We spend our days making the internet a better place and recognize that our planet’s survival is essential to the continued existence of the web. Profit goals often overlap with social and environmental ones, and we believe that businesses that focus on all three are more sustainable. Long-term sustainable growth is good for our business, good for society, and good for the planet.
For the first time in the history of our world human activity threatens more species with extinction than ever before. Human fossil fuel emissions are causing climate change and we are quickly depleting our natural resources. The good news is that it’s within our power to shape our future in a more sustainable way so that future generations can prosper. As a sign of our concern for the planet we have measured our environmental impact and are publishing it here.
Automattic powers WordPress.com, WordPress.com VIP, Jetpack, Simplenote, Cloudup, VaultPress, Akismet, Crowdsignal, Gravatar, Longreads, and Simperium in multiple data centers all over the world. Our carbon emissions come from work-related travel and the data centers that power our servers.
Our data centers have approximately 3,4401 servers with a total annual footprint of 3,480 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). That’s 26 grams of CO2 per user account on WordPress.com per year. This is just over the amount of CO2 required to power a single LED bulb for a single day2.
For two years in a row we have worked with Greenpeace to provide data about our use of renewable energy. Our European data centers draw power from renewable sources for almost one quarter (23%) of all power needs. For total energy usage, renewables make up 14% of the mix. About 63% of our data center energy needs comes from fossil fuels.
Since our company consists of a distributed workforce, the majority of our employees work remotely from home, reducing the need to commute daily to a central workplace, and greenhouse gas emissions as a result. Employees at Automattic are invited to share the distance of their previous commute. On this basis we are able to calculate that we save approximately 17,276 kilometers of travel every work day.
However, we also believe that it’s crucial to meet together in person several times a year, and those flights can have a very large impact. We don’t have exact data yet, but our rough estimate is that each Automattician is generating about 2,500kg of CO2 per year for work related flights.
Waste and Recycling
Our company communicates and distributes information using online messaging tools, which limits our paper waste. We encourage the recycling of all our work computers at the end of their lives rather than sending them to landfill.