ESG (environmental, social, and governance) factors are integral to how we operate. We regularly engage with stakeholders—including employees, customers, the community and shareholders—to determine where to focus resources to create shared value.
Blackbaud believes in the importance of a global focus on sustainability and climate change initiatives. Powering good globally includes an obligation to operate our business sustainably. We are committed to doing our part by participating in efforts to truly make an impact in climate change efforts. A key component to our approach is identifying and assessing areas where we can have an impact and developing strategies to target these areas. Although there are a number of environmental risks that are external, as Blackbaud does not own its data centers and has a small facilities footprint, we believe we can have a big impact by collaborating with our stakeholders and business partners and working with our communities.
- Remain carbon neutral by setting specific long-and-short-term objectives and implementing solutions to mitigate Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, including the reduction of energy consumption from non-renewable resources, purchasing renewable energy credits, and high-quality removal offsets that fund reliable, proven initiatives, and partnering with organizations making true climate change impact
- Reduce the amount of waste, both hazardous and non-hazardous, produced at Blackbaud locations by ensuring that all waste is managed in accordance with current regulations and best environmental practices, including following the international guidelines for electronic waste
- Reduce water consumption at all Blackbaud locations by identifying specific water reduction initiatives and raising awareness of the impact of water use
- Encourage Blackbaud’s suppliers and business partners to implement and achieve meaningful environmental objectives and targets reflecting our shared goals and values
2021 Impact Metrics
Between 2019-2021, we reduced the emissions related to the energy required to run our office space by 63% and reduced employee commuting emissions by 75%.
Through our ongoing real estate portfolio optimization efforts, we have reduced the company’s global real estate footprint more than 50% since 2019. With the rollout of our new remote-first workforce strategy, we will continue to optimize our footprint in 2022 and further reduce our Scope 2 footprint. And as part of our optimization program, we have consolidated our Charleston operations into our LEED-Gold certified headquarters building. The physical footprint reduction will result in a significant reduction of scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in future years. Solar panels at the Charleston headquarters building provide more than 12,500 KWH of electricity per month, and we are committed to exploring more ways to increase our use of renewable energy.
- Establish annual sustainability initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment, including science-based targets for electricity use and GHG emissions
- Analyze environmental and sustainability impacts in material business decisions
- Optimize use of renewable energy sources, including evaluating ways to reduce energy consumption from non-renewable sources
Blackbaud is committed to responsible waste management practices, including through recycling, reuse, composting, and proper electronic waste (e-waste) disposal. Our goal is to divert as much waste as possible from landfills, and we educate our employees about our practices and the important roles they play. We follow all international guidelines for the disposal of electronic waste and only use third-party vendors that adhere to sustainable e-waste recycling practices and abide by all laws and regulations for the disposal of e-waste. All computers and electronic equipment designated for removal or disposal are turned over to our certified third-party vendors so they can be dismantled in a safe manner that allows for the careful extraction of raw materials for reuse in other products.
- Expand waste reduction and recycling initiatives in our facilities
- Leverage third-party vendors committed to sustainable e-waste recycling practices for the disposal of electronic waste
- Follow international guidelines for disposal of electronic waste
- Run a compost program in our headquarters building to ensure all food waste is properly recycled
We have adopted formal Corporate Governance Guidelines to enhance our effectiveness. The Board of Directors adopted the guidelines to ensure it has the necessary authority and practices in place to review and evaluate our business operations as needed and to make decisions that are independent of our management.
Our Board of Directors oversees the company’s governance programs, processes, and commitment, while our executive leadership team is charged with implementation, management, and daily oversight. The ESG Steering Committee, an employee-led, cross-functional leadership team, is tasked with setting and implementing the sustainability vision and strategy for the company.
- Continue CEO sponsorship of the ESG Steering Committee
- Rely on ESG oversight from the company’s board of directors, led by the Nominating & Governance Committee
- Operate an employee-led, cross-functional ESG Steering Committee
- Form employee impact teams dedicated to specific ESG workstreams
- Code of Business Conduct and Ethics of Blackbaud
- Sustainability Policy
- Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for Suppliers and Business Partners
- ESG Steering Team Charter
- Corporate Governance Guidelines
- Charter of Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee
- Charter of the Audit Committee
- Charter of the Risk Oversight Committee
- 2022 Proxy Statement
- 2021 Blackbaud 10K Report
Ethics, Transparency, and Compliance
Blackbaud’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics sets out basic principles to guide all directors, officers, and employees and its subsidiaries. Every Blackbaud employee must complete annual training on the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, including the company’s human rights and anti-corruption/bribery policies, which consists of reading, understanding, and affirming compliance. Key parts of the Code include:
- Reporting and Disciplinary Matters: Provides remedies and mechanisms for all employees to report violations or unethical behavior, including a toll-free ethics hotline
- Associations and Collective Bargaining: Ensures employees can associate freely, form and join organizations, and collectively bargain
- Human Rights Commitment: Formally states Blackbaud’s support for the human rights principles contained in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Global Compact and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
- Anti-Corruption and Bribery Compliance: Ensures that, under no circumstances, will the Company allow our Board members, officers, employees, or any third party acting on our behalf, to give or receive bribes or kickbacks in order to influence a business outcome or obtain favorable treatment
- Operate under a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, adopted by the Board of Directors, which applies to all Blackbaud directors and employees
- Operate under an additional Code of Ethics, adopted by the Board of Directors, for Blackbaud’s CEO and senior financial officers, including our chief financial officer (CFO), who is our principal accounting officer, our Corporate Controller, or persons performing similar functions
- Hold ethics training, requiring that each employee reads, understands, and affirms compliance with our Code of Conduct
Risk Management and Oversight
Our relationship with our customers is never more important or more personal than in times of tragedy and disaster. We know that being the best partner also means planning for potential impacts to our own operations and ensuring uninterrupted excellent service. We maintain formalized policies and procedures through the Blackbaud Business Continuity Management Program—modeled after the NIST 800-34 contingency plan for federal information systems. The program strategically equips internal teams to protect, sustain, and recover operations for best assuring the resiliency of the business.
Even in the event of a crisis or disaster, we can ensure unwavering partnership for our customers. Additionally, we recognize our responsibility to assist in lessening the effects of climate change on the environment. Although there are a great number of environmental risks that are external, Blackbaud believes we can still have an impact by collaborating with our stakeholders and business partners and working with our communities as part of our role in effecting positive change. Identified environmental risks include:
- The increase of greenhouse gases (GHG) is associated with an increase in global climate change. Blackbaud is committed to reducing its GHG emissions and its carbon footprint as a step toward mitigating this risk. By converting to a remote-first work force, we have reduced our environmental impact. With most employees no longer commuting to an office, and by reducing our office footprint, we are making more progress toward becoming a zero-waste company and protecting the environment.
- Air, water, and soil pollution, along with improper waste management, can all lead to damaging the agricultural environment. These changes can have a direct connection to the food chain supplies, which can lead to increased hunger throughout the world. Mitigating GHG emissions and improving better waste management through community-based programs can have a positive effect on limiting this risk.
- Weather-related risk impacts of climate change, like severe weather events and changes in global temperatures, can result in negative impacts to our critical infrastructure and living spaces. These risks can have significant global impacts on the economy, as well as regional impacts on corporate facilities and the employees associated with these locations. Changes in Blackbaud’s structural footprint, along with a revised, remote-first work force strategy, have helped Blackbaud mitigate this business continuity risk by dispersing the work force over a widespread area, making it less susceptible to severe weather events. Although our Company’s senior management is responsible for management of risk, the Board of Directors and its committees play a significant role in overseeing this function.
Each of the Board committees oversees risks associated with its respective areas of responsibility:
- The Audit Committee oversees risk related to our accounting, tax, financial and public disclosure processes and assesses risks associated with our financial assets
- The Compensation Committee oversees risks related to our compensation and benefit plans, programs, and policies to ensure sound pay practices that do not enable risks that are reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on our company
- The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee seeks to minimize risks related to governance structure by implementing sound corporate governance principles and practices
- The Risk Oversight Committee oversees assists in the oversight of:
- Blackbaud’s risk management, compliance, and control activities as they relate to information technology security
- Cybersecurity risks, including cyber risk management practices, adequacy of cyber-insurance, adequacy of an incident response plan, and our ability to respond to a cyber breach
- Our systems of operational controls regarding certain legal and regulatory compliance
- Compliance with certain legal and regulatory requirements applicable to Blackbaud
- The Risk Oversight Committee communicates to the Audit Committee any matters it identifies that may impact financial reporting
Blackbaud is strongly committed to business ethics and integrity, responsible sourcing, and the safety and wellbeing of workers across all of its supplier relationships, including our vendors and service providers and their respective employees and agents. We are an equal opportunity employer, and our suppliers and business partners also may not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion or belief, disability, genetic information, marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender reassignment, gender expression, citizenship, pregnancy or maternity, veteran status, or any other status protected by national, federal, state or local law.
All suppliers and business partners must respect and obey the laws and regulations of the cities, states, countries and other jurisdictions in which we operate, and shall not support or engage in slavery, indentured labor, child labor, or human trafficking in any part of their supply chains. Should we develop knowledge of any unethical or illegal behavior by one of our suppliers or business partners, we will take steps to ensure that the situation is corrected. If the supplier or business partner is unable or unwilling to make the appropriate corrections, we will use our discretion to take disciplinary action, including terminating the business relationship with the supplier or business partner.
