This Earth Day and Every Day, Taking Action on Climate Change is Our Collective Responsibility
What role do corporations have in protecting our planet?
A lot, according to investors, the SEC1, various governments, the UN, and many corporations themselves. The good news is that amazing solutions exist and many corporations are already stepping up. But time is of the essence. It’s critical to speed up the progress and work together to protect humanity’s well-being and restore the health of our planet. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)2 report released in February 2022 issued a dire warning that time is running out for more concerted climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the most catastrophic climate risks — a future in which floods, famine, fires, and other extreme events displace millions. The goal is still to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). And we can still reach that goal, but companies, including Coupa, will need to employ a number of different approaches.
Data and technology are key to any approach to meeting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals, such as those around renewable energy and lowering emissions. As companies assess material environmental impacts based on our business models, we must set goals and demonstrate transparency on progress, leverage partnerships and support local communities, and engage employees. All of this requires collective action across a company’s stakeholders.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is something Coupa takes seriously, especially as our company grows and our offices open back up and travel resumes post pandemic. We're still learning and have progress to make, but we know that part of delivering value as a service involves delivering data-driven insights and taking action toward climate goals. This Earth Month, we pause and briefly reflect on some of our own journey to help our customers and Coupa address climate change in both small and big ways.
Our Commitment to Supporting Climate Initiatives
Sustainable Business Spend Management Solutions: We continue to innovate to support our Coupa Community of customers achieve their ESG goals as this is where we can have exponential impact on global supply chains.
- Scope 3 Emissions Tracking: At our Inspire Conference in Las Vegas, Coupa shared product innovation updates3, including helping customers estimate their indirect emissions from their supply chain, using spend data from business conducted with their suppliers..
- Supply Chain Modeling: With our supply chain design and planning solutions, we help companies, such as Saint-Gobain, use cost and emissions data to optimize their supply chain transportation networks and support climate initiatives.
Goals and Reporting: We’ve focused on measuring and reporting on our baseline and taking some initial action as a stepping stone for more ambitious approaches.
- ESG Report: We disclosed our Scope 1, 2, and Scope 3 Business Travel emissions in our inaugural 2021 ESG report and will continue to do so in our report this summer. Measuring and being transparent on our emissions data is key to informing our next phase of our climate strategy.
- Carbon Neutrality: Last year we communicated our initial goal to achieve carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy for our operations. For our 2020 and 2021 carbon impact, we purchased high quality carbon offsets and renewable energy credits (RECs) to make progress. While these are initial steps on our journey, we recently launched a partnership with Watershed to help us develop and implement an enhanced strategy - one that takes us towards a path of setting reduction targets and net zero emissions goals - and better making data-informed decisions to engage internally and with our suppliers.
Partnerships & Community: We’ve partnered with nonprofits and provided financial support for climate initiatives that each play an important part in protecting our planet and supporting local communities.
- Deforestation/Tree Planting: We supported The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees initiative, which helps slow the effects of climate change. And our employees have had the opportunity to vote where the trees are planted!
- Climate Justice: We are kicking off a project with Earthwatch Institute this month called “Operation Healthy Air”. We’ll analyze air quality data from low-cost sensors that we’ll deploy in the Bay Area, to inform how to address the impacts of air pollution, which disproportionately affects vulnerable minority populations.
Employee Engagement: We encourage our employees to donate their time, skills, and money to make an impact in our workplace and in the communities in which they live.
- Coupa Green: Launched in Earth Month 2021, this employee resource group comprises employees who are passionate about having a positive impact on the environment both in the workplace and at home through three pillars: educate, activate, and influence. Over the past year, the group has focused on engaging employees during Earth Month, partnering with IT on an e-waste initiative, organizing volunteering events such as park clean ups and local tree planting.
- Giving: Through Coupa Cares, Coupa matches employee donations up to $500 USD (or local equivalent) a year per employee to support nonprofits of their choice. At our first Giving Tuesday in November 2021 and for Earth Month this year, we’ve highlighted key environmental nonprofits for employees to consider supporting.
At Coupa, we say that “none of us is as smart as all of us” - and that also applies to achieving climate goals. Looking ahead in 2022, we strive to take bigger action, make more meaningful impact, continue to invest in resources, and engage customers, partners, suppliers, employees, and nonprofits - so that collectively we are smarter together, sustainable together to tackle climate change.
Stay tuned for our 2022 ESG report, which we’ll release this summer, for further updates on our progress.
2 Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, IPCC, 2022.
3 Coupa Inspire - price benchmarking for ocean freight, Scope 3 emissions reporting, Phil Wainewright, Diginomica, 5 Apr 2022.