Results tagged “sustainability”

Newsweek Ranks Adobe World’s Greenest IT Company

As a global company, we feel it’s our responsibility to not only manage our environmental impact, but to actively improve it. This commitment to the community has been a part of our culture since we began, and we continually seek new and creative ways of maximizing efficiencies for our business while also minimizing our impact on the environment.

newsroom-marquee-sustainability.jpg.adimg.w.709For instance, Adobe is among a handful of Fortune 500 companies to achieve carbon neutrality at our owned facilities in North America in 2013. We are also a founding partner of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Building Health Initiative and an early adopter of new renewable-energy technologies, including Windspire wind turbines and Bloom Energy. Today, Adobe is considered the most water-productive software company on the planet, generating over $5 million in revenue for every cubic meter of water used.

These accomplishments stem from a core belief: It’s not enough to silently work towards a more sustainable future. We believe in the value of transparently communicating our progress and our commitment so that others might be inspired to take action. That’s why, each year, we release a corporate responsibility report that clearly outlines what we’re doing to help reduce our impact, all verified by third-party experts.

This year, we’re honored to be ranked the second greenest company in the United States and the third greenest in the world, according to Newsweek’s 2014 Green Rankings. In the category of IT companies, Adobe tops the list both in the U.S. and globally. Released just this week, these rankings are based on data evaluations of the world’s 500 largest companies, compiled by independent research company Corporate Knights Capital and sustainability experts from NGOs, academic, and accounting organizations. Companies are scored on eight specific indicators, including “productivity” in energy, greenhouse gases, water and waste. They also take into account the existence of a sustainability board and third-party environmental metrics, as well as “sustainability pay link,” which attempts to tie the earnings of senior executives to the achievement of certain corporate environmental targets. You can learn more about the ranking methodology here.

While we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far, we will keep pushing forward to improve results for our employees, our communities and the planet.

For more information on our corporate responsibility program, please visit

Earth Month Tip: Travel Reduction

As Earth Month comes to a close, we’ve saved a topic that touches every single one of us for last: Travel. Did you know that the average American flies approximately 17.2 hours per year?[1] Add the average work commute of 25.4 minutes each way[2] and the emissions really start to add up. This begs the question: What can we do as individuals to reduce the environmental impact of our travel?


Here at Adobe, we’re taking this to heart and looking at how we can change how we travel to help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 10%. That’s why we launched our “Skip-a-trip” initiative this month, which encourages all Adobe employees to simply skip a trip completely and use Adobe Connect instead. Already this month, our employees have avoided adding approximately 31,000 lbs. CO2 to their, and Adobe’s, carbon footprint[3].  Not to mention they avoided 72,000 miles of stressful, potentially unhealthy travel as well, saving our business thousands of dollars in travel costs.  This effort has had a meaningful, measurable and positive triple-bottom-line benefit so far.

This approach can work for anyone. Think about it – is there a chance that you could take your next meeting via web conferencing instead of driving or flying to the meeting? Even when that’s not an option, there are many other ways to reduce your travel and help the environment. The next time you plan out a trip, think about whether it can be combined with another to get more done at the same time. Even choosing non-stop over connecting flights will use less emissions (and save you time).[4]

What will you do to reduce your carbon footprint this month and in the future? Share your tips with us using #EarthMonth.

Vince Digneo is Adobe’s sustainability strategist.






Earth Month Tip: Waste Reduction

Tomorrow is Earth Day, which provides a great opportunity to take a moment to appreciate our planet and reflect on ways we can help protect it. In honor of Earth Day, we’re focusing this week’s post on waste reduction. Be sure to catch up on some of our energy and water conservation tips, too.

In 2012, Americans generated about 251 million tons of trash and only recycled or composted nearly 87 million tons of it. That is equivalent to a 34.5 percent recycling and composting rate.[1] Put it another way, that’s similar to each person generating 4.38 pounds of waste per day, or one 15-inch Retina display MacBook Pro, and only recycling or composting 1.51 pounds of this waste, or roughly one regular iPad with a cover.[2]


That’s why Adobe pays close attention to our waste and keeps an eye on the environmental footprint of our operations. This includes everything from implementing an employee-driven recycling and composting program to reducing the amount of packaging per product. Today our product packaging is fully recyclable – and we’re working to reduce the amount of packaging by 80 percent by 2015.

If everyone around the world were to simply increase their recycling and composting efforts, we could reduce our environmental footprint, increase our energy production, and save vital resources for the next generation. Here are some easy ways to make a big impact:

How are you increasing your recycling or composting efforts? Share your insights, photos and tips for us on your social channels using #EarthMonth.

Vince Digneo is Adobe’s sustainability strategist.




Earth Month Tip: Managing Energy Use

We’re sharing one tip each week this month in honor of Earth Month. Last week we focused on water conservation and this week is all about energy reduction. Share your favorite green tips with us on social media using hashtag #EarthMonth.

With more than 11,000 employees and over 3 million square feet of real estate around the world, Adobe pays close attention to our energy usage. We have cut our electricity usage by 50% since 2002 which has helped us to achieve carbon neutrality at our owned North American facilities by 2014 – one full year ahead of our goal.

