Elizabeth Linden, Director of Real Estate and Facilities, talks about how Finastra has created greener offices, and how COVID has brought the future of the office forward.
The theme of this year’s Earth Day event is ‘Restore the Earth’, at Finastra we recognise the impact we have on the environment, as well as the responsibility we play in ensuring sustainability across the financial services industry. Earth Day is an opportunity to reflect on Finastra’s sustainability journey, and look ahead to our environmental goals, including our commitment to become a carbon neutral company by 2030. The past year has been full of surprises, bringing change to the way we work at Finastra, challenging us to become more resilient and creative, finding new ways of working.
It has also been a year of strong environmental milestones, we are transitioning to more sustainable buildings, five of which are now run on renewable energy sources, which we plan to double, resulting in 50% of our central hubs powered by renewable energy. In addition to our offices, we are reducing the energy required for our own servers through consolidating our data centers and transitioning to renewable-powered data centers: our partnership with Microsoft has seen us move many of our services to their carbon neutral Azure cloud. These goals come together to form our carbon neutral roadmap, outlined in our Environment and Sustainability Policy.
As we began the decade of our journey to carbon neutrality, we quickly mobilised our workforce to enable 95% to work from home within a matter of days following the WHO announcement of a global pandemic and national lockdowns being enforced around where we operate. The resilience, agility and adaptability that Finastra’s people displayed in reaction to the global pandemic are testament to our strong culture and connected community networks. These networks are the driving force to leveraging workplace collaboration and connectivity whilst we have been physically separate, and we learnt to effectively work remotely at the same time as maintaining a team health and well-being.
In addition to strong virtual productivity, we have been able to reflect on previous ways of working and introduce less-resource intensive ways of working. For example, we have widely introduced a digital-first approach, leveraging technology such as DocuSign, ensuring our teams were not disrupted by the remote environment. These learnings will help us to adopt a sustainable approach to returning to the office and has given us confidence in reshaping some of our energy-intensive office practices, such as reducing our printer footprint globally by 51%. We anticipate this will result in over 1 million fewer sheets of paper printed compared to our financial year 2020, directly impacting our carbon footprint.
This Earth Day, as we look ahead to our OPENWorking model, we have adopted various tools supporting a safe, productive and sustainable office environment, such as our Workplace App and improved video-conferencing office infrastructure. We hope to bring valuable learnings and strengths that our people have developed through adapting to a virtual world, whether through how we work collaboratively across our teams, or through how we support customers across our service lifecycle.