Climate change impacts everyone and is one of the most urgent issues facing our world today.
In 2017, we were one of the first companies to pledge our support for the Paris climate agreement by joining the We Are Still In coalition and since then have ramped up our efforts to tackle this growing global challenge by minimizing our own greenhouse gas emissions, while partnering with others to develop and share climate solutions for a more sustainable world.
59% reduction in operational GHG emissions
In 2019, we achieved a 59 percent reduction in operational GHG emissions, compared to 2017 levels.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
Throughout our global operations, we’ve taken action to minimize our environmental footprint by setting a science-based target of reducing our operational (Scope 1 and 2) greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by the end of 2020, compared to our base year of 2017.
Within a year of our 2018 announcement to reduce emissions, we realized a 42 percent reduction from our 2017 levels, despite growth in our business. As of the end of 2019, we were well on our way at 59 percent reduction, compared to 2017 levels – equivalent to 364,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Although not part of our original 2018 commitment, we have also begun reporting on some key Scope 3 activities, including business travel, employee commuting and construction impacts.
Annual Market-Based Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Annual emissions for the average person on the platform are less than the carbon impact of making one cup of black coffee.
Increasing Climate Resilience
As we continue to expand our operations, we understand the importance of strengthening our resilience and adaptation to climate-related hazards and natural disasters. In 2019, our climate risk assessment portfolio grew to 260 total sites, including data centers, offices and supplier locations, looking at risks such as sea level rise, heat stress, typhoon and hurricanes and water stress.
This approach is especially important for facilities in regions already severely impacted by extreme weather events and climate change. Our global Sustainability team uses these insights to identify opportunities to incorporate climate-related considerations into our overall sustainability strategy, advancing progress across key areas such as water stewardship and sustainable building design.
For our global supply chain, we use the same risk-based approach to help our suppliers understand and minimize their environmental impacts. Through similar climate-related risk assessments that we do for our own operations, we work closely with suppliers to ensure they are prepared for the climate risks they face – such as sea level rise, heat stress and water stress – and have climate resilience integrated into their emergency planning and business continuity practices.
For the first time in 2019, we offset emissions from employee business travel for some teams, as well as air travel to 11 major internal events. As a result, we offset more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon emissions – equivalent to taking 22,000 passenger cars off the road for a year.
Partnerships to Scale Impact
In addition to the We Are Still In coalition, we were proud to support bills like H.R. 9 in the U.S., the 116th Congress (2019-2020): Climate Action Now Act. We participate in the UN’s annual session of the Conference of Parties (COP), working closely with the UNFCCC to drive virtual engagement with the public. We also participate in Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean Initiative, receiving an “A” rating for our efforts to accelerate the global transition to a more greener internet.