Accelerating Bold Climate Efforts With Science-Based Targets

We’re proud to be a part of a community of leading companies working with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to set and commit to science-based emissions reduction targets that are consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To do our part to help mitigate climate change, last year we made a commitment to set science-based emissions reduction targets (SBTs) across our entire value chain, and we joined Science Based Targets initiative’s Business Ambition for 1.5C.

Today, we’re proud to announce we’ve developed our specific SBTs that have recently been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The SBTi, a collaboration between CDP, United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, and World Wide Fund, promotes best practices in science-based emission reduction target setting and assesses companies’ targets. The initiative supports climate action and helps companies recruit and retain talent who align with company values; top talent wants to work for companies that operate sustainably and customers want to be associated with companies that are doing right by their communities.

Our targets that are aligned with 1.5°C across all three scopes of emissions— the most ambitious designation available through the SBTi process—include:

  • Workday commits to continue annually sourcing 100% renewable electricity through our fiscal year 2030. 
  • Workday commits to reduce absolute scope 3 business travel greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by fiscal 2026 (using fiscal 2020 as our base year).
  • Workday commits that 70% of our suppliers, by spend covering purchased goods and services and capital goods, will have science-based targets by our fiscal year 2026.

As a member of the SBTi community of more than 2,500 businesses and financial institutions working to reduce emissions in line with climate science, I'd like to provide more detail on the specific projects and policies we're implementing to make these science-based targets a reality.

Continue to Annually Source 100% Renewable Electricity Through 2030

As part of an innovative, clean energy deal, in 2018 we partnered with Bloomberg, Cox Enterprises, Gap Inc., and Salesforce to sign the first-ever small-buyer aggregate renewable energy project. This effort helped create a blueprint for smaller energy buyers to engage in similar aggregation projects to achieve the large-scale impact that traditionally only the largest corporate buyers could achieve. This project received the 2019 Green Power Market Development Award from Center for Resource Solutions and the 2020 Innovation Award from Smart Energy Decisions. 

In addition, since 2019 we’ve matched 100% of the electricity we use at our offices and data centers globally with clean, renewable sources, which we’re committed to continuing. This means we source renewable electricity from renewable energy sources equivalent to what we use globally on an annual basis, in alignment with RE100 criteria. 

Toward deepening our commitment to renewable energy, we have a new virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) in the works. Beyond providing clean energy, this project will support environmental and social impacts. This “beyond the megawatt” focus will maximize environmental and social outcomes by contributing to carbon-free energy systems that are resilient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable.

We also plan to install new solar panels and industrial-sized megapack batteries at our Pleasanton, California headquarters. This project will enable 1.2 megawatts of solar energy and 1.5 megawatts of battery storage. This effort will offset 25% of electricity usage of one of our buildings on our campus and will offset greater than 40% of electricity usage of another building on our campus by the end of 2023. This is in addition to the 865 kilowatt solar array that already provides up to one-third of our 6110 headquarters building’s daily electricity needs.

Reduce Absolute Scope 3 Business Travel Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 25% by 2026

To help address our science-based targets for business travel emissions from aviation, we’re entering into a five-year advance purchase of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) via the SkyNRG Board Now program. Board Now is an innovative program with a network of leading companies as members. We’re entering as a Board Now program “Leader”—the highest membership level. We’ve committed to a five-year purchase plan (2025-2029). By investing, we’ll support the development of the first European SAF production facility, located in the Netherlands, which will produce 100,000 tons of SAF annually. 

As the only corporate SAF program that enables new production capacity, Board Now helps companies reduce business travel emissions and accelerate the energy transition in aviation. Functioning as a substitute for fossil jet fuels, SAF is produced from sustainable resources instead of being refined from petroleum. SAF reduces life cycle CO2 emissions compared to fossil kerosene and is a drop-in fuel that can be blended with fossil jet fuel, which requires no additional infrastructure. 

We have also joined the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA), a buyer-led collaboration spearheaded by RMI and the Environmental Defense Fund focused on accelerating the path to decarbonizing aviation and driving investment in and adoption of SAF.

SABA will directly drive high-quality investments in SAF, standing up a rigorous and transparent system of SAF certification, educating members on policy opportunities to advance SAF adoption in the market, and addressing barriers to scaling SAF.

Our strategy doesn’t solely rely on SAF purchasing. We’ll also focus on reducing our business travel emissions and prioritizing carbon-efficient travel options for our employees. For example, we encourage employees to travel by train, metro, and bus rather than driving by car or flying. We recognize that the most effective way to reduce our air travel footprint is to fly less. We’ll continue to use video conferencing and digital tools to minimize unnecessary business travel for our employees. 

Commit 70% of Our Suppliers by Spend Will Have Science-Based Targets by 2026

We’ll aim to achieve this goal through supply chain management, and will engage with our top suppliers and encourage them to set science-based climate targets.

At Workday, we use Workday Strategic Sourcing to manage supplier engagements. This collaborative, cloud-based solution provides enterprise-wide visibility into sourcing projects that are driving science-based transformation targets, enabling us to manage, prioritize, and track all sourcing projects in one place. In addition, with Workday Strategic Sourcing, we can create a transparent and competitive environment that gives our suppliers visibility into how they compare with other bidders in terms of carbon footprint. 

Building on these existing capabilities, we also continue to innovate to help our customers evolve their sustainability efforts and track progress towards goals. We recently announced the Workday supplier sustainability solution, which works in tandem with our existing solutions that support sustainable sourcing and tracking scope 3 emissions. 

To continue to make an impact across the industry, as we’ve shared previously, our reduction targets include operations across our entire value chain. This is a continuation of our supplier engagement work with our data center providers and our collaboration with the Clean Energy Buyers Association Future of Internet Power initiative to source renewable electricity and reduce emissions across the data center industry.

Looking to the Future

According to leading climate-change scientists and in alignment with the Paris Agreement, the next decade will be critical to reduce carbon emissions and limit the worst climate change impacts. Our sustainability journey at Workday aligns with transitioning to a zero-carbon future. We’ve achieved net-zero emissions (across offices, data centers, and business travel), have reached our 100% renewable electricity goal, and have provided our entire customer community with a carbon-neutral cloud. 

In addition, we’ll continue to work with suppliers to set their own science-based targets. As we share in our Workday Position on Climate Policy, we’re committed to creating a better future for employees, customers, and the larger global community and playing an active and collaborative role in addressing climate change. Our commitment will not waver. We’re excited to continue expanding our commitments, building collaborations with other stakeholders, and pushing policy conversations forward globally to address climate change.

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