how we give back to the community.

From a Sumo wrestling championship in Australia, to a window office auction in Seattle, Adobe employees are devising creative ways to raise money and awareness for causes they care about.

  • During April’s Be Green Month, the Bangalore and Noida Green Teams held a Best of Waste competition, where employees created a garden hammock out of unwanted cables and a flower vase made from a ketchup bottle.
  • During June’s Be Involved Month, the Sydney Corporate Responsibility (CR) Action Team hosted the Adobe Australia-New Zealand (ANZ) Sumo Championship to raise funds for Vinnies CEO Sleepout, an initiative to help bring an end to homelessness in Australia.
  • Last month, the Dublin CR Action Team organized a “Pink Day,” where employees wore pink to the office to create awareness of breast cancer and support the Irish Cancer Society.
  • When Seattle Adobean Parviz Banki was set to go on sabbatical earlier this year, he thought, “why let his perfectly good window office sit empty for six weeks?” The DPS team orchestrated an auction for use of his office, with all proceeds going to charity. Neil Enns, won the auction and turned around and auctioned off a sub-lease. When all the bids were counted, they raised more than $2,000 for 8 different charities.

The fun and innovative ways that employees get involved continue through the end of the year. During November and December, Adobe celebrates Season of Giving, an annual campaign to encourage community involvement worldwide. Local CR Action Teams at more than 15 Adobe sites are coordinating various types of events and activities.

  • The Tokyo CR Action Team hosted a Season of Giving Bazaar where employees sold donated items to benefit Sweet Treat 311, an organization that supports relief efforts in areas affected by the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
  • Over 120 employees have signed up to grow a mo’ in support of Movember, a campaign where men grow mustaches (and women support them) for 30 days to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.
  • The Adobe Studio team in San Francisco exchanged their cameras and design tools for hair nets and serving utensils when they provided dinner service at St. Vincent de Paul Society. The nonprofit was extremely grateful for the service as they went for weeks without any volunteers prior to the Adobe team helping out.

Giving goes social: #GivingTuesday
New this year, Adobe is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global campaign to create a day of giving back and kick off the giving season on December 3. In the spirit of #GivingTuesday, Adobe pledges to rally support for nonprofits in local communities selected by employees at each of our largest offices. Various sites will be setting up events and activities to promote awareness and support for nonprofit partners.

These are just a few of the ways that employees are giving back this holiday season.  For more information on Adobe’s commitment to our local communities, visit the Corporate Responsibility site.

CDP’s Global 500 Climate Change Report Names Adobe a Sustainability Leader

Adobe was recognized in the CDP 2013 S&P 500 Climate Change Report Sustainability Index as a leader in the Information Technology sector. The climate change report was created to highlight the progress achieved by a portion of the S&P 500 companies in reducing emissions, responding to climate-related risks and opportunities and influencing key stakeholders to manage climate change.

From day-one we’ve been committed to responsibly managing the impact of our operations and to fostering a culture that values this approach to business. We continuously strive to exceed industry certification standards and maximize efficiency with leading edge technology. Being recognized in CDP’s Global 500 Climate Change Report validates that are our environmental efforts in energy conservation, green building and waste reduction are making a difference. As a company in an increasingly energy intensive business, we’re continuously looking for new ways to reduce our energy consumption, stabilize costs, while providing best-in-class workplaces for our employees. Our ultimate goal is for our facilities to produce or offset as much energy as they consume, resulting in Net Zero energy usage. Our energy conservation initiative is, of course, closely tied to our green building effort. We’re proud to be one of the first companies to adopt the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – or LEED – standards.

Adobe achieved carbon neutrality at our owned facilities in North America in 2012 and we aim to achieve global carbon neutrality at all facilities in 2015. To date, 23 of our 17 LEED certified facilities, 58 percent of our global footprint have achieved Platinum level, ranking them among most efficient buildings in the world.  Waste reduction is another area where we’re able to drive significant impact. Seventy-three percent of our licensed products were delivered digitally in 2012, eliminating the need for packaging.

Check out the full CDP Global 500 Climate Change report here, and learn more about our Corporate Responsibility efforts here.

Q&A with our AYV Summit 2013 Creative Insider Alumni

And that’s a wrap! Last month we celebrated youth creativity with more than 100 AYV students and educators from 23 countries at our AYV Summit. This year we were very lucky to have four amazing Adobe Youth Voices Alumni partner with these Creative Professionals to learn the tricks of the trade and share a behind-the-scenes look of week’s events.

Creative Insiders

Kendall Lui, Zach James, Diamante Horton and Anny Liu* all did an amazing job documenting Summit and were so inspiring to work with (check out some of their photos here!). We asked them to share about their Summit experience – here’s what they had to say:

What did you learn at Summit? How was this a valuable experience?

