Weaving Sustainability into the Organizational Culture

By Sathish Vaidyanathan, Director, Engineering, International Markets

The success of an enduring organization can directly be attributed to its cultural foundation. A values-oriented culture personifies the organization and fuels behaviors that its employees demonstrate to make a real measurable impact to society.

The foundation of PayPal is built on four key values- Innovation, Collaboration, Inclusion and Wellness with Wellness being at the convergence point for all these values. A culture rooted in wellness also breeds sustainable innovation practices, collaboration and a strong sense and commitment to inclusion. Active participation and conscious co-existence with our environment and natural resources forms the foundation of wellness.

Resource Maxima vs. Resource Optima

In search of new adventures and experiences, there is natural human inclination to always push beyond boundaries and constantly breach our limits to achieve larger goals. In this evolutionary process we also find it convenient to utilize available resources and aim towards maximizing resource utilization. While maximum resource utilization provides faster and bigger results, this model may not be sustainable for the longer term.

A more sustainable resource utilization approach is to adopt principles of optimal resource utilization, where there is conscious planning and focus on optimal utilization. This mindset entertains questions which will define sustainable development- are we using the right resources in optimum quantities and more importantly whether there are other durable alternatives to the existing choices. This also means a greater degree of planning and strategizing on how resources need to be managed.

To understand the true meaning of optimal resource utilization, we don’t have to look beyond our own lives with the world in a lockdown state. When resource availability is highly regulated and resource access is constrained, it has compelled us to be mindful in its utilization.

Optimal Resource Utilization at the Workplace

Regardless of the size of an organization, there are immense opportunities for us to explore and adopt optimal resource utilization avenues. Let’s look at some environmentally friendly resource utilization choices that we can make at the workplace.

There are several environmentally friendly choices to optimize resource utilization within our data centers that propel enterprise software, in a sustainable manner. Organizations should make choices that lean toward active-active architectural patterns where even backup servers meant for disaster recovery are optimally leveraged to serve traffic. We should align towards preference of environmentally friendly liquid based cooling techniques over air-cooled systems and switchover to renewable sources of energy to power the datacenters.

Within the workplace, we have plenty of opportunities to optimize office equipment utilization - starting from printing choices, lighting options, elevator operations and sensible sourcing of environmentally friendly and recycled office supplies.

There are several avenues to drive sustainable employee behaviors as well. Bringing organic options to the palate, providing volunteering opportunities towards supporting causes that benefit the environment and pooled resource utilization options for transport to name a few. Gamifying and rewarding these environmentally friendly employee behaviors would also nurture and ingrain this culture deeply.

Earth Day is a great opportunity for all of us at PayPal to emphasize our organizational commitments towards managing environmental opportunities and to demonstrate our dedication to operate as a responsible global citizen.

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