Our main goal is to sustainably manage our business. To that point we rigorously explore ways to reduce our energy and water consumption and to offset 100% of our Scope 1 and 2 emissions from our North America operations through the purchase of renewable energy credits and emission reduction credits to help develop wind farms and landfill biogas plant projects.

While energy reduction is important to Adobe, strength lies in numbers – our impact will be even stronger if we all commit to reducing our energy usage. Here’s an easy way to make a big difference: replace all your incandescent bulbs with LED lights.  An LED can last up to 30 times longer[1], it will use up to 75 percent less energy and you’ll save hundreds of dollars over the life of a single LED[2].

Did you know?  If every American home replaced just one incandescent bulb with an ENERGY STAR rated light, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, cut about $680 million in annual energy costs, and avoid releasing 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually – equivalent to taking approximately 800,000 cars off our roads every year.  This is just one way everyone can reduce their energy use.

What are you doing to save energy? Share your insights, photos and tips for us on your social channels using #EarthMonth.

Vince Digneo is Adobe’s sustainability strategist.


Earth Month Tip: Water Conservation

We’re committed to strengthening our communities, which means improving our own sustainability efforts and empowering those around us to do the same. That’s why, in honor of Earth Month, we’re sharing one tip a week to help us all be a little more green. Coming off of World Water Day, this week we’ll focus on how to decrease our water usage.

At Adobe, water conservation has always been important to us, but it’s especially crucial right now as California experiences what some consider to be one of the worst droughts in 500 years.

Since 2000, we’ve implemented measures to reduce water consumption in our buildings by 62%, including the installation of low-flow faucets, waterless urinals, drought-resistant native plants and drip-irrigation systems. Recently, we turned off our San Jose outdoor water fountains to help improve local water flow. Looking forward, we’re now evaluating ways we can increase our water recycling, recapture rain water, reclaim our own waste water, and use recycled water from the cities where we operate.

To make real impact, we need to increase awareness and encourage action. According to the EPA, fixing household leaks could save the average American family 10,000+ gallons of water per year, which is the equivalent of more than 270 loads of laundry.[1] Perhaps fixing that leaky faucet has suddenly moved to the top of your to-do list? Whether you own or rent, it’s a good idea to check your plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems once a year, repair leaks as they occur, and replace old fixtures with new water-saving ones.

Water Conservation

What are your favorite water conservation tips? Share them on your social channels using #EarthMonth. Take pictures and videos demonstrating how you’re conserving water. Tell your friends and family to get involved, too. After all, water is the basis of all life on Earth.

Being Green Means Taking Action

As Adobe continues to grow and evolve, we remain committed to responsibly managing the impact of our operations, exceeding industry standards and fostering a culture of environmental sustainability. Every April, we celebrate “Be Green Month” to give employees new ways to take environmentally meaningful actions at work, in our communities, and at home.

GreenTeams2Led by our Green Teams in 20 sites around the world, a number of educational programs, volunteer projects, and other activities will take place throughout the month. This year, “Be Green Fairs” will be organized to inform employees of local Corporate Responsibility initiatives and provide them with the opportunity to meet with organizations that offer sustainable living options.

Here on Adobe Conversations, we’ll be sharing our success stories on water conversation, energy efficiency, waste management and travel reduction. The strides we’ve made are documented in our reports, but our hope is to inspire businesses and individuals to take action as well.

As we turn our attention to how we can keep our planet thriving, we look forward to your participation and ideas.

Adobe Named a Global Leader in Reducing Environmental Impact

Natural Capital Leader efficiency badge-01In the seventh annual State of Green Business Report 2014, the GreenBiz Group and Trucost introduced the Natural Capital Leaders Index, a first-ever assessment of companies that have successfully grown their revenue while reducing emissions and their use of the earth’s natural resources. After screening more than 4,600 companies, Adobe was recognized as the Natural Capital Efficiency Leader of the technology industry — not just in the US, but the world. We’re thrilled to see Adobe on this list and to be in the company of other industry leaders, such as Sprint, eBay and Ford Motor Company.

We caught up with Joel Makower, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group, who gave us a little more insight into the index and what this will mean for companies now and in the future. He said that “there is a growing recognition among the public that “sustainability” isn’t just about preserving icebergs, rainforests and charismatic megafauna. It is also about public health, community well-being, food security, affordable housing and alleviating poverty… we believe that the Natural Capital Leaders Index developed by Trucost will become a new standard for assessing which companies are truly leaders in sustainability.”

Trucost Natural Capital Leaders Index 2014 (click to enlarge)

Since Adobe was founded, corporate responsibility has been a guiding principle, which has created a company culture that places value on sustainable business practices.

