Why We Advocate
By Tess Hetzel, Corporate Responsibility Manager
Living in Washington, D.C., “advocacy” is a word I hear every single day. Being a good corporate citizen means engaging with public policy, as local, state, and federal laws affect our employees, partners, and customers. Many of our stakeholders care not only about Symantec’s commitment to and track record on issues like climate change and diversity, but also about how we’re speaking out on these issues and mobilizing action.
We believe we can help inspire sustainable choices and support policies that drive a safer and more sustainable future. Here are four examples of corporate responsibility advocacy in action at Symantec:
1. LEADing on carbon pricing
Lawmaker Education & Advocacy Day (LEAD) on Carbon Pricing was the largest business gathering on Capitol Hill to advocate for climate legislation in over a decade, and Symantec was proud to be a part of it. I met with a bipartisan group of U.S. federal lawmakers to educate them on the economic impacts of climate change and the need for comprehensive and effective national climate policies. Symantec is playing its part in transitioning to a low-carbon and more sustainable future by zapping greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent, running an employee-focused yearlong environmental campaign, and calling on Congress to pass meaningful climate legislation, including a price on carbon.
2. “No one’s rights should depend on which side of a state or city line they live on”– Chad Griffin, President Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Supporting diversity and inclusion isn’t just about our HR practices or the CR initiatives we run, like Symantec Cyber Career Connection, a job and skills training program that helps change the trajectory of the tech workforce for women, underrepresented minorities, and veterans. We must also advocate for strong policies that end discrimination and ensure all people of their basic equal rights. Symantec is supporting HRC’s“Equality Act”, a U.S. federal legislation that would guarantee all LGBTQ employees the same rights and protections no matter where they live.
3. Advocating for safe and affordable drinking water for all Californians
An estimated 1 million Californians are exposed to unsafe drinking water, as their public water systems cannot afford adequately operated and maintained water treatment facilities. As a business depending on a reliable, good quality source of water in California for both our operations and for the communities where our employees and customers live, we support the creation and implementation of a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund package. By joining with other Ceres members, we are advocating for a sustainable funding source to ensure access to safe and affordable drinking water for all Californians.
4. Symantec won’t let foster youth face identity theft alone
Symantec launched the Fostering a Secure Tomorrow (FAST) initiative in 2018 to help foster youth protect and restore their identities through education, solutions, and identity restoration services. From meetings on Capitol Hill to a California legislative shadow day, our CR team has helped educate U.S. government agencies, staff, and Members of Congress on the unique risks foster youth face when it comes to identity protection and the importance of policy that supports cyber safety initiatives for foster youth.
You can learn more about Symantec’s Corporate Responsibility initiatives, programs, and advocacy in our latest CR Report.