Symantec Decreases Its Emissions by Four Percent from 2011

Symantec HeadquartersSymantec, the global leader in security, storage and systems management solutions, recently unveiled its 2012 corporate social responsibility report. The report featured the company’s achievements, which included decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by four percent from a 2008 baseline. One of the ways the company decreased its GHG emissions is through its green building strategy.

The company has a total of 18 LEED certified facilities, or 88 percent of its owned or long-leased buildings. This includes the first Gold LEED certification for one of its buildings in Pune, India, which became the 18th building in its real estate portfolio to become LEED-certified. Symantec achieved annual Energy Star renewal scores of 75 points or more for 12 facilities, or 62 percent of all its owned or long-leased facilities.

The power consumption of its research and development (R&D) labs and data centers is the biggest source of its energy use and climate change impacts. Symantec operates about 500 labs, plus two major data centers and many smaller facilities that house its customers’ secured information. To manage the physical space requirements and energy demands of its facilities, the company has focused on four areas:

  • Data accuracy—The company has improved its data collection processes by implementing internal audits, verifying data by a third party vendor, and collects Scope Two energy and emissions data from an expanded number of its facilities (227 buildings in 2012, compared with 65 in 2011)
  • Real estate consolidation—Symantec has reduced the total physical footprint of its facilities by over two million square feet over the past five years through a real estate consolidation strategy
  • Methodology change—Symantec normalized energy and GHG emissions data for all three scopes to reflect its recent mergers and acquisitions
  • Data center & lab efficiency—Symantec’s facilities and IT teams have partnered to implement a number of energy reduction and efficiency projects in its data centers and labs

“To be effective, a CR strategy must be ingrained in the way Symantec does business every day around the world,” said Steve Bennett, president, CEO and chairman, Symantec. “Symantec’s focus on talented and engaged employees will enable us to integrate socially and environmentally responsible practices across all aspects of our business, allowing us to deliver long-term value to our employees, customers, shareholders and society as a whole.”

Implementing a supplier code of conduct, and emphasizing human rights

The report also highlights Symantec’s achievements in implementing a code of conduct for its suppliers. In 2011, the company established a Global Supply Chain Manufacturing and Fulfillment Code of Conduct. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to “progressively improve its suppliers’ familiarity and compliance with the company’s key social, environmental, and ethical criteria,” as the report states. The Code of Conduct has been applied to all of its tier one manufacturing and distribution supplier contracts. This year, Symantec will roll out a Global Supplier Code of Conduct, similar to the manufacturing code.

There are several ways Symantec is raising awareness and observance of its policies concerning human rights within its operations. One of those ways is by integrating language from the International Labor Organization core conventions into its standard training, including annual instruction on its corporate code of conduct. In addition, Symantec launched a working group in 2012 to help align the company’s human rights policies with the principles in the Declaration of Human Rights. The major part of the group consists of a series of rotating countries’ audits, starting this year, which will evaluate the human rights risks and opportunities in Symantec’s regional operations.

Photo: from Symantec

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by

2 responses

  1. Sounds like an advertorial. Has Symantec paid for this?

    4% sounds non-impressive. Begs the question “so what?”. How does this compare to other business who make such noise, especially leaders in the field of sustainability?

    1. No, the post wasn’t advertorial, just heavily based on a press release. Thanks for the careful reading and feedback! We will be more careful in the future.

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