Meet This Year’s Oracle’s Sustainability Champions

April 18, 2020 | 17 minute read
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Every year Oracle recognizes inspiring employees whose sustainability efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, as well as improve the environment in the communities where they live and work. We held a call for nominations and received a tremendous response from employees around the world. This year’s Oracle Sustainability Champions hail from many different countries and are involved in a wide range of sustainability-related interests. We are proud to recognize the following employees for their sustainability contributions.

Ana Adam, Marius Baciu, Loredana Balan, Anca Bucur, Octavian Costea, Roxana Cristea, Andreea Dumuta, Lorena Furtuna, Andrei Iosub, Mihai Jurubita, Amine Kacem, Cosmin Manole, Sonia Nedea, Ioana Pali, Andreea Popescu, Georgiana Popescu, Dana Serb, Sergiu State, Ancuta Stirbacu, Alexandra Stramaturaru, Raluca Ursu, Iuliana Ursuianu, and Horia Zan (Romania)
The “Green Habit” Green Team has been dedicated to reducing single-use plastic in all four Oracle buildings in Bucharest, Romania, creating awareness for the thousands of employees in Romania on how to reduce, re-use, and recycle, and having fun while doing it. In addition to removing single-use plastic, some of their other impressive results include a 137% increase in recycling plastics year-over-year, a 48% increase in recycling paper and cardboard, and a 15% increase in recycling glass. The Green Habit Team has also been involved with numerous volunteering projects outside of Oracle such as teaching in schools and planting trees. The team has created a website 
that is interactive, instructive, and fun. They also have more than 500 members on their dedicated Slack channel. The channel discusses all things green and has been well received by the community, generating constructive discussions and exchanges of ideas. The team has put together a book on how to implement best green practices and shares this with other Green Teams. They are also organizing events and Q&A sessions with experts, as well as working together with Oracle's Real Estate and Facilities team to help implement sustainable practices and practical ideas. This team has demonstrated how the joint efforts, energy, and creativity of a small number of people can have a large impact on so many more.

Claudia Alfonso, Maria Bastidas, Jennifer Lizeth Betancourt Luis, Julian Bocanegra, Diana Bruges, Luisa Cardenas, Mayra Cardona, Juan Guilermo Castro, Javier Fajardo, Jose Gomez, Daniela Morales, Angie Nader Corena, Miguel Laino, Christian Mogollón, Maria Mora, Gabriel Moreno, Ximena Novoa, Harry Ortiz, Laura Pinzón, Alejandra Ramirez, Heidy Reina, Juan Reinoso, Maria Cristina Rivera Torres, Patricia Rodriguez, David Ruiz, Sebastian Sanchez, Diana Villalba, Julieta Catalina Valbuena, and Alejandra Zuloaga (Bogota, Colombia)

This group of volunteers works with Fundación Llena Una Botella de Amor (a bottle of love), a nongovernmental organization that transforms plastic into construction material for houses and parks. This Bottle of Love project invites employees to adopt one plastic bottle and then to fill that bottle with flexible plastic that is used on a daily basis, such as plastic food wrappings. Not only are employees helping with the correct disposal of plastic, but they are also encouraging colleagues to do the same. Laura Pinzón and Claudia Alfonso were very involved and incredibly passionate about this project. This group created a Bottle of Love boost day where employees wore their volunteering T-shirt so as to encourage others to fill their bottle. They also set up meetings to classify, count, pack, and deliver 144 kilograms of bottles and flexible plastic consumed by employees from September to December 2019.

Parandham Beeky, Brijesh Dubey, and Pradeep Hebbar (Bengaluru, India)
This trio of champions has been working for more than three years on green initiatives in and around the Bangalore region of India with a desire to make this world a greener and healthier place to live. They have led and participated in many volunteer projects that range from educating students and communities on the environment, organic food, sustainable materials, and hygiene, as well as cleaning public parks, painting schools, setting up kitchen gardens, and planting trees. These projects have benefitted more than 3,000 students and 2,000 people in underprivileged communities. In the last three years they have planted more than 15,000 units of vegetation across the region in association with various nongovernmental organizations. Their every weekend is dedicated to enhancing the environment by supporting various activities. In addition to many environmental projects, they are also involved in many community-based projects.

