Exasol is a global technology company, offering customers a high-performance analytics database that is built to run faster than any other database, delivering next-level performance, scale and ease of use.
As part of its journey towards becoming a carbon neutral company, Exasol partnered up with Planetly to analyse and offset its corporate carbon footprint for 2019 and 2020. But this is just the first step. The team is now working on reduction strategies to continuously reduce this footprint in the future.
Exasol is in business to accelerate insights from the world’s data and be the analytics platform trusted by the world’s most ambitious organisations.
Alongside partnering with Planetly to monitor its carbon footprint, a team of employees at Exasol, passionate about environmental causes, formed the green team to act as a task force driving change across the business. Each of the team members has a particular area of focus that they are responsible for including, business travel, office supplies and IT, training and local activities. The group is 16 strong, including environmental officer Thomas Otto, CTO Mathias Golombek who is operating as Green Team Ambassador and CCO Deborah Thomas, another strong advocate of the team and its work.
For Exasol's carbon footprint, we looked at direct and energy-related emissions (Scope 1 and 2) as well as emissions generated in the value chain by service providers and purchased products and services (Scope 3).
As with many companies in the software and IT industry, a large share of the footprint comes from scope 3 emissions that occur outside the organisation, for example via external service providers.
All of Exasol’s emissions combined result in a carbon footprint of 1,319.7 t CO2e for 2020.
The majority of Exasol's emissions are caused by business travel, employee commuting, home office and the vehicle fleet. The second largest share of the carbon footprint is caused by external services that Exasol uses. These include, for example, consulting services in marketing and IT as well as legal advice. Another emission driver are those from office operations, such as heating and electricity consumption, as well as office materials and equipment.
Now that carbon emissions for 2019 and 2020 have been offset, what else has been achieved?
The green team led the development of Exasol’s Environmental Policy, which outlines the company’s commitment and what it is doing to improve its carbon footprint.
Having achieved carbon neutrality for 2019 and 2020 with Planetly, Exasol has also committed to continuing the relationship in order to constantly track and improve its impact on the environment.
Exasol will be completing the development of a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS) to track the impact of processes and detail things that can change to make the company more sustainable.
The green team will also continue to grow and launch policies and initiatives across the business. All of the team’s work will be focused on encouraging long-term behavioural change and making a positive contribution to protecting our planet.
Exasol supports three REDD+ projects in Indonesia, Peru and Cambodia by offsetting the carbon footprint for 2019 and 2020. What does REDD+ mean? REDD+ stands for "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation" - these United Nations projects pursue long-term strategies to address the causes of deforestation and forest degradation.
Exasol's green team felt that the REDD+ projects would have the most direct impact on reducing carbon. That was the most important factor in choosing which projects to support, but it's vital that this is not a standalone action. Alongside this commitment the team at Exasol is working on policies and initiatives to change behaviour across the company in the long-term in order to sustainably reduce its carbon footprint.
The aim of the projects is to protect some of the last unfragmented rainforests and to preserve biodiversity in the project regions. At the same time, the projects initiate training on sustainable agricultural methods and create jobs for the local communities.
All projects are certified according to the highest standards, including the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS).