A letter from our CEO about corporate social responsibility

A letter by Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen discusses how the global landscape has transformed in the last year, and how Adobe has managed to stay true to its purpose.

Adobe has released its 2020 CSR Report.

It’s amazing how in one year, the global landscape has transformed. Digital experiences have become critical to connect, engage, learn, and do business. Corporate purpose has taken on new meaning as companies increasingly contribute their expertise to solve the pertinent issues facing our world. We’re proud of Adobe’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we’ve supported our customers, employees and communities.

Adobe’s mission has always been to create products that empower people to change the world. Our purpose is anchored on harnessing our people, platform, creativity, and innovation to make change in the areas we can make the most impact.

Technology for good

We believe technology can transform lives, lift up communities, and create a more sustainable future. We are proud of the impact and reach of our products across every dimension of life.

We’ve seen the tremendous power of creativity to help us cope, connect, and be inspired. Adobe Creative Cloud is giving everyone the tools, community, and platform to tell their stories. In a world where work needs to be done from anywhere and with anyone, digital workflows are driving team productivity and efficiency. Adobe Document Cloud is accelerating productivity, redefining how people engage with digital documents. Every business is now a digital business, and Adobe Experience Cloud is enabling businesses to deliver great customer experiences across every touchpoint.

Our technology is helping find missing and exploited children, making reading easier for everyone, helping advance social justice, and more. Adobe technology facilitated blood donation sign-ups for the American Red Cross when they were especially needed and hard to accomplish during the pandemic. #BlackHealthNow used our creative tools to raise awareness of health inequality and drive action. Our digital experience technology powered the first digital decennial Census Bureau survey in 2020. We’re empowering kids with bionic arms, enabling the limbs to be uniquely designed and personalized using Creative Cloud.

Ethics and integrity

As we bring transformational technologies to market, we’re committed to the responsible use of technology for the good of society. We are leading the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), now with over 150 members, to set the standard for transparency and attribution in content. Last year, we launched the CAI attribution tool in Adobe Photoshop and Behance, providing an easy way for creators to securely attach information about how a piece of content was edited.

With artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly becoming more powerful and pervasive, we created a set of AI Ethics principles on the tenets of responsibility, accountability, and transparency to ensure that the technology is used responsibly and does not reinforce biases that may exist in data. Our newly launched AI Ethics Committee will review all new AI features and products under these principles.

From a data privacy standpoint, we’re focused on giving consumers choice and control, with transparency in how their data is used. We’re thinking about privacy at the product development level to help companies manage their customer data in a responsible way.

Diversity and inclusion

We believe that everyone deserves equal treatment and opportunity, and we also believe that building a diverse and inclusive workplace is both the right thing to do and essential to ensuring that our employee base represents the broad range of customers that Adobe serves (See our 2020 D&I report here).

We achieved global gender pay parity in October 2018, and in September 2020 we reaffirmed it, and announced pay parity between underrepresented minority (URM) employees and non-URM employees in the US. We have taken our efforts further with opportunity parity, examining fairness in promotions and horizontal movement across demographic groups. Last year we formed the Taking Action Initiative to accelerate the representation, development, and success of our Black community. We set aspirational goals for more diverse representation because we believe that greater representation leads to a virtuous cycle of more role models, advancement, and growth.

We’re developing our products with accessibility in mind, working with government and industry leaders to set web accessibility standards to promote inclusion. Inclusive design is core to our accessibility strategy, and we’re educating designers and engineers to think more broadly, seek out more voices, and make more accessible products.

Digital literacy

Our technology is democratizing creativity for all as we continue investing in programs that empower every voice with the tools, skills, and platform to share their creativity and achieve their goals.

We are committed to prepare candidates for roles in technology and design through the Adobe Digital Academy, Adobe Women-in-Technology Scholarship and The Design Circle Scholarship Initiative. We continue to be a sponsor of the Sundance Ignite Fellowship and are the first brand to create the Women at Sundance Fellowship, both of which allow emerging filmmakers to develop their craft and share their stories. Our newly launched Diverse Voices platform highlights the stories of diverse creators, providing a single destination for inspiration, education, and connection.


The impacts of climate change are a stark reminder of the work we need to do to protect our planet. Throughout 2020, Adobe made tremendous progress on our sustainability goals by applying innovative methods to become more energy efficient, contribute to thoughtful decarbonization, and deploy renewable energy. We raised our Science-Based Targets ambitions to align with climate guidance on a 1.5 C warming scenario. Our goals are geared toward true renewable energy deployment, without the use of unbundled renewable energy credits.

We’re proud of the recognition we continue to receive, including being named to the CDP Climate Change A List for the fifth straight year — an honor awarded to the top 2.8% of almost 10,000 companies evaluated.

Additionally, Adobe’s innovation in cloud-based software delivery, digital documents, artificial intelligence, 3D & AR, and virtual collaboration contribute to a zero-waste and carbon-free future, helping our customers operate more efficiently and achieve their sustainability goals.

More work to be done

While we’re proud of what we accomplished in 2020, we know that there’s more to do. We’re energized by the opportunities to make an impact and we remain steadfast in our commitment to harnessing the best of Adobe — our people, products, creativity, and innovation — to create positive change in 2021 and beyond.