Our Commitment to 100% Renewable Electricity and Guiding Principles for Okta’s Climate Strategy

We all recognize that we’re in a climate and health crisis. We know that the impacts of climate change are directly affecting human health; are appearing more frequently and severely; and disproportionately affect underserved communities, including many communities of color. These outcomes require an urgent response from all of us.

Okta is committed to doing its part to address climate change. Last year, Okta’s co-founders, Todd McKinnon and Frederic Kerrest announced our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Program and made their commitment clear, saying: “Okta has a long-term responsibility to maximize benefits to our society, the environment, and all of our stakeholders, including our employees, customers, and communities.”

As Okta’s first Director of ESG and Sustainability, one of my first steps was to take the insights from our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and then develop and implement our strategy around renewable energy. Here’s where we are now and where we’re going.

Our commitment to 100% renewable electricity for our global offices

Okta has announced our commitment to achieve 100% renewable electricity for our global real estate footprint/offices by 2022.

To accomplish this step on our climate journey, we have completed the following milestones:

  • Inventoried our GHG emissions, with a third-party partner, to understand our impacts and to prioritize our actions.
  • Implemented energy efficiency and reduction efforts at each of our offices.
  • Purchased renewable energy certificates (RECs) equivalent to our energy consumption in North America with a focus on both environmental and social benefits.
  • Invested in five new single-family home solar installations via our climate justice partner, GRID Alternatives.

Four principles to guide our climate strategy

Although we’re only at the beginning of our climate journey, we knew it was essential to our long-term success to identify principles to guide our work moving forward:

  1. Focus on impact, starting with where we have direct influence. We’re beginning our journey in the place we can take immediate action—our offices. Our first aim is to reduce our overall energy consumption. And then, for the energy we still consume, we plan to transition from GHG emitting fossil fuels to renewable energy—like solar and wind. We will start this by purchasing RECs to match every megawatt-hour of energy that we consume at our offices.
  2. Balance a phased approach with an urgency to act. We’re crafting a plan with tangible milestones. This includes the expansion of our renewable electricity commitment, and interim emissions reduction goals. Achieving 100% renewable electricity for our offices is an important first step. And we’re committed to developing a holistic climate strategy, including emissions reductions from employee dynamic/remote work and our value chain, such as cloud services, and business travel.
  3. Work collaboratively with our internal and external partners. We can’t do this important work alone. We are partnering with a broad set of stakeholders such as Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) and Business Council on Climate Change (BC3). Within Okta, we have subject-matter experts and employees who are passionate about sustainability and will harness their passion and enthusiasm within our growing team.
  4. Take a holistic approach to
    • Maximize environmental and social impact: Okta purchased RECs from the California Bright Schools solar program, which supports renewable energy education and the installation of solar energy in schools across the state.
    • Apply an equity and climate justice lens: As we develop Okta’s climate strategy, we aim to listen to and amplify the voices of underserved communities and ensure we understand how our actions impact them.

What’s next?

To continue on our climate journey, our next phase of work includes:

  • Expansion of our GHG inventory to capture employee remote work energy consumption, given the COVID-19 pandemic and our implementation of Dynamic Work.
  • Exploration of how to reduce our GHG emissions from cloud infrastructure providers that host our digital products and services, and from our business travel and events, once in-person operations resume.

Ultimately, our plan is to develop a climate strategy that drives science-based reductions in our emissions footprint. We strive to support the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

I’m so honored and excited to be one part of the many teams at Okta working cross-functionally to reduce our emissions. I also appreciate the equity and climate justice lens through which this issue is seen by our leadership team, as we integrate our renewable energy investments and climate strategies.

Learn more about what we’re doing and how to get involved on our Social and Environmental Responsibility at Okta page.