November 30, 2010

Adobe goes a little greener

I know it’s small potatoes* in the big scheme of things, but I’m always proud when I hear about Adobe improving its environmental impact.  I just saw an internal note about some changes happening this month:

  • Eliminating bottled water from all break rooms and kitchens
  • Adding dual-flush toilets to restrooms to increase water efficiency
  • Moving to paper towels with 100% recycled content
  • Offering soy milk and organic, fair-trade coffee in break rooms
  • Replacing compact fluorescent lamps in elevator lobbies

Previously: Adobe HQ gets fuel cells, windmills, more efficient HVAC.

*free-range, no-kill, locally grown, hemp-infused, patchouli-scented small potatoes, perhaps

Posted by John Nack at 7:22 AM on November 30, 2010


  • Joe Colson — 7:53 AM on November 30, 2010

    “Replacing compact fluorescent lamps in elevator lobbies” With what? Fireflies?

  • Hejn — 9:47 AM on November 30, 2010

    The Europeans use „dual-flush toilets“ for two decades now and most countries there have no water problem :-)

  • Mike — 9:58 AM on November 30, 2010

    We have movement detectors as light switch. Which has the added advantage that when you stay in the office and fall asleep, the light goes out so your sleep is not disturbed by the light ;-)

  • Steve H — 10:01 AM on November 30, 2010

    Congratulations! Great to hear that Adobe is working proactively for the environment. We Europeans tend to look down our noses at America as having no conception about environmental protection or energy saving so it’s good to hear about US companies taking this sort of thing seriously.

    As for bottled water, can there be anything more absurd than being offered water ‘bottled at source’ and then shipped a large distance. It’s bad enough drinking French water in England, but shipping, for example, Evian or San Pellegrino to North America for the ‘snob value’ is simply ludicrous.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Chris Cox — 10:40 AM on November 30, 2010

    They’ve been trying various LED light fixtures for a few months in our elevator lobbies, and in some of the decorative spotlights.

  • Dan — 11:21 AM on November 30, 2010

    Soy milk is environmentally friendly? Compared to cow’s milk? A couple of years ago, Slate did an analysis on this subject ( and could not offer convincing evidence that soy milk is more eco-friendly. Is this really an effort at reducing energy consumption or just a nod in the direction of political correctness?

  • Chris — 11:47 AM on November 30, 2010

    Good on ya! Glad to hear stuff like this going on.

  • Guillaume Gete — 12:19 PM on November 30, 2010

    And when will Adobe decide to OFFER download for software bought on Adobe Online Store instead of making us pay many $$$ ? Isn’t it greener to download software instead of having a truck spending gasoline to bring us an always too big box ?

  • Ken Hutchins — 12:41 PM on November 30, 2010

    Does CS x Design Premium still come with the big plastic DVD case? The last two updates I processed were downloads, but I seem to have a lot of boxes and “inside” stuff from CS1 to CS3 when I bought physical pages.

  • Stephen — 2:00 PM on November 30, 2010

    Maybe you should suggest something like this for urinals :

  • scott — 4:15 PM on November 30, 2010

    Actually I think of it as a big deal, especially the bottled water. An incredible amount of oil goes into making the plastic for the bottles, as well as the thoughts mentioned above.

    Tap water is also healthier, as several studies have shown (lower bacteria count, etc)

    Maybe your “little effort” will help the idea spread to homes, etc.

    • Nancy — 8:22 PM on November 30, 2010

      Well .. good for Adobe .. however, at least the San Francisco office has no choice. San Francisco has recently outlawed bottled water within its city limits. :)

  • John Hoffman — 6:28 PM on November 30, 2010

    It is good that Adobe is environmentally conscious and, more importantly, that it likely approaches the subject intelligently.

    Most “environmental” steps urged or mandated by Governments provide far less environmental benefits than are advertised, and many are actually counterproductive, because of the almost universal failure to examine the full cycle involved.

    Of the steps you list, switching from bottled water to faucet water provides the largest savings but, even there, the savings are less than might be expected at first glance. Something is still needed to transport the water to one’s desk. If one uses paper or plastic cups, those offset the savings on the bottles to a considerable extent. If one uses reusable cups or glasses, there are energy and chemicals involved in the cleaning process.

    Similarly, using recycled paper involves fuel to transport the used paper for recycling and often dirtier processes to recycle because of the varied inks and other contaminants on the paper. Furthermore, the savings in trees is less that seems apparent at first glance because paper is commonly made from the small branches and trimmings left after processing the far more valuable lumber from the trees.

    Compact fluorescent bulbs do use less energy than incandescent bulbs, but most if not all of the compact fluorescent bulbs are made abroad and the used bulbs have much more potential for pollution than do incandescent bulbs.

    In short, true conservation requires intelligent and careful analysis. Just following the latest fad is almost certain to incur increased costs way out of proportion to any real improvement.

  • Ken — 7:49 PM on November 30, 2010


    We just converted to coal and open fires in hall. We migrated to corn cobs from paper, a superior wipe so to speak, than egg cartons

    We put new out house’s on each floor, a little lime goes a long way, we dump all this in our river so to feed fish, and people who eat apple products (pun intended)

    Kind regards on a cleaner KY

    Ken in KY

  • John Waller — 4:41 AM on December 01, 2010

    Congratulations to Adobe for these initiatives although some stretch credibility. Why is soy milk more eco-friendly than dairy milk?

