Editor’s note: SAS earns special recognition in the latest sustainability report from Business Roundtable, being recognized as a global leader. As part of that report, CEO and co-founder Jim Goodnight spells out why sustainability is important to the Cary-based global software firm. Today, SAS is showing that commitment, hosting a Smart Cities event with elected leaders and staff from across the state. Dr. Goodnight’s letter in the Business Roundtable report is reprinted by WRAL TechWire in full with permission of the business group.

CARY, N.C. – Since 1976, SAS has been a sustainability innovator through environmental, social and economic efforts. From our roots helping farmers analyze agricultural data to finding resources to rebuild a community in Nepal after last year’s earthquake, we’ve been committed to making a significant, positive difference. As we celebrate our 40th anniversary and 40 years of consecutive growth, we stand firm as a corporate responsibility leader, supporting the planet and people through our practices.

Environmental responsibility plays a prominent role in our numerous offices worldwide, which incorporate the most advanced design, engineering, materials and technology available. Recycling and energy conservation are priorities. In 2015, SAS generated 3.7 million kWh of clean, renewably sourced energy from rooftop and ground-mounted solar systems. Numerous recognitions in 2015 highlight our efforts as a good corporate citizen.

With 11 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications and more underway, we remain dedicated to green building standards for all design, construction and renovation. To advance analytics as a cornerstone of “smart city” management, SAS recently became an Envision America partner. Our aim is to help municipalities run more efficiently and improve stewardship of limited resources.

But it takes more than technology to manage and analyze large amounts of data. It takes skills. SAS has made education its primary philanthropic initiative to help prepare the next generation of innovators. Our long history includes providing analytics training through major universities and our own SAS Analytics U. For students and teachers, we provide free and low-cost options to SAS software and training.

In fact, SAS proficiency was recently identified as the most valuable career skill. Learning SAS for free can be a boost to those looking to jump-start their careers. This year, we launched the SAS Academy for Data Science to further develop these highly marketable skills. SAS supports a host of other education initiatives that promote science, technology, engineering and math.

As always, SAS views our people as our greatest resource. Since its inception, SAS has been recognized as a pioneer in corporate culture. Year after year, SAS ranks high on various lists for best workplaces around the world. SAS has seen a direct correlation between its workplace culture and business success. We are convinced that satisfied employees mean satisfied customers.

In 2015, we experienced our 40th consecutive year of growth and profitability, with US$3.16 billion in revenues. This success is strongly tied to our SAS community and the investments we make in employee health, well-being and work-life balance. I firmly believe that if you treat employees like they make a difference, they will make a difference.
As our world evolves, we must be diligent in safeguarding the planet, targeting innovative ways to sustainably live and work. But we can’t do it alone: To change the world for the better, we must collaborate to explore new possibilities. Being socially responsible is about making tomorrow a priority – today.

Note: This letter is reprinted in full with the permission of Business Roundtable, which recently published it as part of the groups 2016 sustainability report.

You can read the report online at: