As GitLab's reach in the global developer community grows, so does our impact on the environment. While we intentionally operate within our values as part of our operations, we have not yet understood how to apply our values to our business's impact on the environment. This handbook page will document our growing body of work in aligning our sustainability initiatives with our values.
GitLab's mission is to create a world where everyone can contribute. When everyone can contribute, consumers become contributors, and we greatly
increase the rate of human progress.
How and if we can increase the rate of human progress is limited by humans' ability to focus on contributing. Today, we see a reduction in contributions when someone is located where extreme weather events like floods or wildfires occur. Tomorrow, we may see a drop in contributions due to dramatic shifts in weather patterns.
The wider community's total contributions are at risk of permanent reduction when large groups of people are required to migrate due to climate change. This is already beginning to happen today.
If we don't hold ourselves accountable for sustainability, GitLab will continue to attack our mission, reducing the possibility of long-term success.
We'll need to recognize some truths that outline where we are today for our values to drive us to the proper emissions reduction solutions.
What's out of sight is usually out of mind. So we must recognize the truth: The emissions of the internet (gadgets, systems required to operate, and the internet itself) accounts for approximately 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions - similar in size and scope to the emissions produced by the airline industry. source: BBC
Any unintended negative side effect of GitLab's business operations is GitLab's responsibility to take action on and to correct.
By beginning work on internal sustainability initiatives, we're focusing our efforts on holding ourselves accountable rather than waiting until required through cultural or regulatory means.
We hope to advocate for this position in our strategies and the global sustainability movement's greater context.
Either by cultural or governing body regulations, most businesses won't operate without a sustainable business strategy and public reporting on their efforts. We choose to organize our strategy before these regulations take effect and hope to advocate for these kinds of policies in the global sustainability movement's greater context.
We still have a lot to learn. But what we know today helps us to define how we'll move our sustainability initiatives forward.
GitLab has eliminated a significant amount of emissions by not having a daily commute to work. However, we've also complicated our ability to account for the different types of electricity use. In a co-located office in a traditional company, there is one electric bill. But in an all-remote company in over 60 countries, emissions generated from team member electricity use get more challenging to reduce or eliminate as the team grows.
Emissions caused by team member electricity use for GitLab's business operations are the responsibility of GitLab to reduce now and eliminate soon.
While most sustainability initiatives focus on things we can do to help the planet, the outcomes are intended on helping people. To take the lives and wellbeing of our team members, customers, and the community seriously, we need to act as a fiduciary for the planet.
Depending on how you look at the world's companies and their commitments to sustainability, GitLab may seem behind on the times. Many of our partners and competitors have already made public commitments to operating more sustainably. But this is also an excellent gauge to research the commitment levels across the industry and make sure that GitLab's commitments don't just sound nice but ladder to actual targets.
While diversity is a critical GitLab value, we must understand that we are not adequately supporting our team members, customers, community, or the planet without intentionally working equity into our sustainability initiatives.
We don't know what our philosophy on sustainability will be yet. We don't have more information to share on what commitments we'll soon make. But we do know that we'll need to focus on reducing our emissions now to begin to eliminate those emissions soon.
While not organized under a sustainability banner, the following projects have been driven by or considered sustainability.