We have reached a turning point. It is no longer just about raising the ceiling. It is about lifting the floor. The time has come for bold and scalable solutions, not just from a few leading companies, but from companies of all sizes and across all sectors who need to transition from making commitments to taking concrete actions – Mindy Luber, President & CEO, Ceres
Earlier this year, Ceres, a nonprofit that brings together the world’s top investors and businesses to advocate for responsible business practices, released their report TURNING POINT: Corporate Progress Against Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability. The report assesses how over 600 of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States are driving long-term value by addressing key sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, water scarcity and more.
Representing over 80% of US market capitalization, the report serves as a resource for investors, businesses, executives, and other stakeholders interested in leading practices in responsible business.
Additionally, during the Ceres Annual Conference this April Ceres released sector deep dives examining trends related to specific industries ranging from Software and Services to Transportation, Retail, Food and Beverage and more.
Symantec was called out in both reports among technology leaders such as Intel, Microsoft, HP, Apple, Dell, Autodesk as well as those across other industries including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, UPS, Nike, JPMorgan and others. Symantec met or exceeded average performance in nearly all areas, and is highlighted as “setting the pace” ahead of peers in areas such as GHG emissions reductions, management of human rights, and progress on diversity and inclusion.
Highlights from the report include:
- Going a step further, companies such as Accenture and Symantec have set formal time-bound targets to increase the diversity of employees at various levels.
- Symantec’s efforts to improve diversity at the board level led to ambitious goals across the company. The cyber security industry is 90 percent male. Symantec decided to tackle this challenge by increasing the share of women on its board to at least 30 percent. To meet this goal, the board realized it must reconsider and revise its selection criteria to ensure it didn’t automatically limit the number of candidates from underrepresented groups — by, for instance, requiring candidates to have served as CEOs — and that it instead aligned the criteria with its desired areas of expertise. Through this process, Symantec met its goal by adding two qualified women to its board. Now it has set new goals: to increase the share of women across its leadership to 30 percent and to increase the diversity of its workforce at all levels by 15 percent by 2020, from a 2014 baseline. Symantec plans to reach these targets by focusing on talent development, reaching out to new talent pools and setting diversity scorecards for each business unit 
Symantec continues to engage with Ceres as a signatory to the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) where the public and private sector unite to combat climate change, as well as Ceres’ Connect our Drops campaign promoting sustainable water management in California.
Analyses such as the Turning Point report emphasize a global movement beyond business as usual, uncover best practices and provide a platform to celebrate where the business world is leading the way to creating a secure and sustainable future.
Learn more about Symantec’s Corporate Responsibility strategy and performance in our annual CR Report here.
TURNING POINT: Corporate Progress Against Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability (Pg 116) / TURNING POINT Sector Analysis: Software and Services (Pg. 9)
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