As of June 30, 2021 Dimagi is officially Climate Neutral Certified!
Climate Neutral Certified brands take responsibility for decreasing their greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change through active measurement and offsets.
As a growing global organization with a mission to create sustainable impact through the use of appropriate technology, Dimagi is ever conscious of both the social and environmental impact of our programs and operations across the globe—a key motivating factor in our decision to join the growing list of Climate Neutral Certified brands.
Climate Neutral is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to decrease global carbon emissions by enlisting brands to measure, offset, and reduce the carbon they emit. As an organization, Climate Neutral works to make carbon footprinting more accessible, set clear guidelines for carbon offsetting, and inspire the reduction of carbon emissions.
To become Climate Neutral Certified, three key actions are required. First, an organization must measure its carbon footprint for the year in question. Second, carbon offsets must be purchased that are equivalent to the emissions generated by the company during that year. And third, each organization must develop a reduction plan. Climate Neutral certification is dependent on the completion of each of these steps.
In becoming Climate Neutral certified, Dimagi is joining other sustainability leaders taking responsibility for their emissions such as REI, Klean Kanteen, and Kickstarter.
Step #1: Measurement
From March to May 2021, Dimagi’s Climate Neutral Working Group aggregated company-wide data using the Climate Neutral process and templates to determine Dimagi’s overall emissions for 2020. This process included:
Collecting information such as energy bills and purchase orders from all offices
Conducting a survey to understand staff commuting patterns
Aggregating company travel
Tracking all packages shipped during 2020 (such as computers or IT equipment)
Using Climate Neutral’s template Aggregation Workbook and their Brand Emissions Estimator software, Dimagi estimated our 2020 global footprint to be 649.56 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (C02e). In more relatable terms, Dimagi’s total carbon emissions are equivalent to driving over 1.6 million miles in a passenger vehicle. When broken down by scope, our carbon footprint includes 14.36 tonnes of C02e for Scope 1 emissions, 24.21 tonnes of C02e for Scope 2 emissions, and 610.99 tonnes of C02e for Scope 3 emissions.
Step #2: Offsets
To offset these emissions, Dimagi purchased carbon offsets from two vendors, Pachama and Cool Effect, both Climate Neutral-approved (vetted) providers. Given our global nature, we chose to invest in projects that span North America, South America, Africa, and Asia, and focus on regeneration, investing in projects centered around Forest and Land Conservation, Reforestation and Marine Conservation.
We have divided our offset purchases equally among seven projects:
Beyond purchasing carbon credits to offset Dimagi’s current emissions, Climate Neutral requires each organization to develop an action plan focused on decreasing the amount of carbon emitted in the future. Our plan focuses on two key areas:
The first is reducing emissions from business travel. Business travel made up 12% of our carbon footprint in 2020, a year where we traveled only a small percentage of what is considered “normal” for Dimagi. In keeping the same travel patterns as prior to the pandemic, we see our carbon emissions in this area increasing immensely. Our reduction plan looks to challenge our current organizational culture around business travel to consider both the modes of transportation and necessities of travel given our recent remote year.
The second area we plan to address is the carbon emitted from the data centers that house Dimagi’s servers. Dimagi’s servers are currently held in a data center that does not use renewable energy to power its facilities. As such, almost 50% of our carbon footprint is made up of emissions from this location. While Dimagi does not have jurisdiction over the data center energy resources, we can look to see if there are other options available for storing our data. Therefore, as a part of our reduction plan, we will be performing an in-depth analysis of Dimagi’s current energy usage from green cloud initiatives and make a plan for reducing data-center related emissions moving forward.
Both of these reduction goals are large changes in Dimagi’s culture and operations. To ensure we are evaluating the full range of options for how best to implement them, our timeline to reach these goals is by the end of 2022. This timeframe will also allow us to determine a better idea of our overall carbon footprint without the restrictions attached to 2020 and confirm our reduction plan is aligned with our mission and impact.
The most important step in creating impact is first understanding where you currently stand. In going through the Climate Neutral process we were able to gain clarity on the amount of carbon we are emitting as an organization in order to make effective decisions on how to offset and reduce.
Reach out to us to learn more about our Climate Neutral journey or if you’re interested in becoming Climate Neutral Certified.