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!
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.
Today at the GreenBiz Forum 12 in San Francisco, Adobe announced another step toward becoming Net Zero with the installation of two-200 kilowatt Bloom Energy fuel cells at our San Francisco offices. The fuel cells are expected to provide 35 percent of Adobe SF’s on-site power needs, the equivalent of powering 320 homes. Net Zero buildings can be independent from the energy grid supply and have zero carbon emissions annually.
Fuel cells offer a high level of efficiency by reducing power lost in traditional energy transmission. Today’s news marks Adobe’s third major renewable energy installation. At our San Jose headquarters, we installed 12-100 kilowatt Bloom boxes in the summer of 2010, which provide 30 percent of Adobe SJ’s total power. In December 2009, we installed 20 Windspires, which harness wind power to generate clean electric energy on-site.
With the completion of this project, Adobe remains on the forefront of incorporating impactful, leading-edge clean technologies to our operations in an effort to reduce our environmental footprint. Over the next 10 years, Adobe expects to reduce its carbon footprint by approximately 121.5 million pounds, the equivalent of taking 1,810 compact cars off the road annually.