  • KC — 9:05 AM on December 01, 2010

    So funny!!! Why is the news?

    My question, given the large retrofit costs, is how much will the Adobe customer have to pay for all of this?

    As far as dual-flushing toilets (or other low-water toilets), how many extra times must you flush to get the stuff down? And how many extra custodial personnel must be hired to “repair” overflowed toilets because someone used single-flush when they should have used dual-flush?

    I agree with Dan: How much of this is truly saving Adobe money, and how much of this is a PR-junket for political correctness?

    With all the non-sense about Flash/Apple brouhaha, and now this attempt at “going green,” why doesn’t Adobe just hunker down and do the best job possible? If Adobe spent as much time writing software and correcting the flaws that so many customers complain about, as they do whining about Apple and “reducing carbon footprint,” some truly amazing results would happen.

    What happened to the old business model of: Create strong, effective, and quality product, and let word-of-mouth do the marketing? Adobe seems to have taken the “poor-me” attitude and is more worried about the bottom-line than it is about quality software. Let’s get back to creating kick-butt software–all the whining and bad press will go away very quickly.

    • Phil Brown — 4:46 PM on December 01, 2010

      Dual-flush is mandatory in Australia – you can’t buy single flush and you can’t install them. They work just fine.

    • chris — 5:58 AM on December 03, 2010

      derp derp *irrelevant software rant* derp *uninformed toilet flush rant* derpy derp *loose and slightly selfish connection with price of software vs efforts to be greener* derp derp *confusion of blog with news site* herp derp…

  • Mark Wiens — 5:36 PM on December 09, 2010

  • Thomas — 1:05 PM on December 13, 2010

    and i’m wondering were all the electronic waste is going since cancelling 32 Bit support with CS5 making still pretty decent Machines absolutely obsolete with a breeze.

    Cancelling PPC Support on Macs seemed to save you from a tough job porting it, so this might have been a somewhat fair decision.

    But no one would ever think what happens with all that garbage so-called “e-Waste” being shipped into countries with high poverty claiming “trade fair” electronics, polluting their environment and health.

    This is no fairy tale. Go and Google that for yourself or travel to these countries and make yourself a picture.

    I see no reason why Adobe did not still support 32 Bit Machines and OSes.
    Lightroom for example runs 32 and 64 Bit.

    Hmh, i’m thinking of going green …

    • Jeffrey Tranberry — 2:13 PM on December 13, 2010

      Apple has shown that they are no longer supporting PPC architecture (the latest Apple OS 10.6x “Snow Leopard” cannot be installed on PPC software). The last PPC hardware rolled off the production line over four years ago (Aug. 2006). Unfortunately, we can’t support platforms that the original manufacturer isn’t even supporting moving forward.

      • Thomas — 4:44 AM on December 14, 2010

        i wrote [… this might have been a somewhat fair decision …]

        in general i’m talking about CS5 = 64Bit only.
        As i can speak for myself, my company is spread over 133 countries worldwide.
        Let alone our local Headquarters which is a 350+ people working environment. Imagine how much electronic waste will be produced if they would have to switch their suites to 64Bit capable machines just to be able to install C5? The actual installed machines are pretty decent and fast, so why bother.

        That’s why they still work on CS2 and the Financial department does not even think about switching at all. And thats not the only company i’m talking about.

        So I really don’t understand Adobes decision pushing away long time customers forcing them to buy new hardware just to run your software on it.

        This is just ridiculous because i do not believe that there would have been any obstacles still providing an CS5 installer for 32Bit machines.
        As i said, Lightroom runs on 32Bit machines and OS too.
        I don’t really mind how green you are going unless you make me feel that Profits still go over people and environment.

  • Jeffrey Tranberry — 8:58 AM on December 14, 2010

    Thomas, Sorry. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Your observations are incorrect. Both Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3 are both 32bit capable (on intel processor machines).

  • Thomas — 1:59 PM on December 14, 2010

    I’m talking about the Problem going for a Master Collection or Production Premium including Ae & Pr = 64 bit (Processor and OS) only

    Second: PS CS5 Sys rec =
    Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor

    PS won’t install on a 32 bit Processor. for example my Machine, which i have bought in the end of 2009 (few months before the release specs of CS5 rumored the web) and is still in perfect shape is now rendered as garbage.

    Same goes for nearly 350 PCs in the Company including a bunch of Mac PPCs still running fine.

  • Chris Cox — 9:43 PM on December 14, 2010

    I still have no idea what you are talking about.

    Photoshop CS5 works just fine on 32 bit Intel and AMD processors, under Windows and MacOS..

    • Thomas — 10:54 AM on December 15, 2010

      Dear Mr. Cox,

      then Adobe should check their Sys Rec on their website …

      whatever it does it does not solve the problem

      [… going for a Master Collection or Production Premium including Ae & Pr = 64 bit (Processor and OS) only]

  • Chris Cox — 12:35 PM on December 15, 2010

    Again, I have no idea what you are talking about.

    The Photoshop CS5 system requirements: “Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor”

    The Pentium 4 is a 32 bit x86 processor.

    Yes, AE and Pr are 64 bit only — that is also given in the requirements for those products and the suites that include them.

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