The Right Way
Internal Operations and Technology
Internal Operations and Information Technology Services (ITS) drive the upfront execution of our greening program—it could be said they put the "green" in "Greening the dot" at Deloitte.
Through their efforts, they have engaged and empowered thousands of Deloitte employees to make responsible sustainability choices. They are the on-the-ground regional leaders of Greening the dot, our office greening initiative. They deliver the results for our Green Dot Scorecard, they guide us toward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, they provide the necessary data to allow calculation of our carbon footprint, modify existing machinery to be "greener" and secure new multi-function "smart" machinery. They provide innovative solutions through Green IT, and rollout videoconferencing facilities throughout Deloitte.
Consistent eco-friendly approaches have been identified at the office level in three groupings:
- Colleague education and engagement: encourage and enable smarter choices/actions regarding resource use and travel
- Products and usage: clean energy, lighting, eco-products, paper usage, duplex printing, recycling, and waste removal
- Policies and procedures: reviewing and adapting procurement practices to align values and external relationships
During fiscal 2009, Toolkit 2.0 introduced new projects to the office greening program which brings the total number of sustainability projects to 50, when added to those in Toolkit 1.0.
Green Real Estate
A growing number of green initiatives focus on Deloitte real estate. They include a comprehensive array of activities such as retrofits for older offices, use of eco-furnishings and materials, decreases in the amount of space we occupy, facilities waste reduction, recycling at demolition, and consideration of renewable energy sources.
Major momentum is being generated behind making existing facilities more consistent with LEED standards. We note that in almost every instance our more than 100 office facilities are leased, so dialogue and negotiation with landlords has been more frequent and more involved. Over the last year, we developed criteria/processes for pursuing certification on all lease renewals, and incorporated LEED requirements into "Workplace of the Future" standards.
Our goal is to have an ever-increasing percentage of our real estate portfolio LEED certified. That said, our LEED certification continues to be a critical component of our corporate responsibility goals, creating both tangible and intangible benefits. Some tangible benefits include reducing operating costs and reducing Deloitte's carbon footprint. Some intangible benefits include improved recruiting and retention, better working environments, and support for the Enterprise Sustainability group.
A major real estate initiative that represents an extraordinary opportunity for making a sustainability statement is Deloitte University. In June 2008, we announced that the building would be constructed according to LEED specifications. As fiscal 2009 ended, we were in the process of balancing financial and environmental considerations as we strive, within reason, for the highest certification level possible.
Without sacrificing business needs, we strive to make all of our meetings as green as possible. It starts with the determining if a meeting is really needed and if so what form it should take—who attends, where, and how it is conducted. In 2009, green meeting pilots in four geographically dispersed office locations resulted in recommendations covering general planning, use of remote participation, reduction of materials consumed, catering, and post-meeting recycling. Findings from this effort will be distributed throughout the green communications network and executed at the office level.
As a professional services firm we are required to travel to meet client needs. However, there are three significant factors resulting in less travel. First, technology advances are providing effective options to meetings where there is a physical presence in the form of videoconferencing. But there is also a human element. As stakeholders become more accustomed to virtual meetings and appreciation of the impact travel has on the environment increases, there is a concerted effort to have face-to-face meetings only when clearly necessary. Finally, the economic downturn has made everyone more cost conscious, thereby encouraging frugality that could be on-going even after the expected recovery.
Travel, as a Scope 3 activity, is the largest part of our carbon footprint. In addition to more stringent internal controls and greater sensitivity to expenses, we have encouraged a combination of planning and work flow creativity to travel only when necessary and to make the most of those occasions when travel occurs. Along with car rental and lodging, our travel professionals are expected to provide green choices for consideration whenever travel arrangements are made.
A significant technology response that impacts both meetings and travel is the Green IT
roll-out of videoconferencing centers. Many are high definition immersive systems that are like "being there." These not only provide an effective alternative to travel, they are also a significant enhancement over conference calls. A multi-year expansion has resulted in 70 videoconferencing spaces (usage hours more than double year-ago) being utilized by more than 1,000 participants.
Sustainable Supply Chain
It's important that those we work with share the same values we honor and strive to express in our actions. Not that we are trying to impose our beliefs on others, but rather we recognize that relationships prosper under common values, and also that concern for our environment is best demonstrated through a life-cycle view of our operations.
The overarching sustainability goals of strategic procurement services at Deloitte are to:
- source goods and services that minimize environmental impact,
- team with our suppliers to modify joint processes for greater sustainability, and
- cultivate business with and for diversity suppliers by expanding the presence of minority, veteran and women-owned businesses in our supply chain.
During fiscal 2009, recognition for our supplier diversity initiative includes being among the "Top 50 Companies for Supplier Diversity" by Poder Enterprise (Hispanic and Latin American business magazine), and the "Top 50 Corporate Buyers of Diversity Products and Services in the US" by Diversity Business.
Going green means more than a series of one-off projects. It also means promoting Green IT, which is good for the bottom-line—actually improving the value we deliver and significantly decreasing costs.
By effectively implementing Green IT, we are developing a superior IT organization with fewer servers, cables, switches, lower cooling costs, less paper consumption, improved telecommuting opportunities, and more videoconference facilities to decrease travel and subsequent carbon emissions.
Among the many accomplishments of our Green IT program over the last year, including videoconferencing achievements, are:
- Virtualized half of our data center servers (thereby eliminating 1,000 standalone servers), and migrating 25 percent of our servers to blade platforms.
- Reduced the number of servers in our US offices by 70 percent (over 600 servers), saving 1.5M kWh per year.
- Installed 179 multi-functional devices replacing 569 stand alone printers, 119 fax machines and 65 copiers
- Implemented duplex printing and where possible eliminated banner pages across the organization saving 11,000 reams of paper and 655 trees.
- Implemented mandatory PDA recycling program to refurbish and reuse over 5,000 PDAs and recycle approximately 600 devices.
Looking ahead, our focus will continue to be the data centers, the practice offices, end-user computing, and education and awareness. We expect to improve in these areas through further consolidation of data center footprint and technology infrastructure, improvement and roll-out of videoconferencing capabilities, more reducing, recycling, and reusing of end-user computing resources, and pervasive education and awareness building.