Assessing the climate impact of software companies through corporate sustainability reports
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to measures companies take to hold themselves accountable on a range of social issues (e.g., diversity, equity, sustainability). CSR reporting has gained in popularity in recent years; 85 percent of S&P 500 companies published sustainability or corporate responsibility reports in 2017, up from under 20 percent in 2011. Despite the prevalence of these reports, CSR is neither legally enforced nor conforms to one set of standards — companies can choose from a number of industry defined measurement and reporting standards. As a result, it can be hard to easily understand what sustainability measures companies are taking and how they differ.
This report reviews public CSR reports from some of the largest software companies, pulls out the most consistently included metrics, and defines what they mean for the climate and for company software supply chains.
How to Use This Report
In order to understand the climate impact of your software supply chain, it is important to understand the CSR actions each of your software providers are taking, especially with regard to sustainability and environmental impact. Because these reports also contain positive climate actions taken by some of the biggest software companies in the world, they can serve as inspiration for others.
- Example company reports to assess the impact of existing services, and to compare or evaluate new providers you may be considering. See below for a key that explains common metrics, actions, and goals found in CSR reports.
- If you don’t know the climate impact of your software services, request information from them and point to the companies below as examples
- Learn what leading companies are doing and sharing in their climate impact reports, and use their actions to inform your own climate action plans
Note that the climate impact of different energy types can vary widely. See Understanding Energy Quality for an in-depth explanation.
Climate Impact Company Gallery
Scroll through these abbreviated climate impact report scorecards to get a summary of whether a company is carbon neutral (or not), their energy quality, climate commitments and goals, and actions they have taken.
To view company report details, check out the full Tech Company Climate Impact Report Gallery in Airtable.
Want to add your company report to this gallery?