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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blue Coat’s Approach to Sustainability

Having posted about GE Healthymagination earlier this week, I also wanted to demonstrate that smaller companies can build comprehensive and sophisticated approaches to sustainability.

My fellow green speaker at Futurenet in Boston recently was David Cox, senior VP of operations of Blue Coat Systems, Inc. - a network security company. David's presentation addressed how Blue Coat's green initiatives address the Direct Impact of the company itself through reducing energy usage. He also addressed how Blue Coat translated their own learning into how their products can help their customers with sustainability - the Product in Use category of the Four Dimensions framework.

Tim Scannell at IT Knowledge Exchange and Scott Hogg at Network World both commented on the environmental presentations of Futurenet. eWEEK Europe also conducted an interview with David in 'Green is the Color of Money too' and recognized BlueCoat's activities in this space.

But, sustainability is not only about environment. Sustainable thinking also calls upon us to address social and economic wellbeing. BlueCoat's commitment is impressive in this area too.

Blue Coat took the core competency behind one of their B2B products - Blue Coat Web Filter - and applied it as a key component of their approach to community outreach. Blue Coat's K9 Web Protection is a free Internet and parental controls filter that gives parents control over their family's use of the Internet. It has over 1 million users.

I happen to be a very satisfied user of the product at home and as David explains to me, input from their consumer users helps them to refine the filtering in their business product. I am sure it also helps their brand awareness. This is a great illustration of combining business and social benefits.

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