Our goal is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by end of fiscal year 2021 across our offices, data centers, and business travel. We focus on these areas because they are our most significant sources of emissions, as well as the aspects of our business where we have the highest operational control and influence.
Since FY17, we have already made significant progress. We have operated at net-zero carbon emissions across our offices and data centers through a combination of operational efficiency, procurement of renewable energy equal to 100 percent of our consumption, and investing in high-quality carbon offset projects.
This means we are providing all of our 2,600 customers globally with a carbon-neutral cloud.
a carbon-neutral cloud
Workday Rising in 2018 was a breakthrough year for community impact and event sustainability initiatives. Using best practices as our baseline, we looked for new ways to lessen our carbon impact, communicate our mission to attendees, and leave the Las Vegas community with positive gains.
A few highlights:
- For the first time, we offset 100 percent of the emissions from travel to and from the conference for all attendees.
- Our Workday Rising host site in 2018 was the Mandalay Bay Convention Center—one of the most sustainable venues in Las Vegas and boasting one of the country’s largest on-site rooftop solar arrays that can provide up to one-quarter of the venue’s electricity needs on a peak day.
- We focused on zero-waste and diverted 90 percent of waste from landfill through recycling efforts, including collecting and recycling name tags and lanyards, and had processes in place to reuse, compost, and donate leftover food and conference materials.
Check out the full impact in our Workday Rising Sustainability and Community Impact Report 2018.
Workday Carbon Intensity Reduction
Detailed emissions and energy data is provided here.
Putting a Price on Carbon
To achieve our sustainability goals and meet our climate commitments, we are working to establish an internal price on our greenhouse gas emissions. This aligns our investments to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, creating a financial incentive to support business decisions that reduce carbon emissions. We allocate costs across cost centers to ensure that areas of our business—for example, our data centers or offices—are accountable for their emissions footprint and use those funds to procure renewable energy and finance carbon offsets to help us meet our goals.
Our Carbon Management Strategy
Our carbon management strategy focuses on the following:
- Avoid carbon-intensive activities. We seek opportunities to choose less-carbon-intensive options over those with a larger carbon footprint.
- Reduce through efficiency. We focus on reducing the carbon intensity of our operations through high-impact efficiency measures in our office facilities and data centers.
- Replace high-carbon energy sources with low-carbon sources. We prioritize on-site renewable energy generation, such as solar where feasible, and purchase wind and solar power over electricity generated from fossil fuels for our global operations.
- Offset emissions that can’t be eliminated. We purchase high-quality carbon offsets for the emissions that we can’t reduce through the above steps.
Our Carbon Offset Program
To maximize the environmental and social impact of our carbon offset investments, we look for projects that meet the following criteria:
Emission reductions beyond business as usual
Prevent shifting of emissions to other locations
Permanent and long‑lasting—not temporary reductions
Rigorous independent third‑party verification
Sustainable development, including local workforce development, and health and well-being benefits for the local community
Each project must be independently verified by an objective third party—someone other than the project developer and Workday—to ensure adherence to internationally recognized standards to quantify, monitor, and report on emission reductions. We work with carbon project specialists who have deep expertise in carbon finance projects and perform due diligence on each project.
We choose projects that not only have environmental benefits, but also social impacts. For example, we support the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve REDD+ carbon project in Indonesia that not only prevents deforestation of 65,000 hectares of forest that was originally slated for conversion to palm oil plantations, but is also training communities to manufacture and sell inexpensive water filtration devices to provide clean drinking water. In addition to biodiversity conservation, the project focuses on community development—encompassing 2,000 households within the project area—by actively engaging local communities to improve food security, income opportunities, healthcare, and education.
Carbon Offset MapEfforts
Click on the Map to View Details
Yurok Forest Conservation
In April 2011, Western Rivers Conservancy transferred 22,237 acres of former Green Diamond Resource Company property in the lower Klamath watershed to the Yurok Tribe, out of which the Tribe has developed a 21,240.5-acre carbon finance project. The property has cultural importance to the Tribe, as it sits within the Yurok Ancestral Territory in Humboldt County, California. The Tribe will manage the property to preserve and enhance its ecological and cultural value. Learn more.
