Our Commitments to ESG at Workday

How a company approaches environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues is more pressing than ever before. Here’s where we’re focused at Workday to help do our part and innovate in the area of ESG.

When Workday was founded in 2005, we set out not only to redefine the enterprise software industry, but to do what’s right as we did it. We built the company on a set of core values, which 17 years later still guide all our decisions and actions. This includes how we innovate for our customers, so they can have the tools they need on their own journeys to drive positive change. This approach—including our core values—embodies what is today commonly known as ESG: environmental, social, and governance

While ESG has long since been top of mind for us, the events of the past two years—including racial and social unrest, a global pandemic, and increased employee activism—have served to make the ESG imperative even more pressing. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, emphasized the importance of organizational resilience. It brought to the forefront the impact we as people are having on our planet and each other. And it accentuated the inequalities in our societies. This resulted in soaring demand for businesses, policymakers, and individuals to work together, with greater accountability, towards nurturing a viable future. And even as I write, the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by the unlawful invasion of Ukraine is further underscoring the need to support our communities, and the need for collective and meaningful action.

At Workday, we understand the part we play in the rapidly evolving ESG agenda.

ESG and Our Employees

A core part of ESG at Workday is our commitment to our growing workforce of more than 15,000 employees. We’re continuously taking actions to deliver a leading employee experience and to support our employees—our number one core value. One of the ways we nurture a best-in-class employee experience is by giving employees the opportunity to share honest feedback each week through our employee voice solution, Workday Peakon Employee Voice. The insights generated have helped us identify what’s working and what’s not, so we can continue to improve and foster a great place to work for all. 

As we continue to grow, it’s important that we also further our commitment to equity in the workforce. And while we know there’s more work to be done, we’re proud of the progress we’ve made, including: 

  • Staying true to our VIBE™ (Value Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity) company commitments, which include increasing Workday’s Black and Latinx employees in the U.S. by 30% by 2023 and doubling their leadership representation by 2023. We’ve achieved and exceeded our target on overall representation (103%), and are 70% of the way to our target on leaders. 

  • Through our Opportunity Onramps® movement, where we seek to impact positive change for job seekers experiencing barriers to thriving-wage careers. This can include untapped talent, candidates skilled through alternative routes, and veterans. We’ve pledged to fill 20% of our early to mid-career roles at Workday with Opportunity Onramps talent by 2023 and, as of today, we’re more than halfway to achieving our goal. Additionally, the Workday Foundation has invested more than $20 million in organizations focused on closing the opportunity gap for workers.

  • Our investment in training, including 25,000 hours of training to help ensure all people leaders can attract, recruit, hire, and advance employees of all backgrounds. In addition, we’re also investing 150,000 hours over the next year into education and career development programs that increase visibility and opportunity for underrepresented talent. 

ESG and the World Around Us

The next piece of our ESG commitments focuses on what we can do for the communities around us and the world at large. As we think about creating opportunities for all and the impact we have on the planet, we remain focused on driving positive change and creating a more just and equitable world through the actions we take and our advocacy efforts.

Here’s how we’re delivering on these efforts: 

  • We’re working with policymakers and stakeholders in the U.S. to advance policies that support a skills-based approach to talent. We support meaningful investments in reskilling, recently leading a call to Congressional leaders joined by more than 100 businesses and organizations urging strong federal investment in skills development in post-COVID recovery efforts. We were also pleased to endorse the Investing in American Workers Act, legislation that would create a tax credit to incentivize employers to invest in training for lower and moderate income workers.

  • We’re proud to have provided all our customers with a carbon-neutral cloud since 2017, and in 2020, to have reached our goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions a year early. We match 100% of the electricity used at our offices and data centers globally with clean, renewable sources, and in 2021 mitigated our historical emissions to achieve a lifetime net-zero carbon footprint.

  • We’ve committed to ambitious science-based emissions reduction targets—across the entire value chain—that are consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C, and which have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

  • We advocate for government policies that aid the transition to a low-carbon economy, an equitable just transition for workers in carbon-intensive industries, and support the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  

ESG and Our Customers

At Workday, we hold ourselves to a high bar when it comes to corporate governance, integrity, ethics, and compliance. This includes how we use our own technology to report on our progress against our ESG commitments, including the data needed as part of our Board’s regular compliance reviews. And with more regulation coming, requiring more rigorous reporting and increased transparency of ESG metrics, we’ll again be aided by our solutions to help us respond.

Which brings us to another vital part of our ESG commitments—in line with our core values of customer service and innovation, we’ve increased our focus on how our technology can help customers to advance their own ESG goals:

  • The Workday system is a central source of data for our customers, including a repository for where internal, third-party, and supplier data can be brought together and analyzed. With our intelligent data core, customers are able to gather information with ease and report with confidence. For example, with Workday as the single source of worker data, customers can measure belonging and diversity outcomes across the employee lifecycle. 

  • Customers can also use Workday to source, evaluate, and manage sustainable suppliers; deliver compliance training; and, with our planning solutions, proactively plan and track ESG goals. 

  • And there’s more to come. We’ll be providing customers with dedicated dashboards and tailored sustainability reporting capabilities leveraging Workday and third-party data. 

But when it comes to ESG, there’s still so much more that can be done to help create a brighter work day and future for all. ESG is the cornerstone of sustainable success, and in line with our core value of integrity, we’re committed to doing everything in our power to take care of people and the world at large, and to support our customers in doing the same.

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