Stories

20 Apr 2022
Investing in Our Planet and Taking Equitable Climate Action

At PayPal, we understand that economic prosperity and climate action are inextricably linked. The destabilizing effects of climate change, including increasingly frequent and severe storms, droughts, and heatwaves are disproportionately endured by people who are financially underserved. This means we have a duty to responsibly manage our impact and advance global environmental progress for all.

This Earth Day, we are sharing how PayPal continues to invest in the future of possibility as environmental sustainability and climate action are critical to PayPal’s mission of enabling all people to participate fully in the global economy.

Achieving Renewable Energy Across Our Data Centres

Last year, we set Science-Based Targets for our greenhouse gas emissions including a goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2040, and we’re already making significant progress.

PayPal’s data centre operations team led an initiative to utilize clean energy to power each of our data centre around the world. Starting back in 2015, they worked with Arizona Public Service to build the Red Rock solar photovoltaic generation facility. “It was a big event when that site went live. It felt awesome to be a part of the celebration, and to know we entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with the support of senior leadership” said Rich Reyher, Sr. Director, Data Centre Services at PayPal.

Our commitment to purchasing renewable energy from this facility has resulted in net-new and additional renewable energy generation, and now we’re proud to have reached our goal of matching 100% of the energy in our data centres with renewable generation – two years ahead of our 2023 timeline.

Catalysing Innovation for Climate Resilience

PayPal is a proud supporter of the Catalyst Fund – a global inclusive tech accelerator that helps innovative startups build and launch fintech products that enable greater resilience for climate-vulnerable communities such as farmers, fishers, and urban poor in Latin America, Africa, and India. One of these promising companies is ColdHubs based out of Nigeria.

In developing countries, a large portion of food spoils due to lack of cold storage. Small farmers end up losing yields that could go towards their income. ColdHubs addresses the problem with solar powered walk-in cold rooms that are installed in major food production and consumption centres for farmers to use. This extends the freshness of fruits, vegetables, and other perishable food resulting in less food waste, increased local income for farmers, and reduced malnutrition.

“Participating in the Catalyst Fund accelerator program has helped us to think through the incredible role digitalization will play in our business,” said Nnaemeka C. Ikegwuonu, CEO of ColdHubs.

Supporting Equitable Climate Impact Projects

Building upon our carbon credit procurement strategy, last year we funded three inclusive climate impact projects that also deliver financial health and social benefits to communities on the front lines of climate change. One of these projects involved providing improved cookstoves in Shanxi, Hubei, and Guizhou provinces of rural China.

Coal makes up the majority of China’s energy consumption and many households cook with coal on inefficient cookstoves that pose environmental and health risks. The project helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing improved stoves that use excess agriculture residues like corncob, a 100% renewable fuel source. “Before getting the new stove, we would throw away our corn cobs. We had no use for them, so we burned them in the fields to get rid of them. Now we save our corn cobs and use it for fuel with our Jinqilin stove,” said Liu Zhihong, Xiaohu Village, Shanxi Province.

Local organizations and stove manufacturers work together to build awareness in local communities for the improved stoves. Stove entrepreneurs benefit by seeing their business grow and women in the community experience reduced time poverty and greater economic empowerment.

Empowering Employee Climate Impact

Our employees share the same commitment to the planet and are actively engaged in PayPal’s environmental initiatives. For example, PayPal employees in Bangalore, India collaborated with SankalpTaru Foundation to launch PayPal Dharma – an initiative to plant over 5,000 native and fruit-bearing trees in four different states, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and West Bengal.

“We decided to help mitigate our carbon impact across all of our PayPal India offices and provide economic opportunities for rural communities,” said Wisnu Visvanathan, Community Impact Leader, PayPal Bangalore. PayPal Dharma will also plant a tree for each work anniversary of employees based out of India. The initiative will support local farming communities by enabling a sustainable stream of income for the farmers from the fruit and medicinal ingredients that can be harvested from the trees.

How You Can Act

We encourage you to visit PayPal Giving Fund and support some of the featured organizations that are helping to create a greener future. PayPal covers all processing costs, ensuring that 100% of your donation will support the charities.

 
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