At Blackbaud, we put environmental commitment into action through policies, strategies and workplaces that support energy conservation, clean air and water, and a healthy planet.
Our commitment to the environment, conservation and a healthy workplace is showcased in our world headquarters building in Charleston, South Carolina. The building achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council after its opening in 2018, and we continue to make improvements to help limit our impact on the planet.
As our workplaces reopen following COVID-19 restrictions, Blackbaud is adopting a reimagined workforce strategy that will provide flexibility to our employees, allowing employees to spend some time working in the office and some time working from home. At the same time, this new workforce strategy will dramatically reduce our footprint in Charleston from two buildings to one.
In our recently released 2020 Social Responsibility Report, we shared how we address our commitment to sustainability through five main pillars:
1. Energy: Operating with 30% more energy efficiency than a typical building of our class
We make the most of the southern sun exposure with a bank of solar panels that allows us to reduce our reliance on the power grid by 12,475 kilowatt hours monthly. During 2020, power consumption dropped significantly due to COVID-19 related building closures, even as our power grid reliance continued to be offset by solar power at the same level. We operate with 30% more energy efficiency than a typical building of our class. Rather than conventional light switches, we control our lighting with occupancy sensors and measure the amount of light at each desktop, adjusting to what each group needs, while capitalizing on natural light, even as it shifts during the day. We use only energy-efficient, dimmable LED fixtures and have 30% less light fixtures than found in conventional designs. We use a centralized cooling tower system and advanced mechanical controls that allow us to monitor our HVAC.
2. Air: Ensuring better air quality with less energy consumption
In 2020, we invested in a higher rated air filter (Merv 13) that traps smaller airborne particles which will significantly improve indoor air quality. We bring in as much outside air as possible to ensure that we maintain low carbon dioxide levels. We monitor both carbon dioxide and particulate matter, as well as temperature and humidity to track HVAC efficiency from several locations on every floor. Our janitorial team uses efficient cleaning equipment that consumes less energy while providing a clean, safe workplace. We select our cleaning products with our employees’ and cleaning staff’s health in mind and maximize sustainable certifications and effective green cleaning.
3. Water: Reducing water usage inside and outside our building
We use about 20% less water than a typical highest class office building. At our world headquarters, we use low-flow water fixtures on all sinks and toilets, plus we have native landscaping that requires less water and benefits birds, animals and pollinators.
4. Wellness: Providing healthy food and ample exercise opportunities
Our headquarters includes a basketball court, bocce court and putting green. Employees and guests can use our bicycles to travel to trails or restaurants around town at lunch or on breaks. Our cafeteria sources 11% of its produce from local farms, selects dairy products free of artificial growth hormones and pledges to serve tuna sourced without fish-aggregating devices. Each employee’s workspace includes an ergonomic, adjustable standing desk. Our open-floor plan was designed for collaboration with breakrooms and other spots for socializing while also offering private rooms for employees who need a quiet space during the day.
5. Waste: Aiming to divert as much waste as possible from the landfill
In 2019, we removed deskside trash receptacles and implemented centralized trash collection on each floor. This eliminated the frequent replacement of plastic bags in approximately 700 trash receptacles. We rely on a single-stream recycling system that requires less truck travel and encourages recycling by making it simpler. We have a comprehensive composting system and use compostable containers. We are committed to overall plastic reduction, and in 2019, we stopped providing plastic straws on our campus.
These are just a few of the ways we do our part to operate sustainably. Learn more about Blackbaud’s commitment to sustainability and employee wellness in the 2020 Blackbaud Social Responsibility Report.