Earth Day 2023: DTCC Achieves Environmental Sustainability Milestones
Earth Day takes place each year on April 22nd and is held to raise awareness about global environmental issues. To celebrate this day, DTCC Exchange took the opportunity to interview two key employees who are involved in turning DTCC’s ESG (environmental, social, and governance) strategy into action through environmental sustainability efforts.
For more information on DTCC’s broader set of ESG topics and actions, visit DTCC’s ESG report.
What has DTCC been doing to address the Environment?
“DTCC started the journey to become more environmentally sustainable in 2016, by reducing energy use, led by Nick Dalesandro and the Workplace Design and Services team,” said Fikir Sanders, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG Reporting. Examples of these actions include LED lighting, decommissioning aging equipment, improving efficiency of equipment in buildings (retro-commissioning) and many more. These actions have led to 33% reduction in energy consumption compared to 2016.
More recently, a modification of DTCC’s buildings is being rolled out to prepare for a hybrid work environment that will utilize less energy resources.
“Right now, our anchor days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays with our third day being one of the other three days in the week. We also know that Fridays are typically not the day employees come in. We're in the process of modifying building operations to align to a hybrid work environment where we have very low occupancy on certain days,” explains Nick, noting on the days people tend to work remotely DTCC has adjusted heating/cooling setpoints and ventilation rates to save energy.
“The key message to employees is that we appreciate their support,” he says. “Without their active participation, we cannot achieve a more sustainable workplace.”
“We’re committed to continually providing updates via our intranet about how DTCC sites are performing, and how they’ve performed over time from an energy perspective,” says Nick.
What Sustainability Milestones and Certifications has DTCC Achieved?
In addition to the continuous efforts to reduce energy consumption, DTCC achieved the following internationally recognized certifications in 2021 and 2023. This is a giant step toward sustainability for DTCC.
Year of initial certification
ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management certification
TUV Rheinland of North America
Brooklyn, Chennai, Dallas Beltline and Crestside, Jersey City, London, Manila, Tampa Bermuda Green, and Wrexham
ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management certification
ISO 50001:2018 is a standard for Energy Management providing the most robust framework for optimizing energy efficiency. It demonstrates an organization’s commitment to continual improvement in energy management.
“ISO 14001:2015 Environmental management is an umbrella that covers a lot of different things. Some examples include how efficient we are with our waste stream of trash leaving the site, and how much of what we consume can be diverted away from landfill and recycled,” says Nick Dalesandro, DTCC’s Executive Director, Workplace Services.
What is DTCC Doing to Reduce Waste and Increase Recycling?
When DTCC employees returned to the office following the coronavirus pandemic, they may have noticed some changes in their workplace setup - most notability, waste baskets were removed from beneath most desk spaces. This was done by design to streamline recycling efforts at DTCC.
“We removed trash cans because recycling, such as plastic bottles, were inadvertently being mixed with wet trash. As a result, we weren’t recycling as much as we could,” said Nick.
In addition to a centralized location for recycling, DTCC is starting to phase out single use water bottles in its pantries and cafes.
“We have given our employees at Jersey City and Chennai a reusable water bottle. And we will continue doing that at other sites. We eventually want to minimize the use of single use bottles, but that would require people bringing in their reusable water bottles and going to refill them,” says Fikir Sanders, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG Reporting. “We want to encourage everyone to be more sustainable in our daily actions for the greater good of the company and the planet as a whole.”
Eventually, DTCC’s plan is to add soft drink dispensers in addition to the water dispensers at all locations. This has already been implemented in the Jersey City office.
“We’re going to be putting in soda dispensers, like the kind you see at movie theaters in the US, where there's a bunch of different drink choices,” says Nick. “This will all lead up to eliminating those single use bottles. Because if you don't buy single use plastics/glass, you don't have to recycle them and our impact on the environment is lessened.”
Another effort is to eliminate plastic, such as snack packages.
“We're trying to move toward a bulk snack model where we have big canisters with snacks in them, and they're sealed but they will dispense into a reusable bowl,” says Nick.