Change starts here: How to build a more sustainable business

Climate change is in the spotlight right now, with the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, underway in Glasgow. As the world gets hotter, we all wait with bated breath to see how global leaders will come together to build a more sustainable, resilient future. 

Even if the COP26 summit ends well and its goals are agreed upon, the task of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and protecting our natural habitats will take time. And, if you’re anything like we are here at Docusign, we get a little impatient when it comes to big issues like this.

Which is why we thought we’d take action now, and encourage all of our lovely customers to do the same. We’re delighted to share this eBook on building sustainability into the modern business landscape, which provides practical tips on reducing waste and emissions with powerful digital workflows.

Not only will you be doing your bit for the planet, but you’ll be boosting your brand’s reputation. Environmentally-conscious consumers are increasingly turning to brands that walk the talk in the sustainability stakes. Employees are being more selective about where they work, based on a company’s sustainability credentials. No wonder a recent Deloitte survey found that nearly 60% of businesses feel increased pressure from stakeholders to develop and disclose plans to address climate risk. 

If you don’t have time right now to read the full eBook, here’s a quick summary of our top tips for setting realistic goals around your overall carbon emissions:

  • Electricity consumption In many workplaces, electricity consumption is one of the biggest contributors to emissions. Consider this – in Hong Kong, its 42,000 buildings use up 90% of the city’s electricity and emit 60% of its greenhouse gases. But innovators are working hard to fix the problem, with smart building management systems that slash electricity usage. If a complete building makeover isn’t possible, switching to renewable sources is a great first step. And it pays off – according to a 2020 survey of RE100 members, 70% of respondents cite cost savings as a driver for switching to 100% renewable electricity.  
  • Business travel Business travel was responsible for 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Yet, as the pandemic has well and truly proven, it’s not necessary. The business world does not grind to a halt when people don’t meet face-to-face. Bear this in mind as the world reopens, and implement policies to limit non-essential travel wherever possible.  
  • Supply chain partnerships Look beyond your own business to those across your supply chain. You should strive to only engage suppliers who share similar sustainability goals as yours. For example, Salesforce includes climate-related clauses in its vendor contracts – every supplier must disclose its carbon emissions and science-based targets, and will attract financial penalties if they don’t comply.     

Here’s how we’re driving impact

As well as addressing electricity consumption, business travel and supply chain partnerships aligned to our own sustainability agenda, Docusign is doing other things to help tackle the very serious issue of climate change.

In 2019, we launched Docusign for Forests. A range of climate-friendly initiatives stem from this – including philanthropic support for forest-focused nonprofits and donations to urban forestry organisations; hands-on and virtual volunteer opportunities for our employees; and embedding a “paper-impact calculator” in our core eSignature product to help customers calculate how much wood, water, waste and carbon savings result from reduced paper usage.

And we’ll continue to embrace new ways to build sustainability into every part of our business. We hope you do, too. 

Need more inspiration? Read our sustainability eBook or head over to the COP26 website to get the latest news on this important global event.

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