KL: Summit was life changing for me. I did not realize how many different people from different countries I was going to meet, listening to their stories and learning more about their background was truly inspiring.

ZJ: AYV Summit gave us a great opportunity to meet with creative professionals and learn about their work while making important connections for our future.

DH: This was a valuable experience because I learned that technology continues to be a powerful tool for communicating globally.


Share your favorite moment during Summit with us.

KL: I loved watching all of the attendees interact during Ado-Bingo (Adobe Bingo) during the welcome/orientation ceremony.

ZJ:   During a meeting with some of the educators, I was able to share my knowledge about film and provide a lot of advice. It felt great.

DH: AYV Live! and the celebration that followed was an amazing experience to celebrate everyone’s success together at the end of the week.


Did you find yourself feeling inspired at any point during the week? When?

KL: I was inspired throughout the entire week at Summit. Watching youth come together from around the world to collaborate on film projects and overcome the language barrier was truly amazing.

ZJ: I was amazed by the work produced by the students during AYV Summit. They really blew me away and inspired me to keep on making my own projects.

DH: I was inspired during several different moments during Summit: interacting with the other social media journalists and Creative Insider Professionals, listening to the inspirational speeches of the guest speakers, and working with other youth. These moments helped me to develop further as a creative individual and as a person.


What is the best advice that you received from a Creative Insider Professional? 

KL: Make connections with the people you meet at the Summit – you never know what opportunities it may unlock.

ZJ: Trevor Hubbard shared the best advice. He told me how he started his company, and what he did to make it so successful.

DH: When you share important content on your social media networks, you will open up the opportunity for the best possible networking experience.


If you could share any advice with future AYV youth, what would it be? 

KL: “If what you do in the future isn’t creative in the traditional sense turn it into something creative.”

ZJ: “Take advantage of this opportunity that Adobe has given you. It might not seem like much right now, but they are giving you the chance to mold your life into an amazing one.”

DH: “Come to Summit with an open mind. Make the most of everything, take advantage of every opportunity there, have fun and make network connections!”


Thank you Kendall, Zach, Diamante and Anny for doing an amazing job at Summit. We look forward to seeing your future projects!

*Anny was unavailable to interview.

Q&A Interview with Adobe Youth Voices Summit’s Creative Pros

The 2013 AYV Summit is quickly approaching and the team is preparing for an awesome week in San Jose celebrating the Adobe Youth Voices program. Over 70 youth and 33 educators from around the world will be joining us to work on media projects and learn innovative techniques from creative professionals.

This is the first year we will be hosting four “Creative Insider Teams” on-site at Summit. The Creative Pros will be paired with one of our AYV alumni to teach them the tricks of the trade – these four teams will be known as our “Creative Insiders.” Be sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram to see Summit from an insider’s perspective (find their handles below!).

For the Creative Pros – Kush, Tasha, Trevor and Misha – creativity isn’t just something you do in your free time; it’s a way of life. We asked them to share a little background on how they got started and what creative advice they have for today’s youth. Here’s what they had to say:

AYV: You’re all social media savvy – tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less and where we can find you on the interwebs.


Tasha Mistry (TM)

Business Analyst at Adobe Systems. USAToday College Blogger. Lover of Shoes and Cute Puppies. Passionate Community Activist.Happiest Person You’ll Ever Meet. Twitter



Trevor Hubbard (TH)

Creative director and founder of famed creative house, Butchershop Creative. He is a problem solver and soon-to-be dad. Twitter



Misha Vladimirskiy (MV)

A partner at Butchershop Creative. Misha “lives to create and creates to live.”  Twitter


 KushKush Amerasinghe (KA) A Computer Scientist and Futurist at Adobe operating in many different fields, including 3d, design, web, vfx, & education.  Twitter


AYV: When did you first have a creative “a-ha” moment?

TM: When I was in the 9th grade, my science teacher asked me to explain the life cycle of an igneous rock. I decided to illustrate the process in comic book form.  I started drawing a rock, but it looked a little deformed.  My frustration led me to draw clothes on this rock (a backwards hat with some nice shoes). It was cute. I named him Iggy the Igneous. I wrote a story about Iggy’s life from his own perspective.  I realized that the “mistake” I made was beautiful and that imperfection is beauty. The story turned out to be a great hit, and Iggy the Igneous is a now a legend at Mission San Jose High School. 

TH: I was 8 or 9 when I created a logo for a car detailing business I started called SPEEDY DETAIL. I drew the logo, created the brochure my hand, and passed them out in my neighborhood. SPEEDY DETAIL had three tiers of service – 1) Super Clean 2) Super Duper Clean, and 3) Super Duper Duper Clean.

