By: Sri Shivananda, Chief Technology Officer, PayPal
We all must do our part when it comes to protecting the health of our planet, and this includes the need for corporations to take meaningful action. At PayPal, we understand that achieving climate stability is vital to fulfilling our mission to drive financial health and inclusion for all global citizens. Environmental sustainability is critical when it comes to managing our impact, mobilizing our workforce, and driving innovation on our platform.
As I’ve previously shared, PayPal is committed to addressing our emissions and has recently signed on with thousands of other leading organizations in the America Is All In movement to continue supporting climate action to meet the Paris Climate Agreement. In 2019, we pledged to set greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. Last year we joined the Business Ambition for 1.5C to align our targets with the imperative of ensuring that global temperature rise does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. Today, we are making good on that commitment and are pledging to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.
Our reduction targets will address emissions from our operations and value chain. Specifically, our medium-term goals are:
- 100% renewable energy sources to power our data centers by 2023
- 25% reduction of operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, from a 2019 base year
- 75% of our suppliers by spend to adopt science-based targets by 2025
We are focused on mobilizing resources to reduce and abate our greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible, and we are already making tangible progress towards these targets. I’m proud to share that in 2020 we matched 98% of the energy in our data centers with renewable generation – up from 65% in 2019. And as part of our strategy to reduce emissions across our value chain, we’ve launched a vendor ESG (environmental, social and governance) engagement initiative and have recently joined CDP Supply Chain to mobilize our vendor climate efforts.
Our greenhouse gas compensation strategy is focused on financing projects in geographies where PayPal has a significant operational presence, supporting vulnerable communities, and aligning with our mission and values. To address the unavoidable climate pollution from our operations in 2019 and 2020, we invested in building fuel-efficient cookstoves for families in Mexico and protecting diverse forests in British Columbia and Brazil’s Southwestern Amazon Rainforest. Another project is with the Historic Evergreen and East End Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, which was founded by leaders of the local Black community in the 1890s. Since the late 1990s, there have been efforts to restore these significant cemeteries. With the permanent stewardship now under the Enrichmond Foundation, the reclamation work is growing to include conservation easements to protect them as public lands in perpetuity, preserve the natural environment, and provide a space for community activities.
There are many exciting opportunities ahead of us when it comes to climate innovation. We are beginning to research the intersections of digital financial inclusion and climate resilience to identify fintech solutions that will help us build a climate-neutral and more equitable global economy. I look forward to sharing more as we continue this journey for climate justice.