We also recognize that there is an opportunity to increase our commitment to sustainability through collaboration with our external stakeholders, and we welcome the opportunity to share ideas on how to achieve common sustainability goals. Additionally, Blackbaud expects all suppliers, business partners, and other external stakeholders to conduct their operations in compliance with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
- Abide by the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015 and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010
- Require our suppliers, vendors, and business partners to comply with all applicable laws and regulations for all the work they perform for Blackbaud and include compliance language in our contracts and purchase orders
Driving social good on a global scale—spanning the public, private, and social sectors—requires a detailed understanding of privacy standards. Blackbaud has dedicated legal counsel who continually evaluate upcoming and changing regulations as they relate to data privacy to ensure we are aligned to these regulations, as well as provide thought leadership for our customers on the operational impacts of these regulations and compliance requirements.
We are committed to providing products and services that enable customers to comply with the privacy laws applicable to them. We tirelessly track and interpret pending legislation and evolve our products to allow customers to protect the privacy of constituents and manage data in a compliant way.
We believe that all organizations should be responsible custodians of personal data and handle it in an ethical and compliant way. We respect individuals’ sensitivity to the privacy of their information and offer them ways to control it, including providing transparent privacy notices and allowing them to request a copy of the data we collect or request it be erased.
- Leverage the industry standard CIA Triad Model in conjunction with comprehensive industry control frameworks, compliance regulations, privacy requirements, and best practices, including: NIST CSF, PCI DSS, SOC 1, SOC 2, GDPR, HIPAA, and Cloud Security Alliance
- Continually evaluate upcoming and changing data privacy regulations and provide thought leadership for our customers on the operational impact of these regulations and compliance requirements
- Ensure that (when applicable) our products and internal processes comply with and enable customers to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Ensure that we are compliant with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
We have made a significant investment in building a robust cybersecurity program. The program is built on key foundations that include a focus on people, with a strong team of more than 70 full-time employees who bring extensive experience across both the private sector and US government. This is on top of and measured against industry frameworks such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF). The program supports compliance activities that produce annual PCI DSS, SOC 1, and SOC 2 Type 2 reports that we make available to all customers.
More tactically, the team manages an extensive set of controls across enterprise and product security. We leverage industry-leading tools to implement anti-virus, intrusion prevention, vulnerability management, cloud security, and event management capabilities, among many others. Our product security team leverages a variety of capabilities, from threat modeling and source code analysis to third-party penetration testing, and we routinely test our incident response activities and maintain proactive relationships with law enforcement.
- Leverage the industry standard CIA Triad Model (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability) in conjunction with various industry control frameworks, such as the NIST CSF, PCI DSS, ISO27001, SOC 1, SOC 1 type 2, and others to protect our solutions
- Provide audit reports by request to our subscription customers, their auditors, and our prospective customers, including SOC 2 type 2, SOC 1 type 1, and bridge letters for both SOC 1 and 2 reports, where applicable
- Provide PA-DSS and PCI-DSS attestations of compliance to Blackbaud Internet Services and Blackbaud Payment Solutions
- Maintain Trusted Cloud Provider status with the Cloud Security Alliance, the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment
- Leverage the Cloud Security Alliance’s CAIQ-Lite assessment questionnaires to provide transparency regarding the adherence of our products to the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix. These assessments are made available via the Cloud Security Alliance
Blackbaud is committed to innovation to drive significant positive change throughout the social good sector. We intentionally invest in both sustaining and disruptive innovation influenced by analysis, research, and broad-based thought leadership. Our people are empowered to help customers, partners, and the social good community achieve critical impact through innovation.
- Bring together leading innovators and experts from every type of institution to conduct research, foster diverse perspectives, and collaborate on solutions to the world’s greatest challenges through the Blackbaud Institute
- Invest in a cohort of exciting tech startups in the social good industry and provide them with the mentorship and resources needed to succeed through Blackbaud’s Social Good Startup Program
- Enable customers, partners, and consultants to accelerate the innovation of Blackbaud SKY solutions through our third-party developer ecosystem, Blackbaud SKY Developer
- Provide an open source UX toolset that allows third-party developers to create customizations and applications with a consistent user experience
- Review and curate more than 20 product idea banks that allow customers to submit ideas, post comments, and vote on product recommendations
- Host an annual Off the Grid 48-hour innovation marathon encouraging employees across the company to innovate on creative new solutions to solve problems in the social good community
2021 Impact Metrics
- Fast Company’s Best Workplace for Innovators 2020 honoree
- Annual analysis of $46 billion in fundraising data and published research
- More than 250 employees participated in Off the Grid program