Last fall, we released our 5-year CR Report, highlighting our sustainability efforts and accomplishments to date. Some of the ones we’re most proud of include:

  • Being one of the first companies to adopt the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
  • Achieving carbon neutrality at all our owned facilities in North America in 2012 and committing to continued global leadership in operational efficiency and reducing resource consumption.
  • Reaching 100 percent waste diversion from the San Jose headquarters. The building also produced 27 percent of energy onsite with renewable electricity, effectively using the headquarters as a power plant and reducing its dependency on the grid.
  • 70 percent of Adobe’s employees working in LEED certified office space.
  • For the second year in a row, distributing 73 percent of our software electronically in an effort to reduce the need for packaging.

Our employees also play a part in helping Adobe reach its sustainability goals by supporting of our recycling and composting programs, taking advantage of our commuting alternatives and telecommuting policies, and contributing personally by biking to work. Working together, we’re able to make a true impact on decreasing waste in our landfills and reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.

Being selected as the technology industry trailblazer in the Natural Capital Leader Index is validation of our commitment to responsibly managing the environmental impact of our operations. As we continue to grow as a company, we will continue making every effort to ensure our footprint remains small.

Adobe by the Numbers – 2013

Today we announced our financial results for our fiscal year that ended on Nov. 29 (Go to FY13 earnings release). But those numbers are only a part of the story — we had an incredible year, building a stronger customer community, releasing new products and services, and helping create positive change through our corporate responsibility efforts. Check out our infographic below (or download the PDF with embedded links to more info) with a few of these other numbers that marked our year. We’re ready for great things in 2014!

Adobe Numbers 2013

Speaking the Same Language – The Intersection of Business and Sustainability

A few weeks ago, I attended the 2013 Net Impact Conference in San Jose, Calif., a three-day immersion into the conference theme of, “Change Starts Here.” As mentioned in the blog posted before the conference kicked off, we are strong believers in the power of collaboration and creativity to affect meaningful change. I’d like to commend Net Impact for bringing together people from around the world to discuss ideas on how to make a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

During the conference, I had the privilege of leading two roundtable discussions, the first with business leaders and sustainability experts. The group jumped into a lively discussion of key drivers for successful sustainability initiatives and the benefit of buy-in from the top during the planning phase. Though we covered a lot of ideas in that session, one key point of agreement was the need for sustainability leaders to be able to speak the same language as the leaders of the company. This creates a crucial link that allows sustainability and corporate responsibility departments to showcase why these initiatives are good for business.

Adobe-Utah-Building-outside_NightThe second roundtable consisted of mostly MBA students. As these are the next generation of business leaders, we focused on how workplace environments can influence the way employees feel about their company. I shared my own experiences with workplace environments and discussed why LEED certification is a priority for Adobe (currently 24 of our facilities are LEED certified with 17 certified at the LEED Platinum level). Just last week our sparkling new Lehi, Utah workplace achieved LEED Gold certification. We place a premium on green building because it enables us to operate with greater efficiency, thus reducing costs over time, and reduce our impact on the planet. Sustainability innovation also challenges us to rethink and reuse. I’m still inspired by our San Francisco office located on 601 Townsend. At the ripe old age of 103, it sits as the oldest LEED Platinum building in the U.S., running on about 50% of renewables.

As with any roundtable discussion, different points of view are shared. It was encouraging to see that everyone agrees that sustainability is good for business – it is innovative, it is forward-thinking and it works.  I look forward to continuing these sustainability conversations here.

Building Healthier Communities

When people talk about green building, they’re usually focused on the environmental impact, such as water, waste and energy efficacy, and aren’t necessarily thinking about how the people working inside or their overall well-being are affected. Today, 68% of Adobe’s square footage is LEED certified — and growing.  As a leader in LEED-certified buildings and as a founding partner of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Building Health Initiative, we’re looking to make the connections between green building workplaces and healthier, more collaborative and creative employees.

Our headquarters’ open spaces feature natural light, clean air, and access to views of San Jose, CA.

Our headquarters’ open spaces feature natural light, clean air, and access to views of San Jose, CA.

The goal of the initiative is to raise awareness about the health effects of existing buildings and change the way builders and contractors choose products that are not only better for the environment, but also for our own well-being. As part of the initiative, Adobe has taken the Building Health Challenge – a pledge to promote health and wellness and take actions to catalyze industry change in building healthy places. Our first action is a study that will measure our existing LEED certified workspaces and how they contribute to a more collaborative, creative, innovative and healthy work environment for our employees.

For Adobe, creating “sustainable” workplaces for our employees is a priority.  It’s important to us that our employees come to work each day and feel that working here enables their creativity and collaborating with colleagues is easy. We want our employees to view their workplaces as healthy and that they feel good while working.  A few examples of this are most visible in our open workspaces:

  • Natural light is the dominant lighting source.
  • The air in our buildings is, on average, 10x better than the air outside.
  • It is easier and more efficient to regulate the temperature in an open workspace so our employees are more comfortable.

Studies by Carnegie Mellon, among others, have demonstrated that productivity in green buildings is .4% to 18% higher than in conventional buildings, due to better lighting, cleaner, fresher air, and greater access to daylight and outside views.  And according to the USGBC, a 1% increase in productivity is worth more than the entire cost of utilities for most companies.

We are excited to be a part of this drive towards sustainability and will continue to keep you updated on where our efforts are focused and how we’re progressing.

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