First with Cloud-Based Digital Signatures, Adobe Sign Moves Sustainability Forward

by Vince Digneo

posted on 03-08-2017

Recently, Adobe announced some exciting news that should really help drive sustainable business practices and support corporate responsibility initiatives for both our company and our customers.

Building on the foundation we established with the Cloud Signature Consortium late last month, we unveiled the first cloud-based digital signatures built on an open standard. Adobe Document Cloud and Adobe Sign will now enable digital signatures – the most advanced, secure electronic signatures – in any browser and on any mobile device.

But what is really new – and why the company’s sustainability lead (me!) – has to chime in, is the other new functionality that Adobe Sign has rolled out. Now, you can create end-to-end business workflows that extend beyond document signing and approvals. And why is this sustainable? Adobe Sign not only streamlines document flows and tasks across entire teams through desktop and mobile, it helps businesses reduce inefficiencies and waste, as well as make meaningful progress on their sustainability goals.

Adobe’s long history of operating our business sustainably, and committing to help our customers do the same, is reflected in this new rollout of Adobe Sign. Fundamentally, the product’s design and development reflect two important elements of running our business:

  1. How we can help reduce operational costs and improve business outcomes, and
  2. How we can lower the enterprise’s environmental footprint in a sustainable way.

In this case, the open standard for digital signatures and new Adobe Sign functionality satisfy both questions.

Sustainability examples are everywhere.

Even before our announcement late last month, Adobe Sign has always been a shining example of our product development approach to sustainability, which I wrote about a month ago. Adobe Sign has already contributed to a reduced dependence on natural resources. In 2016 alone, the use of Adobe Sign for over 46 million electronic document transactions saved more than 17 million pounds of wood and 53 million gallons of water

Adobe Sign’s customers are proof positive of the results that can be achieved when businesses put emphasis on sustainability. Ricoh UK, for instance, shortened its contract turnaround time by five days, allowing its sales team to close deals faster and record revenue earlier. The company also saved at “at least £9,000 annually in paper, printing, postage, and administrative time” by using our digital signature solution. Adobe Sign also sets the global standard for compliance, working with various industry security standards such as PCI DSS, SOC 2 Type 2, and ISO 27001. These capabilities reduce risk, deliver higher security, and lower document management expenses.

We aren’t alone as an enterprise in our sustainability focus and commitment to providing open-source product development opportunities. Just look at Facebook’s approach. Yes, Facebook. Their OpenProject is an open-source, community-driven collaboration environment that generates interest in clouds, data centers, etc. and how they impact sustainable practices. It encourages anyone who is running a data center of any size to share best practices, reduce waste, and lead in energy efficiency. Facebook’s open, sharing attitude has allowed them to commit to running their data centers with 100 percent renewable energy, and become a leader in this space.

Adobe’s commitment to growing our business and reducing our environmental impact are equally important. This attitude is built into the design of Adobe Sign for Adobe and our customers. As we continue to perform on our sustainability charter and deliver products like Adobe Sign, we look to partner with other global leaders that take corporate responsibility for helping to sustain our world and those who live in it.

*Now, I realize some may balk at the numbers we’ve calculated, but we did our homework on this. Our estimates are very conservative, are baked into our Resource Saver Calculator with guidance from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Environmental Paper Network (EPN), and provide comprehensive digital lifecycle analysis conforming to Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s CLEER model.

Topics: Sustainability

Products: Sign