How we became climate neutral

To move forward, we looked at the footprint we left behind

Starting over

The concept of climate change has evolved into a climate emergency, and we believe that the health of our planet is everyone’s responsibility, as businesses or private citizens. So in 2019, we offset all the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted as a result of our operations since Adyen was founded in 2006.

We are thoroughly committed to reducing our GHG emissions in the years to come, and we realize that offsetting is just the start.

What we’ve done so far

Partnering with South Pole, we conducted an organization-wide greenhouse gas audit to give us a clear understanding of the task at hand, using their expert guidance to help define our approach to offsetting.

We’re now proud to say we’re a climate neutral company. All of our material emission sources are covered, ranging from the transactions carried out on our platform, to the flights we take as Adyen employees, and the energy our data centers use.

tCO2e of organic waste prevented in the Vietstar Waste Treatment project

hectares of the Amazon’s native rainforest protected in the Jacundá project

jobs created in the Luz del Norte solar energy project

de energía eólica generada durante el proyecto Mytrah como resultado de nuestra colaboración

Becoming carbon neutral

We achieved our carbon neutral status by compensating for our environmental footprint through carbon credits, which directly fund climate action projects. Our environmental footprint is calculated following the GHG Protocol and complies with South Pole’s Climate Neutral label.

All material emission sources are covered. Scope 1 and 2 emissions are calculated using data from our offices across the world, reflecting how we heat and cool our offices along with the electricity we use. Scope 3 emissions are calculated based on mileage (air travel, ground transportation), data center energy use, hotel stay duration, spend on purchased goods, and outsourced activities. To push boundaries, we decided to extend Scope 3 with the energy use from our products: the transactions our merchants’ shoppers carry out on POS terminals, online and mobile payments.

Ranging from the energy used to charge our computers, to the miles we travel when visiting our merchants or other offices – all material emission sources are covered. Carbon neutrality was achieved by measuring our greenhouse gas footprint and compensating through carbon credits, to then reach net-zero emissions.

Now having these valuable insights, we are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and offsetting those we cannot yet eliminate.

The measure for our greenhouse gas emissions is tonnes of Carbon Dioxide Equivalents (tCO2e) — covering the six greenhouse gases defined in the Kyoto Protocol by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. These six gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perufluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

Scope 1: 223.62 tCO2e

These are emissions from sources owned or controlled by us – such as gases used to heat our offices

Scope 2: 2,341.30 tCO2e

Scope 2 emissions cover indirect emissions, such as purchased electricity for our buildings. To make it tangible: when charging your phone at one of our offices, these emissions tie into scope 2

Scope 3: 6,064.85 tCO2e

These emissions stem from activities that are not directly owned or controlled by Adyen - think of air travel and hotel stay duration

COVID-19 impacting our environmental footprint

During years less challenging than 2020, a significant percentage of our emissions stem from keeping our offices running and traveling to visit our merchants and the team across continents. However, due to the pandemic, we reduced our overall tCO2e as reflected in the numbers above. When gathering these results, we decided to include an estimation of increased CO2 emissions coming from our employees’ homes in 2020 and added that to our Scope 3 emissions. As such, we remain a carbon neutral company by offsetting all emissions from our business operations, including the impact of enhanced energy use in home offices. 

Investing in carbon reduction projects

Through investing in sustainable energy projects, we offset our GHG emissions. Our GHG compensation investments resulted in the prevention of millions of tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. In addition to the positive environmental impact these projects have, we opted for projects touching upon a wide spread of the United Nations’ SDGs – underscoring that we care about all of these. All projects invested in were carefully selected based on the synergies they create between generating renewable energy, reforestation, wildlife protection and advancing socio-economic wellbeing for local communities. This, we believe, fosters true sustainability.

TIST Program
Empowering subsistence farmers in Uganda

Farming for the survival of an individual or family, also known as subsistence farming, is commonplace throughout the majority of rural communities in Uganda. Via education-focused projects, the International Small Group and Tree Planting Program (TIST) aims to break the cycle of deforestation, drought, famine, and poverty by empowering populations reliant on subsistence farming via education-focused projects. These projects empower and train local farmers in their reforestation and agricultural efforts — for example, by educating on how to plant trees for maximum protection from runoff and erosion, and simultaneously conserve water and stabilise soil to increase crop yields. In terms of building sustainable livelihoods, participants in the TIST Program receive stipends from the sale of carbon credits based on the GHG benefits created by their efforts.

Reforestation and wildlife protection on the shores of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

The Kariba project protects forests and wildlife in four national parks around the shores of the Zimbabwean Lake Kariba, conserving what is left of Zimbabwe’s majestic forests after decades of political and economic turbulence. A biodiversity corridor that protects an expansive forest and numerous vulnerable and endangered species is constructed. The project also supports regional sustainable development and promotes the independence of local communities by providing healthcare, clean drinking water and education on project-related activities such as agricultural practice, beekeeping, and borehole maintenance. The project further strives to improve gender equality, with over 40% of partakers in Kariba’s training programs being female.

Offsetting carbon emissions since foundation

In 2019, we compensated for all greenhouse gases emitted in our operations since our foundation in 2006. We did this by purchasing credits from third-party verified emissions reduction projects - also known as “carbon offsets”. These projects focus on reforestation, generating solar energy and the capturing of methane gases from landfills so they don’t enter the atmosphere. This is just the first step. Like the meaning of our name in Surinamese, we’re starting over.

Rainforest conservation and wildlife protection in Jacundá, Brazil

The Jacundá project protects 35,000 hectares of the Amazon’s native rainforest and established over 95,000 ha of the Amazon as protected lands. Additionally, workshops on biodiversity monitoring enable local communities to establish a supply chain of non-timber products such as acai and Brazil nuts. This non-timber supply chain directly contributes to the prevention of CO2 being released into the atmosphere and thereby conserves the native forest ecosystems. With 130 residents working in the project and the organization of workshops on health and family planning, the project adds to the overall wellbeing and economic growth of the community of Jacundá.

Luz del Norte
Generating solar energy in Northern Chile

Reaping the benefits of Northern Chile’s abundant sunshine, the Luz del Norte Solar Park generates solar energy and transmits it to the central Chilean energy grid, replacing fossil fuel-generated power with a clean alternative. Besides that, the Luz del Norte project employs over 350 – thus improving local economic activity.

Wind energy in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, India

The wind energy project Mytrah replaces fossil-fuel-fired electricity with electricity generated from wind farms on the Indian grid. The wind energy is generated across several wind farms and supports local communities by providing employment, access to clean drinking water and education. The Mytrah project also strives to improve gender equality by educating women and girls on gender rights and personal health. Adyen’s contribution resulted in the generation of 2 megawatts of wind energy.

Sustainable waste treatment in Củ Chi, Vietnam

Sustainable waste treatment and composting avoid large scale methane emissions in the Vietstar waste treatment project. As a result of our investment, the disposal of 30,824 tCO2e of organic waste was prevented and hundreds of jobs were created in operating the waste treatment plant. Moreover, the waste treatment and composting produces sustainable compost - which is distributed among local farmers, enhancing the quality of local sustainability and agriculture practices.

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