August 27, 2019 / By Betsy Sutter, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer
2018 marked a very special year for us at VMware. We celebrated our 20th anniversary, and brought together our founders, along with our current leadership, during our employee all-hands meeting, to reflect on the past and celebrate how far we’ve come. We created a timeline that begins when five forward-thinking technologists in 1998, all passionate about creating a new way to compute, came together to form the business.
At that point 20 years ago, we didn’t know how the resulting virtualization technologies would impact IT infrastructure, making it dramatically more efficient, but also helping our customers reduce their carbon footprint. According to our newly released report by IDC, since 2003, VMware technologies have helped our customers avoid putting 664 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—equivalent to powering 100M U.S. households, or the populations of Spain, Germany and France combined for one year.
Virtualization was the start of our sustainability journey. Today, we released our 2018 Global Impact report, which provides a look back at our progress against our 2020 goals across our products, planet and people. We aim to innovate in everything we do, so I’m inspired that we met many of our goals early such as becoming a Carbon Neutral certified company, and we deepened our commitment to drive systemic change by investing in Project Taara in India, which will train 15,000 women in diverse technology areas who are returning to the professional workplace.
One especially memorable milestone for me this past year was traveling to Guatemala to get a first-hand look at a carbon finance project we invested in with Ecofiltro, which equips rural communities with clean and efficient cookstoves and water filters. The project has positive ripple effects since it provides families with clean drinking water, replaces fossil-fuel burning stoves, and eliminates the need to gather and use wood for fuel.
I’m also proud to report that our Foundation team released their final research framework on our multi-year project with Taproot Foundation, which helps pro bono consultants and nonprofit staff develop sustainable solutions to help social sector organizations scale so they can meet or exceed their important missions.
While 2020 is quickly approaching, we’re also setting our sights on 2030 and determining the areas where we can make real impact. With even more urgent and complex social and environmental challenges, we continue to do what we can to be a force for good, recognizing that we can’t do it alone. So we’re looking to partner with our industry peers and leading organizations to double down on our commitments to drive positive change around the world. Next year, we plan to announce goals, science-based targets, and cross-sector collaborations and affiliations for our 2030 Vision.
As I look back at 2018, I’m honored to be a part of this great organization that began its sustainability journey 20 years ago by reducing the amount of carbon in the air through virtualization, to now our holistic view of weaving positive Global Impact throughout the business. Beyond our walls, we remain committed to use technology responsibly and give back more than we take to the environment and society. Our employee-created EPIC2 values—Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, and Community—drive us to determine how we can continue to be a force for good and make a lasting impact over the next 20 years.