In April of 2022, NortonLifeLock launched an innovative initiative, called the Sustainable Home Improvement Program. The incentive program reimburses employees up to $500 per year to make sustainability improvements in their own homes, including building improvements, biodiversity additions, and more efficient home appliances. While NortonLifeLock has focused on reducing our own emissions footprint for years, a large portion of our workforce now spends some or most of their time working from home. A crucial tenet of our environmental stewardship strategy is to engage our workforce in actions that support the planet, and helping our employees go ‘green’ at home is a natural fit.
In the three months since NortonLifeLock launched the Sustainable Home Improvement Program, we’ve had more than 300 applications globally. These applications have included reimbursements for roof cooling, energy efficient windows and doors, more efficient washing machines, smart controls for lights, composting systems, and even wildflower pots on balconies. There is no idea too small to have an impact on our collective future, and even a single patch of wildflowers can support important pollinators like bees, moths, and butterflies.
Of these applications, employees have already completed 244 projects, with over one hundred home appliances upgraded to more energy efficient models and twenty electric charging stations added to homes. Building improvements focused on energy efficiency were also popular. Energy efficiency is so important in the fight against climate change. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 30% of home energy is lost through windows, which vastly increases the energy needed to keep you comfortable on hot or cold days (1). Even small efficiency updates can add up to a significantly lower carbon footprint, while also saving you money on electric and heating bills. And a simple switch to LED light bulbs will use up to 90% less energy, while saving the average consumer about $225 per year (2).
Composting and biodiversity projects were another focus for employees. One employee used the program to build a garden at her home (shown in the video above). Home gardens, especially those focused on native plants, support biodiversity, which is crucial to our ecosystems. In healthy, diverse ecosystems, the small plants, wildflowers, and bugs all help to mimic natural habitats that have evolved together over many thousands of years. These gardens also support soil biodiversity, creating space for thousands of invertebrates and organisms to help larger fauna and flora survive and thrive (3).
As we continue to see the success stories of the Sustainable Home Improvement Program, the hope is that more and more employees will feel inspired to make their homes more environmentally friendly. If you’re looking to do the same, you can always start small by buying LED or CFL lights, planting native flowers in your yard or on your balcony, or replacing old appliances with newer, energy efficient models. There are even federal and state programs to help incentivize the decision, depending on where you live (4).
Climate change can feel immense to tackle, but even the smallest acts, when combined with everyone else’s small acts, can add up to a large impact.
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