State Street Sustainability Report Tackles Water, Waste and Carbon

state street, corporate social responsibility, Leon Kaye, volunteerism, water stewardship, energy efficiency, state street corporation, flexible work program
State Street headquarters, Boston

Yesterday New England-based State Street Corporation released its 2011 corporate social responsibility report. The financial services giant, which dates back to 1792, has almost $22 trillion in assets under its custody and administration and generated $9.6 billion in revenues last fiscal year. The company’s employees, who total just under 30,000, are spread across the globe, and are an important part of the company’s overall sustainability and social responsibility strategies. Such programs include a focus on energy efficiency, volunteerism and philanthropy.

Some of the highlights of State Street’s most recent successes include:

Water stewardship: In 2011, State Street whittled down both its overall water consumption and the amount of water consumed per employee compared to the previous year. Other details that concern the company’s focus on water issues include smart snow removal at a Quincy, Mass. facility just outside of Boston. The contractor responsible to plowing away snow during the winter removes it in such a way that does not have an impact on waterways, marshes or shellfish beds in the surrounding area.

Waste diversion: State Street has incrementally reduced its total amount of waste as well as cut its waste-per-employee ratio in recent years. The amount of waste in pounds per person has fallen by half since 2009, and in instilling a spirit of environmental awareness throughout the company, employees in State Street’s 12 largest offices around the world can view their waste diversion rate in real time.

Energy efficiency: From retrofitting light fixtures at offices with LED bulbs to experimenting with smart meters, State Street saved $1.7 million dollars last year in energy costs. The company estimates that its kit of energy efficiency measures prevented 6,788 metric tons of carbon from emitting into the atmosphere.

Giving back: Volunteerism is part and parcel of State Street’s corporate culture. Employees donated 85,500 hours of their time during 2011, a nine percent increase over the previous year. Charitable contributions spiked as well, up 15 percent to $20.5 million in 2011.

Employee engagement: With the company’s headquarters in Boston and offices in just about every large financial center, State Street employees endure their share of traffic. In 2011, the company ramped up a flexible work program with the result that its employees saved over 140,000 miles of driving per week. State Street as a result has reported increases in productivity and job satisfaction.

Education: State Street polled its employees to find how its global staff could best harness both skills and passion. The result was State Street’s workforce requesting that education become the focus of the company’s community work, so a bevy of programs that will address issues from poverty to job skills will be rolled out in the next two years.

Read the full report by clicking here.

Leon Kaye, based in Fresno, California, is a sustainability consultant and the editor of He also contributes to Guardian Sustainable Business and covers sustainable architecture and design for Inhabitat. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Based in Fresno, California, Leon Kaye has written for TriplePundit since 2010. He has lived across the U.S., as well as in South Korea, Abu Dhabi and Uruguay. Some of Leon's work can also be found in The Guardian, Sustainable Brands and CleanTechnica. You can follow him on Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost).

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