Engaging Employees in Environmental Stewardship
Protecting our planet is key to ensuring a safe and sustainable future. We call this work environmental stewardship. Our relaunched environmental stewardship program focuses on efforts across the following pillars: climate and energy; sustainable products; supply chain; engagement; and reporting. This post is part of a three-part series. Keep an eye out for more information on our climate and energy efforts and our product and supply chain efforts, both coming soon.
By Amanda Davis | Sr. Manager, CR and Environment
One of our key corporate responsibility objectives is to establish NortonLifeLock as an environmentally responsible business. We know that if we empower our employees and provide real opportunities for education and engagement, we are likely to hit this goal. That means bringing our coworkers into the conversation and building on their excitement by providing opportunities to help the planet. We also partner with high-impact nongovernmental organizations to accelerate and amplify our work.
How does NortonLifeLock involve employees in environmental stewardship?
Earlier this year, we completed our first employee-focused environmental campaign, Earth Champions Start at Home. Beginning in March, we provided a chance to win prizes and make an impact by choosing 10 tangible actions over 10 weeks. A total of 314 participation hours were logged, and donations were made to six environmental charities: Planet Water Foundation, Food Recovery Network Inc., SolarBuddy, Plastic Oceans, One Tree Planted, and Grid Alternatives. In addition, employees won $1,000 worth of “cause cards” that can be used to donate to a nonprofit of their choice.
As an example of the campaign, week 1 focused on saving water. Did you know that the fresh water we need to live makes up just 1% of the world’s water and that water scarcity over the next decade could displace 700 million people? To save water, we encouraged employees to turn off the tap while they brushed their teeth. Through the employees who took this challenge, our team was able to save over 460 gallons of water.
In response to week 8’s challenge, engineer Matthew Mathiason said, “I have been doing many of these things for years, so the biggest challenge for me was coming up with new ideas. I focused on repair and reuse. I gathered some clothing that I will have repaired and gear that I am no longer using that can go back into circulation through an exchange program.”
We also hosted volunteering events to support the campaign, including an event with SolarBuddy on an interactive virtual team-building event to Solve the 17. At the event, employees worked together to develop a solution to one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We also partnered with Heifer International to offer a virtual volunteer event where employees learned more about regenerative agriculture and the importance of bees and planted flowers for pollinators.
Amplifying our work through strategic partnerships
On top of our own internal programs, NortonLifeLock provides grant funding to organizations like Grid Alternatives, whose mission is to build community-powered solutions to advance economic and environmental justice through renewable energy. They are the nation’s largest nonprofit installer of clean energy technologies, enabling low-income households and tribal communities access to a variety of clean mobility and battery storage incentive programs.
In India, we’ve provided funding to SayTrees, which strives to raise awareness of the importance of trees to human health, halt biodiversity loss, and reestablish indigenous forests through tree planting. With support from NortonLifeLock, SayTrees has planted 3,500 saplings, including teak, mango, neem, banyan, and guava, on vacant plots in Bangalore and Chennai. The saplings, which are planted close together to produce a rich, dense, and efficient protective indigenous forest, will be nurtured and protected by SayTrees over the next two years.
What’s Coming Next
We have solar and water projects planned with Planet Water for later this year (learn more about the AquaTower we installed in Tiruvannamalai here). We are also focused on finding a strategic environmental partner in Europe. This year, we polled our employees and found they are most interested in food and climate, waste and recycling, and general climate change. Employees polled said they are interested in continuing to learn about environmental issues and we are looking at opportunities to create additional engagement activities, particularly around those interest areas.