Here’s How We’re Playing Our Part to Combat Climate Change
Last year, the United Nations described climate change as the defining crisis of our time. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called it Code Red for Humanity, stating that “we must act decisively now…Inclusive and green economies, prosperity, cleaner air, and better health are possible for all if we respond to this crisis with solidarity and courage.”
Along with many other unprecedented challenges, we’re all experiencing the effects of climate change firsthand. These events are showing us that it’s more critical than ever for companies to, not only do what’s right for their business, but also what’s best for their people, communities, and the environment. At Okta, transparency is one of our core values. It guides the work we do as a company and dictates how we engage with and remain accountable to our stakeholders.
No one is immune to the consequences of climate change. This means we all must play a part in combating it by reducing our collective carbon footprint. No business can thrive unless our communities are thriving as well.
Increasing transparency and action on climate change
Over the past two years, we’ve increased our rigor around sustainability at Okta, committing to and achieving the following:
- 100% renewable electricity to match our global offices and employee WFH electricity consumption.
- An estimated 21% lower per-employee emissions with Okta’s hybrid work framework. This is due to reduced employee commuting and workplace square footage, per person.
- LEED green building and WELL certifications.
- Increased disclosures to demonstrate how we’re staying accountable to our customers, employees, investors, and communities.
An additional way we’ve kept ourselves accountable is through our submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
The CDP is a global disclosure system for companies, cities, states, and regions to measure and manage their environmental impact. It collects data on an organizations’ risks and opportunities, business strategy, emissions data, and more. Essentially, it’s viewed as the "gold standard" for disclosing climate change, enabling us to track progress and continually improve on our strategies and results. Over 13,000 companies participate in the CDP’s climate questionnaire every year.
Okta’s cross-functional ESG Committee completed the CDP survey earlier this year, and for our very first submission, we earned a B-. While we recognize that there’s more work to be done, we’re proud of this initial score and aim to use this as a springboard as we continue to deepen our commitments.
Here are actions that contributed to our score this year:
- Measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our operations (scope 1 & 2) and value chain (scope 3). Our GHG emissions inventory is foundational to our climate strategy. This data enables us to increase our understanding of Okta’s current emissions, track our progress year over year, and identify opportunities to further reduce our carbon footprint.
- Engaging our value chain on climate. 99% of our emissions are from our value chain/vendors. We want to partner with our vendors to reduce their emissions and pole new vendors with climate questions using new vendor processes and forms.
- Reducing our office emissions via energy efficiency We’re doing this by adhering to the LEED green building certification and reducing office square footage, per person.
- Purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs). To match our global electricity consumption from our offices and employee work-from-home consumption, we purchase RECs from renewable energy generators. Within this effort, we strive to purchase RECs that include a social benefit, such as the California Bright Schools Solar Program, for example.
- Ensuring proper oversight of our climate program. We’ve enlisted a cross-functional team of experts, senior leaders, and board members to provide this.
What we’ve learned from participating in the CDP survey
Our participation in the CDP survey was an important step in holding ourselves accountable and remaining transparent in our efforts. These learnings have been invaluable in our journey to become a more sustainable and environmentally conscious business. In essence, we’ve learned that
- Robust oversight is critical to integrating climate into our business operations
Our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts are led by subject-matter experts. Our ESG committee consists of VPs and directors that span across the business, with review by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of our Board of Directors.
- We need to include climate change in our annual risk management processes more explicitly. This means, in cases of natural disasters, going beyond business continuity.
We need to:
- Factor in increasing costs of reducing GHG emissions
- Identify customers who have
- committed to setting Science-based targets (SBTs)
- acquired a vendor management target
- Committed to support of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) and submit to CDP.
- Gauge investor interest in climate, with an inquiry into whether they’ve signed the net-zero asset management initiative, TCFD, and/or CDP.
In November 2021, we submitted our Science-Based Targets (SBTs) for verification. We pledged absolute emissions reductions aligned with the UN Paris Agreement to limit global warming by 1.5°. We are developing resources to support our vendors to set SBTs in collaboration with members of the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3). And finally, we are exploring the possibility of setting an internal carbon price (ICP) so we can create an annual carbon fund to achieve our emissions reduction efforts.
We know that combating climate change is a collective effort that requires constant evaluation, adjustments, and radical transparency— and we’re ready to play our part. We’d also like to congratulate the companies who were recognized on the CDP “A-List” this year and to all those taking critical steps in making our world a better place. You are paving the road ahead for a brighter future.
Interested in learning more? Check out our Social and Environmental Responsibility page.