Engaging in a meaningful way with the communities where we live and work has been at the core of Adobe’s culture since its founding in 1982. Thirty five years later, we remain committed to increasing our investments in social impact and sustainability initiatives as the company grows.
Today, we published our 2016 Sustainability and Social Impact Report that details our progress and performance in sustainability, governance, employee acquisition and development, and community investment. Here are a some highlights I’d like to share:
In 2016, Adobe was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World for the first time – the gold standard of corporate responsibility reporting for the investor community. We are one of only six technology companies on DJSI World and are committed to preserving our leadership through the transparency of reporting on – and driving innovation of – our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies and programs. The recognition continues this month with Adobe placing in the top 20 on CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, moving up to #18 from #27 in 2016.
In our quest to operate our business and deliver our products with 100% renewable energy by 2035, Adobe’s energy efficiency projects reduced its CO2 emissions by the equivalent of 371 metric tons, which is comparable to using more than 41,000 gallons of gasoline or burning 395,000 pounds of coal (source: EPA greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator).
Sustainability is naturally a part of Adobe’s culture, and we invest in providing healthy and productive work environments for our employees. Seventy eight percent Adobe workspaces are LEED certified, up 3% – even with an increase of 14% in our workforce.
Our responsibility doesn’t end with our business operations and employees; we also help our customers be more sustainable through the use of our products. For example, in 2016 alone, more than 46 million electronic documents transacted with Adobe Sign conserved more than 17 million pounds of wood, 53 million gallons of water, 4.5 million pounds of waste.
The innovation continues at Adobe with the filing of 373 patents in 2016 – more than one per day, and up 24 from 2015. And although not a shift, it’s notable that no financial contributions were made to political parties, politicians or Political Action Committees, during a tumultuous campaign year in the US.
Employees and Community
We also invested $37.9M – cash and in-kind – around the world, up 8 percent from 2015. I’d like to highlight just a few of our programs, and the creative approaches taken to make a direct impact.
- The Employee Community Fund trains and empowers employees to direct allocated funds from the Adobe Foundation to support local nonprofits of their choosing. In 2016, employees at 19 of our largest sites around the world helped to distribute 150 local grants totaling more than $2.26 million.
- Our Pro Bono program enables employees to give their talent to nonprofits that need it. It’s a three-way win: employees gain growth opportunities while strengthening their communities; nonprofits get the expert help they need; and we earn greater employee loyalty. Last year, we invested the equivalent of $1.2M in talent contributions through Pro Bono projects.
- I’m particularly proud of how our investments in education are not only building pathways to creative and coding careers, but are contributing to Adobe’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
- Last year, our Youth Coding Initiative funded partnerships with nine nonprofit organizations to make coding education a reality for underserved youth.
- We created Project 1324 to give emerging artists, ages 13 to 24, the chance to connect, collaborate, and increase the visibility and impact of their creative work. For the second year, our partnership with the Sundance Film Institute provided life-changing opportunities for emerging filmmakers.
- We piloted the Adobe Digital Academy to help bright, motivated adults who work in other fields make a transition into tech. Through partnerships, we provide underrepresented minority candidates with scholarships to attend intensive web development training programs, internships with our engineering teams, and the possibility of full-time employment.
Energized by the successes in 2016, I’m excited about what’s in store for 2017. Now, more than ever, it’s critical for the private sector to invest even more in sustainability and social impact initiatives. We must maintain or even increase our commitments to protect natural resources, work together to keep our societies moving forward, and foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
See the highlights from our 2016 Sustainability and Social Impact report in our Spark page .