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The Environment

We want our impact to be large but our environmental footprint to be small – so we strive to be environmentally friendly in our workplace.

Energy Conservation

Schwab promotes energy savings in the workplace wherever possible.

  • We encourage our employees to turn off computers and printers at the end of the day.
  • Fax machines and copiers are set on Energy Saver mode
  • Employees are encouraged to use duplex copy mode whenever possible.
  • A “lights out” policy is in force in non-occupied rooms (e.g., computer and mechanical rooms, storage rooms, conference rooms).
  • We use high-efficiency compact fluorescent accent lighting whenever possible.
  • All Schwab headquarters facilities and service centers participate in the Energy Star rating program.
  • HVAC hours are programmed to reflect business hours only.

Recycling and Reuse

For all client, shareholder and employee communications, we use paper products with high recycled content whenever feasible.

  • All business cards, letterhead and business envelopes are now on 100% recycled post consumer waste paper.
  • On Investing magazine and other client newsletters are printed on paper with 10% to 50% recycled content.
  • The Charles Schwab Corporation annual report is now printed on recycled paper (cover and editorial sections on paper with 100% post consumer waste; the financial section printed on paper that consists of 30% post consumer waste). In 2008, the annual report was distributed electronically for the first time to all Schwab employees.
  • Schwab’s applications, forms and statement envelopes have 30% recycled content.
  • Recommended paper stock for printed collateral materials all have post consumer waste content and/or are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified.

Schwab is aggressive about recycling in other areas of operation as well.

  • Paper recycling bins are on every floor in each of our facilities, and many of our facilities also have recycling bins for cans and plastic and glass containers.
  • Cell phones, wireless devices and all other electronic equipment are recycled appropriately through authorized recyclers.
  • Old computers and office equipment are recycled or donated whenever possible.
  • Toner cartridges for printers are recycled.
  • Schwab has a battery recycling program and a confidential paper destruction program that recycles.
  • A Bring-Your-Own Mug initiative aims to phase out disposable cup use.
  • During the period July 2008 through May 2009, Schwab spent $251,000 on recycled products via Staples.

Schwab uses iReuse to dispose of old or unused furniture through the environmentally friendly practice of donation or sale. iReuse effects the reuse through donation or sale of more than 90 percent of business-related materials, significantly reducing expensive moving, hauling, and dumping fees. During 2008, more than 65 tons of Schwab furniture and miscellaneous materials were reused, resulting in the elimination of an estimated 603 metric tons of greenhouse gases.*

Paperless Environment

Schwab continues to pursue a “paperless” work environment for employees. This reduces costs, saves trees and increases productivity by eliminating manual tasks, decreasing printing costs and streamlining workflow. It also reduces the need for physical office space since many Schwab employees can gain access to work documents electronically, from any location.

We also encourage our clients to go paperless by signing up for electronic trade confirmations, account statements and tax reporting documents, all of which we archive for 10 years. Not only is this good for the environment, but it enables clients to receive important information electronically – even if they’re away from home – and reduces the threat of mailbox theft, which continues to be one of the greatest areas of vulnerability with respect to I.D. theft and fraud.


* CO2e, is an internationally accepted measure that encapsulates all GHGs (greenhouse gases) that contribute to global warming.  The metric tons reflected is the amount of CO2e reduced by reuse efforts, which results in less methane in landfills, fewer emissions in manufacturing/distribution, and preservation of natural resources.  The calculation was developed by iReuse in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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