How Adobe is Powering Sustainability with Digital Innovation

Computer software innovator Adobe is behind some of the best known creative digital solutions, and has impressive sustainability credentials and goals

When Adobe was founded back in 1982, the world was a very different place. This was the dawn of the digital era and Adobe’s PostScript software was at the leading edge of desktop publishing.

Since then, computer software giant Adobe has produced household-name innovations, including the portable document format (PDF) and Photoshop that have changed how we create, share, and verify digital documents – from social media posts to billion-dollar contracts.

This shift from physical to digital has naturally made Adobe a sustainability champion, with some impressive stats to back that up.

For every 1 million pages digitally signed daily via Adobe Acrobat Sign, more than 27 million gallons (102 million litres) of water, 1.5 million pounds (700,000 kilograms) of waste, and 23.4 million pounds (10.6 million kilograms) of CO2 emissions are avoided.

Last year, customers opened more than 400 billion PDFs and Adobe processed over 8 billion electronic and digital signature transactions. Adobe says that delivers a 90% cost saving and a 95% reduction in environmental impact compared to paper processes.

While innovations like paperless workflows help reduce physical waste and emissions, Adobe also strives to be more efficient in its own operations – from LEED-certified offices to a commitment to sourcing 100% renewable energy by 2025.

San Jose-based Adobe has a commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 and has set out the following short and long-term goals:

  • 100% renewable electricity by 2025
  • 35% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2025
  • 30% reduction in business travel emissions (Scope 3) by 2025
  • 90% global waste diversion rate annually
  • 25% reduction in global water usage per employee by 2025
  • 80% of Adobe buildings certified to LEED or other green building standards

Sustainability and AI Central to Adobe Strategy

The company’s sustainability policy also outlines specific pledges. These include partnering with like-minded suppliers when it comes to sustainability, raising stakeholder awareness, and continuing to innovate to help customers be more sustainable.

Accessibility is a differentiator for Adobe, with many of the company’s signature softwares available to use for free. That includes Adobe’s latest generative AI features in Adobe Express – used by millions of users from students to largest enterprises. 

“The groundbreaking AI-first innovations in Express are empowering our Creative Cloud members and creators of all levels to bring their ideas to life in completely new ways that are fast, easy and fun,” said Govind Balakrishnan, senior vice president, Adobe Express and Digital Media Services at Adobe. 

“Express users are generating hundreds of millions of beautiful images using the latest AI-powered features. We’re excited to be rolling out even more revolutionary AI-first capabilities across image creation, design, video, audio, PDFs and more, in the coming months.” 

This idea of ‘creativity for all’ is Adobe’s mantra, and also applied to its sustainability efforts. With access to the latest technologies and creative solutions, who knows what the next generation of digital dreamers will achieve.


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