Carlos Czentorychy, Sarah Verrett, Julie Bryan, Shantelle Guy, and Eric Stell (Morrisville, USA; Santa Clara, USA; and Colorado Springs, USA)
During the last couple of years, this team has been involved in a very impactful project at Oracle. They have been implementing a solution for esignature across the globe, reducing our environmental footprint and improving the ecosystem. Since the go-live implementation of Oracle's esignature solution (Oracle’s implementation of DocuSign, a third-party application) on June 1, 2018,  Oracle has saved 5,200 trees, 4.6 million gallons of water, 256 thousand pounds of solid waste, and 3.9 million pounds of carbon dioxide. These are extremely significant contributions to our company and also to our planet.  This team is strongly aligned with Oracle’s ongoing commitment to reduce our environmental footprint as it has identified and implemented an effective solution to improve our sustainability efforts.

Margareta Conti, Giulio Pescarino, Eliana Santambrogio, Maria Teresa Sica, and Laura Varisco (Cinisello Balsamo, Italy, and Rome, Italy)
The Green Team in Italy has been working on the Italian “Green Cloud Project” since last summer. The Green Team obtained the sponsorship from the Country Leadership Team to launch various initiatives consisting of both education and actions. So far the initiatives have included workshops to improve the awareness of all employees on topics such as the circular economy, plastic in the oceans, sustainability, and communications. They have also launched a plastic-free project on all Italian sites to drastically reduce the use of plastic in the office and at home by providing all employees with a glass water bottle. The plastic-free project includes reducing waste by using reusable cups rather than paper or plastic cups. With the support of more than 20 internal champions, the Italian Green Team is also collecting second-hand sneakers, which will be recycled, as well as plastic bottle caps for charity purposes. With executive support and grassroots organization, the Italian Green Team is making a difference in improving our sustainability footprint.

Mary Dimouro (Burlington, USA)
Mary has been working at Oracle for seven years. One of her passions away from work is to upcycle durable materials into fashion-forward goods. Mary takes retired or deadstock materials and upcycles them into messenger bags, tote bags, placemats, and fabric baskets. She feels this is the best way to reuse materials that are already created for another purpose and upcycle them into something new and trendy. Mary works with a local company to take their retired banners to create fashionable goods as gifts for family and friends. She hopes to inspire others to continue to reuse, repurpose, and upcycle goods to minimize waste streams going to our landfills.

Rabih Elias and Dana Harakeh (Beirut, Lebanon)
Dana and Rabih have had a significant impact in reducing the environmental footprint in the Oracle Beirut office. They’ve organized and led an Oracle Volunteering project where they planted more than 150 trees. Dana and Rabih have also participated in a project to donate items to local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), encouraging all employees to participate. They promote green commuting by organizing workshops led by responsible local NGOs. They created and launched the Oracle Beirut Wellness program and use scooters instead of cars to go to customer meetings. Dana and Rabih also create monthly green challenges at the office, such as who walked the most and converting steps into corporate social responsibility activities, and who turned off electronics, lighting, and heat every evening at the office before leaving.

Rafael Escano and Kathy Wu (Las Rozas, Spain, and Solna, Sweden)
Rafael and Kathy have been working on an engagement with Skanska, a multinational construction company based in Sweden, to help with Skanska's carbon neutral journey to Oracle Cloud. This is going to be a program with multiple team members working jointly to lift-and-shift Skanska's Fusion on Premise to the cloud. The fact that Oracle and Skanska are conscious about environmental sustainability has led the team to agree on a carbon neutral program where we at Oracle will reduce our carbon footprint and offset any remaining emissions that cannot be avoided. This engagement includes enforcing various green practices, such as maximizing the use of public transportation, maximizing the use of telepresence, and other measures that will help us reduce the impact on our planet. Kathy has recently created a presentation on Skanska's project, including information on how they will track the consultants’ carbon footprint, for which offsetting projects will be used, and how it relates to the
United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. Since the start of the project, they have already saved 10 tons of CO2 emission and will continue offsetting the impacts through its completion.

Lureen Ferretti (Pompano Beach, USA)
Lureen is an environmental activist, a nature photographer who has received awards internationally, and a photo journalist who specializes in the marine environment. Her inspiration emanates from the serenity she derives from nature and the innately humorous behavior of animals.  As an avid scuba diver and ocean enthusiast, Lureen uses her photography to share the beauty of infrequently seen environments under the ocean’s surface by capturing unique marine life behavior. As a result of spending so much time submerged in remote locations around the world, she is also exposed to the destruction and negative impacts caused by humans. Using her photos, her goal is to dispel misconceptions about marine life (sharks in particular) and to raise awareness of the beauty, fragility, and importance of our ocean’s ecosystems. By sharing her images and disseminating information, she hopes to motivate people worldwide to educate themselves and take action to protect our oceans and all of the animals that depend on it, including ourselves. 

Srinivas Gadde (Hyderabad Telangana, India)
Srinivas joined Oracle in 2002 and since then has been actively participating in Oracle Volunteering projects as both a volunteer and a project leader. He mentored many volunteers who were new to the organization and also coached volunteers who aspired to lead a project. He is one of the core members from the Hyderabad chapter that supports global initiatives. Srinivas has completed 126 projects; he has been a project leader 67 times and a project volunteer 59 times. One of the volunteer projects he participated in was to help rehabilitate Nizampet Lake by removing nonbiodegradable material and getting the lake ready for rainy season. He was also involved in a tree planting drive where he helped plant more than 100 saplings. Srinivas also participated in a project to develop a green belt in an abandoned park where he helped remove debris and planted tree saplings. Another example of a volunteer project that Srinivas completed was growing medicinal saplings on the Oracle campus and sharing information on the benefits of these plants with employees. These are just a few of the many volunteer projects Srinivas has either led or participated in.

Sowmyan Jegatheesan (Markham, Canada)
In July 2015 Sowmyan started building a web portal called Systema Naturae for indexing wildlife datasets. The portal provides a centralized repository that aids researchers, students, and policymakers to access and analyze wildlife data. The resource created by this project has reached more than 10,000 people since its inception. This project is now one of the largest indexes for publicly available wildlife research and has earned recognition from United Nations agencies and The Commonwealth.

Divya Kashyap, Ravi Sree Kashyap Kompella,  Goutham M L, and Deepali Saraswat (Bengaluru, India)
This team, dubbed the “Eco-Torchbearers,” ideated and built a solution to help eliminate plastic waste as part of the global hackathon #MADHacks. There is no doubt that plastic waste is extremely toxic and damaging to the environment. Plastic recycling is currently the predominant method to help address the issue of plastic waste mismanagement. This team's idea focused on how plastic waste can be monetized, making it a valuable commodity to recycle and avoid dumping it on our streets and in our ocean-bound waterways. The team was a runner-up in the North America Region, went through to the Global Final 12, and came in second in the competition globally.

Susan Klein and Bob Shepherd (Hillsboro, USA)
Bob and Susan led an initiative to distribute eco-friendly meal kits throughout Oracle’s Hillsboro, Oregon, site. The idea was conceived by Susan as a part of Supply Chain Operations' Sustainability Initiative. Susan did a lot of the legwork, which included sourcing the plates, bowls, and utensils. Bob led a team of volunteers that rolled out the initiative. Bob and Susan were motivated by how they could reduce their site's impact on the environment. Once they decided on this initiative, they looked for ways to raise its awareness. They had lunch catered at the site and handed out the kits to all employees. The Hillsboro site has now eliminated nonreusable plates, bowls, utensils, and cups from all employee break areas, so that washable items are used almost exclusively across the site. This has significantly reduced the use of "throw-away" items. They now have a process in place to ensure all new employees at the site receive kits when they join Oracle.

Marek Kozłowski (Warsaw, Poland)
For more than a year, Marek has been working on an application to combat food waste. The idea originated from his own experience of having to travel extensively. Marek did not always know what to do with the food left in his refrigerator when he would leave for a trip. There were no free applications in Poland through which people could share food or ask for food if they needed it. If he wanted to give his food to someone—often just a small amount—it would take a lot of time to figure out where to take it and it would require going to a food donation point. Not wanting to throw the food away, Marek decided to build an application called
ShareFood43. The application has now been in use for five months and has around 250 food donations per month. Marek used his own resources to get it created and launched, and to maintain it, and anyone can use it free of charge. One of his roles at Oracle involves executing customer events and workshops, so now Marek is also looking for ways to limit food waste from those events by leveraging his application. Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, approximately 1.3 billion tons, gets spoiled or is wasted. Marek believes we can make a big difference in addressing this food waste with a little effort and an easy-to-use application.

Damian Levit (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Damian has significantly helped enable Oracle Argentina's great advances in sustainability. Damian led a team that bought baskets to recycle Tetra Pak containers as Argentina has many different types of liquids that come in those containers. Through the sustainability committee, which Damian and the Real Estate and Facilities team lead, the Argentine office stopped buying plastic cutlery and replaced them with reusable metal cutlery. They also stopped using thermal and plastic cups and replaced them with reusable cups with the help of the Human Resources team. The Oracle employees affected were very appreciative and they now follow the simple steps of using, washing, and storing the reusable items. In addition, they have now gotten in the habit of turning off the lights off from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and the Argentine office is starting a project for a complete changeover to LED lights. These initiatives have been a great team effort.

Romy Lienhard and Thomas Teske (Baden-Daettwil, Switzerland, and Bern, Switzerland)
The Carbon Footprint Challenge (CFC) is a UNITECH international initiative that was hosted by the Oracle Cloud team at Oracle's Smart Innovation Center in Zurich. It is an annual competition that challenges participants around the globe to present ideas on how to decrease the carbon footprint of manufacturing and industrial processes and products throughout their entire value chain. Romy initiated the idea of hosting the
finals of the competition at Oracle’s Smart Innovation Center. At the project kickoff meeting, she decided that Oracle would not only provide the location but also the expertise as coaches and jury members. Romy showed impressive intuition in identifying this initiative as a showcase of Oracle's long-standing commitment to building a resilient future for our planet, changing lives around the world, and using technology as a crucial enabler to a more sustainable future, a vision shared by all the companies sponsoring this initiative. Thomas supported Romy in all the practical aspects of the event planning and execution, as well as after the event, connecting the startups with the Oracle for Startups team. The Carbon Footprint Challenge was also recognized with the HR Excellence Award 2019 in the University Relations category, as well as being shortlisted for the European PR+ Communication Award 2019 in Sustainability.

Beissy Sandoval (Austin, USA)
Beissy is always joining green initiatives that Oracle provides to improve the work environment, such as disposing of trash properly and participating in clean-ups in areas around campus. Outside of work, Beissy reminds those around her to be thoughtful of the environment and their surroundings. She encourages people to bring their own coffee mugs to work and not use straws. She is always looking for ways to save paper and helps her fellow employees identify which waste bins to use. Beissy often takes the train to work to help reduce her environmental footprint. Her love for the environment is evident both at work and in her personal life.

Claudia Sarmiento (Bogota, Colombia)
Biblioselva is an Oracle Colombia community project led by Claudia. This is a project that helps Yunguillo, an indigenous shelter of the Inga community located in the Amazon basin of Putumayo, Colombia. The population is very rich in customs and culture, but the area is very poor. In 2012 a storm caused their rural school to lose its endowment for the education of their youth, which led to the Biblioselva project. The first phase of this project consisted of physical donations for their library. Oracle delivered 300 books to the community. The second stage is creating a digital library with Oracle technology. The stations will be powered by renewable energy (solar), taking advantage of the fact that it is an Amazonian zone with warm weather. The materials used for the stations such as cell phones, cables, and various electronic items will all be recycled. Claudia has done an exemplary job of leading this great project.

Vikram Sharma (Noida Uttar Pradesh, India)
Vikram works on the Oracle Identity Cloud team and is an environmental enthusiast and part-time environmental activist. He is part of a group of volunteers called the “Noida Forest Action Team” and (Earth Lovers) whose mission is forestation, veganism, and promoting zero waste practices. He has been active in the Oracle Volunteering program to help spread the focus on environment and zero waste through leading and volunteering in multiple projects. Vikram is also a Corporate Citizenship Community Leader, and as such, inspires his colleagues to do the same. Vikram helped organize a talk on the basics of composting last June to help educate employees. He also led a tree planting initiative to convert a park in Noida from almost zero trees to a thriving park that now has more than 250 trees. Of these trees, 135 were contributed by Oracle. They planted native species and regularly monitored them to ensure a healthy survival rate. The mission is to replicate this success by doing more plantings and thereby create small ecosystems using the latest techniques. Vikram also helped organize two cleanliness drives to clean up trash in various tourist spots in and around the Delhi National Capital Region. His dream is to pilot a City Forest starting in Noida and to show it as a model that will be included as part of every smart city. 

Francine Yang (Taipei, Taiwan)
Francine has been encouraging many Oracle employees, friends, and neighbors to use public transportation ever since she started using it for her daily commute several years ago. As more people started to use public transportation, they in turn encouraged others. Francine has also been following environmentally friendly practices at home where she segregates waste and properly disposes of nonbiodegradable waste materials. She always carries eco-friendly shopping bags to avoid using plastic bags, even before a plastic ban and waste segregation were mandatory. She uses eco-friendly household items and gives eco-friendly gift items. She also encourages others to do the same. It’s these little things that can add up to make a big difference.

Evelyn Neumayr

Sustainability Product Strategy

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