We care about sustainability as we view it is a part of doing responsible business. GitLab began to quantify global emissions in 2021. We have made proactive purchases of carbon offsets in advance of more thorough analysis as we believe in iteration and don't want to wait for perfection before starting to take corrective measures to reduce our carbon footprint.
Think of it in terms of three categories of emissions;
Scope 1 — This one covers the Green House Gas (GHG) emissions that a company makes directly — for example while running its boilers and vehicles. Scope 2 — These are the emissions it makes indirectly – like when the electricity or energy it buys for heating and cooling buildings, is being produced on its behalf. Scope 3 — Now here’s where it gets tricky. In this category go all the emissions associated, not with the company itself, but that the organisation is indirectly responsible for, up and down its value chain. For example, from buying products from its suppliers, and from its products when customers use them. Emissions-wise, Scope 3 is nearly always the big one.
While reducing GitLab's emissions is one lever for managing our carbon footprint, another could be purchasing offsets to address emissions. There are a few different types of purchases that we could choose to make to address each ton of emissions:
|Option||Description||Relative Efficacy||Estimated cost for ton of CO2|
|Carbon Offsets||when one metric ton of CO2 is emitted, 1 metric ton of CO2 is avoided elsewhere, which can still lead to a positive increase in emission overall||Medium||Lowest ($3+ dependent on project)|
|Carbon Removal||when one metric ton of CO2 is emitted, one metric ton is removed completely from the atmosphere||High||Medium|
|Social Offset||the total cost to society from the release of a ton of CO2 emissions||Highest||Highest ($125)|
In 2021, GitLab purchased carbon offsets. We may choose to focus on carbon removal or social offsets in future iterations.
We don't have an exact estimate of our carbon footprint. We did try to estimate CO2 emissions and invest in offsets. For CY2021, we did a rough estimate across four key emissions contribution areas.
Data Centers We estimate 0 tons of CO2 to offset in 2021 as our main cloud providing service is carbon neutral. We may choose to shift to renewable energy driven servers from our main cloud providing service in future iterations if it can be determined that this would not be a security issue or cause interruption to our services.
This is our CY2021 estimate based on the above information | Emissions Category | Team Members in Group | Tons CO2 Emissions per Member | Total CO2 Emissions | | —— | —— |—— | —— | | Data Centers | NA |NA | 0 | | Travel: Contribute | 0 |0 | 0 | | Travel: Work Travel | 300 | 5 | 1500 | | Work from Home | 1350 |0.834 | 1126 | | Total | | | 2,626 |
We can use our assumptions to calculate estimated emission for 2021 assuming no pandemic. This can be a useful baseline calculation for thinking through what emissions may look like in historical and future years.
| Emissions Category | Team Members in Group | Tons CO2 Emissions per Member | Total CO2 Emissions | | —— | —— |—— | —— | | Data Centers | NA |NA | 0 | | Travel: Contribute | 1000 | 1.5 | 1500 | | Travel: Work Travel | 300* | 15 | 4500 | | Work from Home | 1350 |0.834 | 1126 | | Total | | | 7126 | *A rough estimate
In 2020, GitLab offset 1,379 tonnes of CO2 emissions via carbon credits for Contribute travel for an estimate of 1,000 employees who would travel for the event. The Contribute event was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the second quarter of calendar year 2021, GitLab offset 19,182 tonnes of CO2 emissions via carbon credits. In total, GitLab has offset 20,507 tonnes of CO2 emissions via carbon credits.
|Name||Region||Focus||Quantity Purchased (metric tonnes)|
|Brazil Nut Concessions||Peru||REDD+ Avoided Unplanned Deforestation||7,900 tonnes|
|Bajo Calima y Bahía Málaga||Colombia||REDD+ Avoided Unplanned Deforestation||1,925 tonnes|
|Nicaforest||Nicaragua||Afforestation, Reforestation, and Revegetation||2,000 tonnes|
|Hudson Farm||New Jersey, USA||Improved Forest Management||3,000 tonnes|
|Kootznoowoo||Alaska, USA||Improved Forest Management||4,357 tonnes|
GitLab's historical team member numbers are limited access, but we have internally estimated emissions and cost since GitLab's incorporation in 2014. Our 2021 emission estimates for a non-pandemic year serve as a baseline that we can scale by the average number of employees in a given year.
We'll continue to increase our sophistication of calculation and explore opportunities for future investment.
Our calculations are rough estimates and there is more that we can do to refine our calcuation in future iterations. For example: