Software can appear to be immaterial, yet engineers, servers, and the buildings that host them are very real. As a technology company, we are conscious of the fact that our work and our products have an environmental impact.
Whether it's travelling to see customers, running a data centre, or just making Ubuntu energy efficient for all our users, we want to make thoughtful choices that consider our impact.
Climate change caused by carbon emissions poses a global threat to all humans. We're hitting a number of planetarity limits at the very moment where we need to transform our societies the most. Optimising how we operate as a business and delivering products designed with sustainability in mind should be part of that transformation.
Making it part of our mission
We take our responsibility seriously. We have an obligation to address climate change, and we aim to develop our company in a way that:
- mitigates the effects we have right now.
- strives to lower the footprint of other organisations using our products.
- stands as a model of environmental responsibility for other organisations.
How we've made
We have raised internal awareness regularly through plenaries with expert speakers. We built an internal Team Member Resource Group where we regularly discuss team initiatives and where employees help one another around sustainability topics.
In 2022, we concluded our first carbon footprint assessment with a brilliant consulting firm, Carbone 4. We looked at carbon emissions from our globally distributed workplace, including our core business and operations. We factored in the use of our products all over the world. We presented the study's findings to employees and this led to new ambitions to transform our company.
We created a position in engineering to drive the technical plans around energy efficiency across all of our products from the kernel to Ubuntu Desktop, devices and data centres, liaising with our strategic partners.
Key pillars we build on
Reduce my carbon
reduce their emissions
Carbon sinks development
Remove and store
carbon with carbon sinks
Net zero initiative
Pillars shared during internal knowledge session
hosted by Loic Minier and Carbon 4.
Facilitating train travel
Shifting from air travel to rail is a great way to lower emissions during our in-person sprints. We're compiling practical information to facilitate rail travel, and we are aiming to integrate rail as a prime option in our travel policies.
We organise sessions to share expertise around exciting topics such as energy measurements for our devices, solar panels for our home offices or how to pick a place for our next sprint with the lowest travel carbon footprint.
Business as usual is no longer an option. Even if offsetting alone is not sufficient, it is still a valuable tool in the box. We are investing in projects to capture carbon where we can, and we're currently researching serious options for long-lasting carbon storage.