MV: The first time I developed and printed film. The smells and images are still burned into my memory.

KA: I’ve been experimenting with different creative outlets since I was a child. It eventually led me to what I do today at Adobe.

AYV: What advice would you give to your seventeen year old self about getting into the field or following your creative vision?

TM: Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not capable. If you want to be successful, you must do anything and everything it takes. Never give up.  Hard work and dedication always pays off! 

TH: You don’t have to be great. Just be good. Make a lot of mistakes because they are the greatest teacher.

MV: Don’t be afraid of getting turned down, don’t be afraid of taking chances. Create and strive for what you believe.

KA: I would tell myself to stay in school and spend more time learning. My advice to youth today is to do the best you can in whatever situation you are in rather than wait for one big opportunity.

AYV: What does creativity mean to you in five words or less?

TM: Three words: Adobe Youth Voices :) 

TH: Creativity can’t be 5 words ;)

MV: Life

KA: Not settling for “as is.”

AYV: How can creativity make the world a better place?

TM: I view creativity as a limitless channel of communication. You can share whatever you’d like with the world, however you want to. That’s what’s so beautiful about it. 

TH: It just does. Look around you. And there is room for so much more. Everyone can contribute a verse to this grand play that goes on forever in the universe.

MV: Since it already does, all we can do is keep on creating.

KA: There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who are happy with how things are and those who feel they can do better. The second group is creative. They are more common that you may realize. A lot of us create things because we aren’t satisfied with the generic or the existing. Not settling leads people to making better things. This is what makes the world a better place over time.

We’re excited to have four teams of creative insiders dedicated to giving you the behind the scenes coverage at Summit this year! Join our #AYVSummit13 Twitter Chat to ask them your burning questions on Aug. 8, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. PT. More details coming soon!

A Leap Of Faith Inspires New Interactive Exhibit at Children’s Creativity Museum

It’s no easy task to create a highly interactive digital experience that can handle children who might be stroller or carrier bound, crawling or bouncing off the walls. When Experience Design’s Petra Uebel accepted the challenge as part of Adobe’s Pro Bono Initiative to build an exhibit for San Francisco’s Children’s Creativity Museum, it was a bit of a leap of faith. Petra had a surfeit of enthusiasm, but basically no experience with exhibit design or engineering…but sometimes faith is enough. With the help of the Pro Bono support team and mentors it only took a few weeks for her to assemble an enthusiastic team of designers and developers who relished the opportunity to step out of their day-to-day responsibilities, playing and sweating their way into a really captivating digital exhibition.

The team was asked to fill a critical gap in the museum’s offerings: an exhibit focusing on their youngest visitors, children aged five and under. Our Experience Design (XD) team brainstormed, designed and prototyped in collaboration with museum staff to create an exhibit experience that is visual and kinesthetic. It was not long before there were bright lights flashing, people stomping on padded surfaces like three-year-olds, supported by tangles of wires and the smell of soldering.

There were many solutions explored, but the one the team settled on and built combines a custom LED array wall that is a whopping 84 pixels wide by 46 pixels high. It doesn’t sound like a lot until you go about the task of wiring every two inch pixel by hand – and the resulting 16 foot wide 8 foot high screen is impressive. The screen is supported by a pressure sensitive floor and touch interaction so children can interact with the display in very natural ways. A sound system is also incorporated so that almost all the children’s senses covered.

The programs that have been developed so far range from interesting pixelated displays of radiating ripples in a pond to an explosion of fireworks, and the XD team has been hard at work on a series of experiences that feature the Museum’s signature “Critters.” These simple and colorful beasts are the Museum’s mascots, and some of the exhibit’s programs will allow the children to run around, point and poke and watch the way the characters respond. The goal is to bring the critters alive to the delight of the children that interact with them.

Not too different than the critters, our team at Adobe, was inspired by a desire to make a difference in the lives of the children who will experience the exhibit. The project sparked a new level of energy and enthusiasm to stretch beyond assumed limitations, explore new roles and develop new skills. It’s hard sometimes to maintain that level of energy in our “real” jobs, so Pro Bono projects like this offer a wonderful energy boost and, significantly, that energy seems to rub off, even on coworkers who aren’t participating. The Adobe Pro Bono Initiative is just getting started and I can’t wait to see what other projects we are able to connect our employees to make a difference in the community while they grow themselves.

The new interactive exhibit at the San Francisco Children’s Creativity Museum opens to the public today, Friday, July 26. For more information on romping around and interacting with some really big pixels, see here.


Photos courtesy of Adam Freidin

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