Community is everything. And if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it's that we’re all connected. Our actions impact others, and it’s our collective responsibility to look out for each other, care for our planet we all call home, and collaborate to bring about positive change.
At Workday, our core values guide us in everything we do. Honoring our core value of integrity, we stay true to our commitment to do our part to support environmental sustainability. In honor of this year’s World Environment Day on June 5, we’re proud to announce our involvement as a founding member of a new alliance called the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions (BASCS), which was founded to increase the scale and impact of business investment in climate solutions, a critical component for meeting the ambition of the Paris Agreement.
Making an Impact
Of all risks ranked by the World Economic Forum’s global risks report in 2021, climate action failure is #2 by likelihood and impact. Yet, according to a 2019 UNEP report, in the last decade there has essentially been no change in global emissions trends.
Recognizing this discrepancy, BASCS is working to raise awareness of climate solutions funding opportunities, surface gaps in knowledge and infrastructure, increase the scale and impact of corporate carbon credit purchases and other climate solutions funding, and to accelerate the private sector’s pivot from climate ambition to climate action.
BASCS has identified four objectives for 2021:
Build an alliance that connects, enables, and grows the global community of practice and forms a corporate center for climate solutions funding.
Learn and act together to accelerate action and improve impact by sharing information and opportunities across communities.
Scale the movement by empowering businesses with guidance, resources, and learning opportunities.
Amplify the voice of corporate funders as a proof point to support public sector action.
We are joined in the BASCS with other companies and organizations committed to environmental sustainability. Many companies in the Workday customer community, including Netflix, Salesforce, and Unilever, are members. The alliance also includes a number of environmental non-profit organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund, United Nations Environment Programme, and World Wildlife Fund, with BSR serving as secretariat.
As a global community, we’re falling short of necessary climate goals. More investment is urgently needed, so it’s essential to engage organizations that are scaling and improving climate solutions funding from businesses. BASCS members work will be grounded in these principles:
Emissions reduction: Reducing emissions in their own organizations in line with a science-based target, and making other high impact climate investments that go even further to curb climate change.
Ambition to action: Using their influence to deepen investments in global emissions reductions and removals by mobilizing their suppliers and customers to also invest in this.
Measurable impacts: Applying sound and verified methodologies to ensure the high social and environmental integrity of investments; emissions reductions must be real, quantifiable, verifiable, and tracked.
Co-benefits: Supporting investments that deliver environmental and social integrity and co-benefits that can be quantified, when possible.
The Road to Achieving a 1.5°C Future
Earlier this year at Workday, we announced our $1 million investment to scale up two mangrove restoration carbon removal projects.
By joining BASCS, we’ll work to scale climate solutions funding and support more projects like this one that will be necessary to achieve our goal of a 1.5°C future.
Why 1.5℃? We’re close to irreversible climate change, which impacts our natural world, economy, and society. That’s why we committed to set science-based emissions reduction targets—across the entire value chain—that are consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5℃, above pre-industrial levels.
At Workday, we’re one of the first large, global companies to reach a lifetime net carbon footprint of zero by mitigating our carbon legacy through the purchase of carbon credits. But since it’s not enough to offset our carbon emissions, we invested in carbon removal. To remove and sequester carbon, we’re investing to scale up two natural climate solution projects focused on mangrove reforestation in Mexico and Kenya.
Why mangroves? Mangroves can sequester up to four times more carbon than terrestrial forests by biomass. These projects are working to become registered with emerging methodologies, such as the new blue carbon methodology under Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).
These blue carbon methods are promising, but underfunded. For example, natural climate solutions currently receive only 3% of total climate investment globally. This is in spite of having the potential to deliver a third of the total emissions reductions needed by 2030 to keep global warming below 2℃.
Reflecting on How Far We’ve Come
Five years ago at Workday, we set the lofty goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions and power our business with 100% renewable electricity by 2021. And in 2020, we reached this goal, one year before our target date. We learned:
Avoiding carbon-intensive activities requires support and buy-in from employees.
Reducing carbon intensity through efficiency requires partnerships across teams.
Creativity is essential when replacing high-carbon energy with low-carbon options.
Investing in high-quality carbon credits helps maximize positive environmental and social impact.
Workday remains committed to a more just and equitable world. We recognize that funding from businesses can be catalytic in scaling investment in the climate solutions necessary to achieve a just and sustainable 1.5°C future. We look forward to working alongside other organizations in the BASCS to further improve the future of our planet.
To learn more and engage with the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions, please visit scalingclimatesolutions.org.