Standard: CA Air Resources Board
Colorado Grasslands—Southern Plains Land Trust—Raven’s Nest
A beneficiary of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Conservation Innovation Grants, the goal of this project is to create financial incentives for conserving valuable grasslands through payments for protection of below-ground soil carbon and the avoidance of direct emissions from cultivation. The project is located on two properties (Raven’s Nest and Heartland Ranch) in southeast Colorado, covering approximately 18,000 acres. Learn more.
Standard: Climate Action Reserve
Guatemala Water Filtration and Improved Cookstoves
Water-borne diseases have been identified as a national priority in Guatemala given the high incidence of diarrheal disease and chronic malnutrition. This project, which is the first Gold Standard water treatment or cookstove project in the country, distributes water filters and stoves that enable access to clean water and improve cooking conditions by increasing fuel efficiency and reducing harmful indoor air pollution. Water is purified through a gravity-fed ceramic filter made of clay, sawdust, colloidal silver, and carbon, which can treat 2 litres of non-potable water an hour and remove 99 percent of pathogens. Learn more.
Standard: Gold Standard
Uganda Improved Cookstoves
The Improved Cookstoves project in Uganda subsidizes the sale of fuel-efficient biomass and charcoal cookstoves across Uganda to improve cooking conditions and reduce indoor air pollution. This Gold Standard project is establishing markets and offers microcredit to help rural and peri-urban households and institutions, such as schools, that are unable to afford up-front costs. To date, more than 480,000 stoves have been sold through the project, benefitting 2.4 million people. Learn more.
Standard: Gold Standard
Kenya Improved Cookstoves
The Kenya Improved Cookstove project utilizes distribution networks that serve customers at the base of the pyramid, helping households and institutions throughout the entire country purchase efficient wood or charcoal cookstoves to replace traditional three-stone fires or other inefficient stoves. The stoves are sold (along with other eco-products, such as solar lanterns and water filters) through a local partner franchise model that helps ensure effective financing, marketing, and support to both end customers and local charter partners. Learn more.
Standard: Gold Standard
Kulera Landscape REDD+ and Cookstoves
Through the combination of forest protection and the distribution of clean cookstoves, this project uses carbon finance to deliver significant emission reductions, protect an important area of biodiversity value, and address the health risks of indoor air pollution. The project targets the conservation of approximately 170,000 hectares of forest and works with 45,000 households to reduce fuelwood use, develop sustainable livelihoods, increase community resilience to climate change, and promote biodiversity. Learn more.
Danjiang River Solar Cookers
The Danjiang River Solar Cookers are designed to improve the indoor air quality and living conditions of 100,000 rural households in the southwest of Henan Province, one of the poorer regions in China. The cookers consist of a 1.7m2 parabolic dish, which concentrates solar energy onto a central cooking pot and provides sufficient heat for cooking the local staple food of rice. Its design is ideal for the local diet and climatic conditions, with ample sunshine throughout the year. The cooker displaces traditional inefficient coal-fired cooking stoves, significantly reducing fuel consumption and indoor air pollution. Learn more.
Standard: Gold Standard
Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve
Based on the island of Borneo in Indonesia, this REDD+ project preserves carbon-dense tropical peat swamp by helping to halt deforestation of roughly 65,000 hectares of forest that were originally slated for conversion to palm oil plantations. The project focuses on both community development— encompassing 2,000 households living within the project area—and biodiversity conservation, particularly the protection of the endangered Borneo Orangutan. In order to deliver on its goals, the project actively engages local communities to improve food security, income opportunities, healthcare, and education—all with the support of carbon finance. Learn more.
Amazon Web Services
Workday uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) computing services primarily to run internal development and test systems and now also offers certain customers the choice to run on AWS in a number of regions. While this usage is material to our Scope 3 footprint, we do not yet have the ability to calculate estimated emissions from our AWS usage.
In FY18 and FY19, most of our AWS usage was in the U.S. West (Oregon) region, where Amazon has purchased renewable energy credits (RECs) to cover non-renewable energy usage since 2011. In FY19, 87 percent of our computing usage by hours and 61 percent of our storage usage of AWS was in regions where AWS purchases environmental attribute certificates (EACs) to cover all non-renewable energy usage.