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50 Years Later, Sustainability is the New “Green” for Global Companies
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50 Years Later, Sustainability is the New “Green” for Global Companies 

As we commemorate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary this year — alongside the same milestone for our company — we recommit ourselves to being responsible stewards and global citizens. Although global companies like Western Digital have many opportunities for sustainable impact, protecting our environment must be one of our top priorities. We are currently developing new strategies and initiatives to help tackle sustainability’s most pressing problems. And, it starts by looking at the data — particularly around lifecycle impact, renewable energy and emissions.

Digging into the Data of Sustainability

Thanks to innovation across our business, technical, and logistics teams, we’ve made progress in our efforts to protect the planet.

In fact, we saved 970 million kWh in 2018 through smarter technology and more efficient processes. From 2016 to 2018, we realized a 30 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions for HDDs and SSDs produced.

We’ve been scaling up our product portfolio, while scaling down our impact on the environment. In addition, we’ve begun developing lifecycle impact assessments to identify and adopt opportunities for improvement in the sustainability of our products — including renewable energy options such as hydroelectric and local cogeneration supplies. Bottom line: We’re keeping Mother Nature in mind at every step of our business.

Climate Change is Top of Mind for Our Employees

As another step in that process, we launched a global survey of our employees earlier this year. Our goal was to better understand the sustainability issues that our employees felt passionately about, so we could use that data to inform our future initiatives.

So, what did the survey data tell us?

We knew that our employees cared about sustainability, but we were amazed by the depth and breadth of their commitment. For example, nearly 90 percent of our employees said they wanted to spend time participating in sustainability initiatives. And 94 percent said they would be willing to pay more for sustainably-made products. Just as impressive, this result was consistent throughout the world.

sustainability survey graphic

In every country and region we surveyed – both developing and developed – 90 percent or more of our employees would pay a price premium to support sustainability. That is more than an instructive result; it is inspiring!

In addition, climate change was far and away the most commonly selected issue by our employees that is urgent for the world to address. Energy usage was next, followed by human rights, equitable access to water and a circular economy.

Progress on Our 2019 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report

Following significant positive feedback on our 2018 sustainability reportwe are hard at work on our 2019 report. As part of our commitment to continued transparency, that report will include more data on our environmental and social impacts, aligned with both the GRI and SASB standards. We are excited to report progress in energy reductions, human rights and labor management, responsible sourcing, packaging reductions, and other important sustainability metrics. Stay tuned—the report will be published in mid-summer. 

Ship, Snap, Support: Our Global Teams Chime in on Sustainability

From now until Earth Day, we’ll be talking with more colleagues around the world to see how their work touches the environment. First, our Global Logistics team will share how we reduced our global carbon footprint through data science and our move towards a paperless supply chain. Then, our director of Global Giving and Doing will highlight our community grants focused on environmental preservation and recent shift to virtual volunteering. Finally, we’ll sit down with five, world-renowned ambassadors from our SanDisk® Extreme Team and G-Technology® G-Team to find out how a single wildlife photograph can spark a global environmental movement.

I’d recommend you follow us on FacebookLinkedInor Twitter to stay updated as each article is published. You can also subscribe here for our weekly email roundup.  

Unfilling Landfills with Our Environmental Initiative

I’m excited to mention a new program that we’ll be announcing on Earth Day. It has the potential to save landfills from being filled by redirecting some of the millions of tons of e-waste generated around the world each year. Our novel project will also help address the abundance of sustainability-related requests that we receive from our customers each year. I can’t say much more than that right now, but encourage you to bookmark your calendar for April 22, 2020 for our big announcement!

Earth Day will Evolve… and the World with It

We have more experience under our belt than your average tech company, but we have flourished for so long because we are young at heart —adaptable, innovative, and keenly focused on the future. As we prepare for the next 50 years, we invite everyone to join us in applying technology, experience, and zeal to preserve the environment. We understand that sustainable business practices are fundamental to our long-term success, and even our existence. That’s more than just the wisdom of experience talking — it’s in our DNA to do right today to preserve the planet for generations to come.

Learn More About How We’re Staying Sustainable

The post 50 Years Later, Sustainability is the New “Green” for Global Companies appeared first on Western Digital Corporate Blog.

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