More than a buzzword

As if working in high-tech wasn’t loaded with enough buzzwords, being exposed to the marketing and business end of things really ramps it up.  You can’t throw a recycled can over your shoulder without hitting the word “green” or “sustainable,” so I imagine there might be a bit of green fatigue out there greeting EMC’s 2008 Sustainability Report.  Still, I took some time this weekend to read the 61-page paper and came away even prouder of working here than I was before.  Tucci’s quote of “People, planet, profit” is a nice way to remind us all that while we exist to make money, all the money in the world doesn’t mean anything on its own.

Sustainability isn’t just about green technologies.  How do you operate globally with regard to the economies of your host nations?  How do you make sure your culture of innovation can carry you forward into the coming decades?  EMC’s report is broken up into five sections:

  1. Environment
  2. Work Environment / Talent
  3. Citizenship / Social Investment
  4. Governance and Integrity
  5. Supply Chain

Depending on the section, the report describes what EMC does itself as well as what it helps its customers do.  For example, the report discusses how our data centers are more efficient, and what EMC products help make customer data centers more efficient.  I love that the same paper talks about greenhouse gases and inclusion, because both those things tell us how well EMC is prepared to bring the world forward in addition to just making money.

As an employee it’s an interesting read.  I can only imagine how busy Kathrin Winkler is trying to juggle all the various fronts EMC is engaged on.  It’s worth reading just to pick out some interesting stats.  Did you know?

  • Last year’s energy efficiency improvements are equivalent to 1300 homes’ worth of electricity
  • The travel changes employees made in 2008 led to 29% decrease in green house gas production from travel
  • In Massachusetts, none of our waste goes to landfills. It’s recycled, composed, or sent to a waste-to-energy plant
  • Roughly 1 in 10 employees is a member of our employee circles (see my post here)
  • Roughly 1 in 5 employees gets some form of tuition reimbursement (I was surprised)
  • 8 countries are listed where EMC partners with educational institutions
  • EMC hires 72% of its college interns into full time positions (industry average is 52%)
  • Every EMC board member is up for election every year