VMware Citizen Philanthropists are active in their communities all year, adapting their efforts based on the needs of the nonprofits they serve and the communities of which they are a part. To celebrate Earth Month, we checked in with a few of our colleagues to see what VMware’s culture of service means to them through the lens of sustainability.
Sofia Vargas, Renewals Sales Operations, Business Analyst in San Jose, Costa Rica
I have been contributing my Service Learning with a nonprofit called Soy Héroe Ambiental (“I’m an Environmental Hero”) and we collaborate with other Costa Rican nonprofits with volunteer activities in our local communities.
Due to COVID-19, there have been serious environmental impacts: too many single-use face masks, disposable gloves, takeaway food packages and other waste that people are unable to dispose of properly. This means that many of these items have already found their way into the ocean, and therefore we find many of them polluting the beaches. For this reason, the main efforts of my Service Learning this past year have been focused on river, ocean and beach clean ups.
Being at VMware, where our culture and EPIC2 values completely align to my own values, makes me feel very lucky. I am able to dedicate my time to do my job well, but also to focus on sustainability efforts and serve my community during work hours, which is a blessing.
That is what VMware’s culture means to me; the opportunity to serve for, learn from, and inspire as many people as I can! “The world changes with your example, not with your opinion.” I saw this quote during a recent beach cleanup activity. VMware’s culture of service means I can use my 40 annual hours of Service Learning to support my communities where I am needed the most.
Ahmed Ibrahim, Strategic Renewals Manager METNA in Dubai, UAE
Sustainability is at the core of VMware’s values and future success. As a company, we are responsible for innovating for a more resilient world by decarbonizing digital infrastructure across our customer ecosystem, supply chain and operations. My journey of service at VMware started two months after I joined; I started participating in Service Learning focused on both DE&I and Sustainability efforts. I am currently the chairperson for the METNA Personal Development DE&I Power of Difference Community (POD), and in parallel I formed a committee for sustainability in the METNA region. We have launched several initiatives in our Dubai office, and we started by contracting a company that collects all recyclable waste materials from the office. That was followed by several awareness email campaigns about recycling waste and reducing energy consumption and food waste. We also placed stickers on all light switches as a reminder for employees to switch lights off.
When I Joined VMware two years ago, I was excited to experience our culture and EPIC2 values: Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, and Community. In my experience, communities do acknowledge, appreciate and relate more to businesses and corporations that support them, and that is where VMware stands out. We are all encouraged to serve the community by dedicating our time, talent and funds with the support of VMware Foundation programs.
Sophiya Richard Vednesan, Senior Administrative Assistant in Pune, India
Serving our communities and learning go hand-in-hand. With each Service-Learning activity I complete, I learn to innovate, I learn about what’s important to people, and I learn about the environment and sustainability.
One such activity that I have been a part of is working with a group called “Pad Squad,” which is committed to preserving the dignity and health of menstruating women and girls. Founded in June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic by a group of like-minded individuals, we realized that women and their hygiene needs were not being met, with rations taking priority for economically marginalized homes.
Our Pad Squad Team has been working to help the environment by providing biodegradable pads. We are also moving towards sustainable solutions for women across India, like menstrual cups, that can last for 5-10 years and save the environment from waste. It has been an amazing journey so far and we have been able to provide access to these sustainable alternatives for women in smaller villages and in remote communities.
VMware has given me so much encouragement and enabled me to serve various communities, with programs like Service Learning, Matching Gifts, and Milestone Awards that are so well-designed to direct our charitable resources.
VMware’s culture of service ensures that you can create space to connect with nonprofits in your community and gives equal opportunity to everyone’s interests. Our communities grow with us, and we grow with them.
Sara Salah, Digital Sales Representative in Barcelona, Spain
With the COVID-19 pandemic it has been necessary to shift my approach to Service Learning, and many nonprofits have opened virtual opportunities online.
For example, Shape’s mission is based upon addressing the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, and this nonprofit has opened online volunteering opportunities. I also serve with Water Wells for Africa and The Environment and Animal Association. Also, at VMware Barcelona we have a team working on sustainability actions and we have spent a lot of time together to promote sustainability within the office.
VMware’s culture of service means getting together as a team to make an impact. We have the chance to work for a company which provides resources to give back to the community. In my life outside VMware, I am trying to reduce my environmental footprint (e.g. using only natural cleaning products at home and using energy saving materials) and making a positive impact in my community.
Lately, I decided to become a VMware Sustainability Ambassador in the office, where we work on environmental issues. We build awareness and share potential actions with our colleagues. For example, we have our weekly tips newsletter to promote sustainable actions such as waste, water and energy management, as well as fair consumption. We also organize events such as online coffee breaks where we invite professionals to share their knowledge and actions around the subject. Also, for Earth Month, we are launching a competition to reduce food waste.