The known unknowns
It has always been clear that Citrix solutions help avoid GHG emissions for its customers, but the impact has been hard to quantify. It was also less clear how Citrix could advance sustainability as an organisation and explore the wider knock-on effects of remote work.
The company wanted to understand how it could go from enabling business efficiency to proactively contributing to the dematerialisation of the global economy.
Interestingly, many employees around the company were asking similar questions; from sales and marketing to investor relations and real estate, different stakeholder groups were interested in the broader role Citrix could play to help advance a low-carbon future.
The global Citrix workforce was asked what mattered to them, and more than 3,000 employees responded. 90% stated that working for an environmentally responsible company is important to them, and 82% said they would like to get involved with environmental and social projects within the company.
The company’s direct and indirect GHG emissions were analysed in a bid to find additional opportunities for reduction, including migrating more on-premise data centre usage to the Cloud, and increasing how much renewable energy is sourced and generated.
Citrix formulated a new target to reduce its absolute GHG emissions by 30% by 2030. The company expects to refine this target in the near term to receive approval from the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) and ensure Citrix is doing its bit to keep global warming well below 2°C.
Overall, Citrix found that the tried and tested corporate message of ‘aligning sustainability and business strategy’ actually runs true, without the need to pivot and adapt its
product offerings in material ways.
By creating solutions that allow employees to do their best work, Citrix is nurturing more sustainable lifestyles and helping people to feel fulfilled – professionally and personally.
From less road congestion and food waste to enabling a distributed employee base and helping democratise the workforce, the sustainability benefits of asynchronous, flexible work are boundless.
If the pandemic has brought the world closer to ‘peak office’, then now is the time to rethink cities and towns on a more human scale, based on how we want to live and work.
A distributed workforce not only opens new economic opportunities to people in rural locations and small towns, but also allows for the repurposing of existing office space into much-needed housing in expensive urban areas.
A recent study suggests that young people in the US prefer living in urban neighbourhoods significantly more than previous generations. In short, flexible work means we can design neighbourhoods for communities, not commuters.
Companies have discovered that flexibility is key, and that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to ensure their employees can do their best work.
In August 2020, REI announced it would embrace a distributed work model and sell its brand-new corporate campus after it re-examined ‘assumptions of the past’.
Many companies have extended remote work policies indefinitely and others, such as Citi and Ford, have announced hybrid work models.
No going back
We have been given a fascinating opportunity to use what we’ve learned from the pandemic to change our habits for the better.
Many traditional workday consequences were already known, such as the link between overlong commutes and unhappiness, but they should no longer be seen as inevitable.
The substantial time and resources once expended without a second thought are now conspicuous waste. We’ve shown that we can adapt and reallocate resources efficiently, to the benefit of company balance sheets, worker health and the climate.
Citrix has realised there’s no going back, and its greatest impact will be to harness the tools that facilitate remote working to support a sustainable future and improve people’s lives.