ICYMI, NI (the company formerly known as National Instruments) has staked out some bold new directions. It is now called simply NI. The corporate identity also includes new logo and bold new colors.

That can be mere cosmetics. It has also just announced its 10-year corporate impact strategy, aimed at addressing some of our most pressing environmental, societal, and economic issues. The goals cover three pillars:

  • Changing the faces of engineering
  • Building a thriving and equitable society
  • Engineering a healthy planet

That could also be mere words written for a corporate annual report only to be forgotten in the quest for sales, profits, survival.

To probe more deeply, I was able to connect with Tabitha Upshaw, NI’s Head of Corporate Impact, to discuss more on these goals and what NI is actually doing. She took some time out of a busy day to brief me on the details of the goals and directions. I acknowledged that this sounds great and also within the history and culture of NI—a company I’ve followed since 1998 when it was an upstart entrepreneurial company. The refreshing part is in the details. She (and the team) has organized governance teams, working groups, reporting—all the tools of good management. I think they are actually going to follow through to make an impact.

NI Launches 10-Year Strategy and Goals for Advancing Diversity, Equity and Sustainability 

Company also makes $3.4 million commitment to advancing diversity in STEM education

February 03, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

NI released Engineering Hope, its 2030 Corporate Impact Strategy, outlining the company’s vision and aspirational goals for making a measurable, positive impact on society and the environment by 2030. The long-term plan to advance diversity, equity and sustainability furthers NI’s promise to Engineer Ambitiously, connecting people, ideas and technology to take on the world’s greatest challenges.

“The world is facing pressing challenges, from climate change to inequality. Engineering will play a pivotal role in confronting these issues, which is why we must collectively lead the change we hope to see in society,” said NI President and CEO Eric Starkloff. “We are focusing our efforts in areas like sustainability, diversity and equity – areas in which we can drive important, meaningful impact at NI, in the engineering field and in society at large.”

Over the next decade, NI is dedicated to creating impact in three areas by working toward a set of 15 goals and commitments, including two “moonshot” diversity goals. The strategy reflects a yearlong process to assess NI’s environmental impact and the priorities of employees, customers and other stakeholders. See the full strategy and goal list at ni.com/engineeringhope2030.

  • Changing the faces of engineering: NI is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion across its workforce and management teams and throughout the engineering industry. NI’s “moonshot” goals are based on the aspiration for its workforce to mirror society overall. With that in mind, NI has set specific 2030 goals to increase the representation of women and people of color in its workforce and in management roles, based on global and U.S. demographics.Achieving this goal, particularly in technical fields, will require focus not just within NI, but also on educational opportunities for underserved communities. NI will continue supporting the future generation of engineers by giving to and volunteering with STEM education initiatives. NI will invest $3.4 million globally over the next four years in STEM education initiatives that serve underrepresented or economically disadvantaged students. Its first grantees, Code2College and Project Lead The Way, will each receive $100,000 per year for the next four years to expand their hands-on learning programs.
  • Building a thriving and equitable society: By 2030, NI’s goal is for 16% of its suppliers to be small or diverse businesses. This is part of NI’s commitment to increasing equity and well-being among its employees and in the communities where they live and work. The company will also work toward achieving pay equity, advancing comprehensive well-being programs and supporting economic opportunity initiatives through giving and volunteering.
  • Engineering a healthy planet: By 2030, NI’s goal is to achieve Zero Waste at NI-owned buildings and reduce waste at leased facilities worldwide. The company will also work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve resources and design all new buildings to LEED and WELL standards. NI will also pursue circular design improvements to its products and packaging and donate or discount NI products to organizations developing green technologies.

To further progress toward these goals, NI has issued a 2+1 Giving Pledge: By 2030, the company will increase giving from 1% to 2% of annual, pre-tax profits in the form of monetary and product donations. And NI employees will have the opportunity to spend 1% of their work hours volunteering in their communities.

“This strategy builds upon NI’s culture of caring and long legacy of corporate citizenship,” said NI Head of Corporate Impact Tabitha Upshaw. “At the same time, it goes beyond philanthropy to integrate corporate impact into most every aspect of our business, especially the way we empower our customers, educators and innovators to use NI products for good.”

The strategy is also designed to be iterative, and NI may scale its commitments and goals as its programs evolve and mature. NI will publish an annual corporate impact report that measures against its 2019 baseline data.

About NI

At NI, we bring together the people, ideas and technology so forward thinkers and creative problem solvers can take on humanity’s biggest challenges. From data and automation to research and validation, we provide the tailored, software-connected systems engineers and enterprises need to Engineer Ambitiously every day.

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