Case Study



“Framework has been our close partner for many years. Their support in interpreting and applying UN Global Compact and GRI reporting requirements has allowed us to communicate clearly and effectively and to show the value created through Symantec’s performance on material issues. We look forward to working with them to advance our sustainability strategy and communications as we continue to engage with our many stakeholders.”
– Debra McLaughlin, Program Manager Stakeholder Engagement, Global Corporate Responsibility

Leading through action

The Challenge

In 2005, Symantec, a global leader in data security and storage, and the third largest software company in the world, saw a need to coordinate its efforts to address environmental, workforce, community, and governance issues under one umbrella for the first time and to heighten awareness of those efforts internally as well as among external stakeholders. The company wanted to prioritize and appropriately allocate its limited resources to its most important issues while building understanding and momentum among employees and management for a broader, more encompassing approach to corporate responsibility. At the same time, Symantec wanted recognition externally for its approach in an industry not generally known for leading on responsibility and sustainability performance.

The Solution

Symantec engaged Framework in early 2006 to advise the company on creating a strategic approach to corporate responsibility and to prepare the company to publish its first corporate responsibility report. Since then, Framework has worked with Symantec to coordinate the company’s efforts, raise awareness and support internally, and communicate its progress through numerous channels, including as a leader of the U.S. Network of the United Nations Global Compact. Framework’s work with Symantec has included the following:

  • counseling Symantec on its overall approach to corporate responsibility, structuring particular programs, building the business case for corporate responsibility performance and communications, and soliciting external stakeholder input via the formation of an external advisory council
  • engaging and informing executives board members on corporate responsibility progress through the regular development of board memorandum and presentations
  • conducting materiality analyses to determine the company’s key issues
  • leading the development of Symantec’s first United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Communication on Progress
  • developing Symantec’s first corporate responsibility report, published in 2008, and subsequent reports, including
  • developing Symantec’s online 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, managing the transition to online reporting, participating in the development of site wireframes, advising on site layout, functionality, and presentation
  • counseling Symantec to transition to annual corporate responsibility reporting and developing Symantec’s most recent corporate responsibility report and UNGC Communication on Progress (PDF) in accordance with UNGC Advanced Level criteria
  • developing communications strategies encompassing blogs, social media, newsletters, and other means of segmenting and expanding on report content for various audiences

The Results

With Framework’s support, Symantec has made continual progress in both addressing its corporate responsibility objectives and in achieving substantial recognition for its efforts:

  • Symantec’s first corporate responsibility report, published in the summer of 2008, was widely commended and noted by stakeholders and garnered a Ceres-ACCA award for best first-time report.
  • Symantec has appeared on The Ethisphere Institute‘s annual list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies each year since 2008 and was recently recognized again in March 2011.
  • Symantec first appeared on the the FTSE4Good Index series—designed to objectively measure the performance of companies that meet globally recognized CR standards—in 2007 and has remained on the list in each consecutive semiannual review cycle since.
  • Symantec first appeared on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) DJSI North America in 2007 and on the DJSI World Index in 2008 and has remained on each index since. Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), which compiles the DJSI indices, named Symantec a Sector Mover in 2009 and a Sustainability Leader in December 2010.
  • Symantec appeared on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2008, 2010, and 2011. Symantec is ranked 4th in its industry on social responsibility.
  • In 2010 Symantec was named to NASDAQ OMX CRD Global Sustainability 50 Index when it was expanded to included 100 companies.
  • Symantec placed 254th on CRD Analytics Global 1,000 Sustainable Performance Leaders, a new ranking of the world’s most sustainable organizations. CRD uses the application of the Global Reporting Initiative sustainability reporting guidelines, the global standard for CR reporting, as a screening criterion for inclusion in this ranking.
  • Symantec has been named to the CRO 100 Best Corporate Citizens for the past 3 years.
  • Symantec appeared on Newsweek’s inaugural Newsweek Green Rankings list in 2009 at #144 and improved to #44 in 2010.
  • Since 2007 Symantec improved its Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) score from 52 in 2009 to 73 in 2010; the CDP collects information on greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s largest companies on behalf of 534 investors representing USD 64 trillion.