At the start of its Experience ’24 Conference, Medallia announced a commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040. This is ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement, which calls all parties to reduce GHG emissions to net zero by 2050 to prevent global warming.
In pledging this, Medallia measured its baseline GHG footprint for the first time in 2023. In its 2023 Global Impact Report, it revealed that its net emissions across scope 1 and scope 2 totalled 2,620 tCO2e, around 7.8% of its net emissions. Scope 3 emissions made up 92.2% of the amount. The scope 3 emissions are made up of emissions from suppliers, business travel, and employee commuting. Scope 3 emissions are possibly the hardest to reduce. Some of them are difficult to influence at all. Medallia has put in place actions to further reduce its emssions in the coming years.
Sensibly, it has also decided to measure its performance against the science-based GHG emissions targets through the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) by the end of 2026. It has joined over 4,000 organisations globally that are targetting net-zero using climate science.
Joe Tyrrell, CEO of Medallia, commented, “Sustainability has long been a priority at Medallia and we’re excited to honour the environmental goals of our customers and partners by reducing our own emissions and, in turn, helping them reduce theirs. This commitment is the first of its kind in the experience industry and highlights our industry-leading commitment to do our part in the fight against climate change.”
After most COP events, organisations and governments are called upon to take action to reduce emissions. Medallia has started several initiatives that should help it achieve its targets.
One of the big contributors to its emissions is the data centres that Medallia uses. It is working with its primary data centre providers to further reduce the carbon footprint. The top three providers are Equinix, Oracle, and Digital Realty, which also have initiatives underway.
One area it can control is the hardware usage. It leverages orchestration technology to shut down servers that are no longer in use. Only turning them on as required to meet peak demand. Servers also have multiple usages, thus reducing the requirements for additional hardware for research projects, for example.
Travel is reduced as much as possible with remote hands used for day-to-day activities within data centres. Using an infrastructure-as-code approach also enables less requirement for physical presence in data centres.
Most recently, Medallia has entered into a virtual power purchase agreement facilitated by Watershed. Medallia, along with several other companies, has ensured that a previously decommissioned wind farm in Texas will be reactivated. It will mean that Texas, which gets 57.2% of its energy from natural gas-fired and coal-fired power plants, may increase the 25% of energy it gets from wind power.
The wind farm will help to avoid 800 pounds of CO2 per MWh of power generation. Cumulatively, Medallia’s five-year commitment will avoid over 6,000 tonnes of CO2e, equivalent to over 15 million car miles driven, and cover 70% of Medallia’s 2023 North American carbon footprint.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
These are good steps for Medallia as it looks to reduce its carbon commitments. It appears to be trying on all fronts to reduce emissions. It is also taking the sensible approach to carbon reduction. As its investment in green power helps the wider country reduce reliance on legacy power sources.
As time passes there will be an even greater scrutiny of how the company generates carbon. It will be interesting to see what further initiatives it undertakes. Medallia is not the only SaaS vendor to make such an announcement but there are many more than have yet to make such commitments.