Xero’s environmental sustainability objectives
Building on our efforts and achievements to date, we will continue to positively contribute to environmental sustainability. Our objectives are to:
reduce electricity consumption in buildings
reduce waste and increase recycling
evaluate our greenhouse gas emissions footprint
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging alternative modes of transport for employees
minimise carbon intensive travel options such as air travel, and encourage video and teleconference style meetings
enhance our procurement processes so that social and environmental impacts are a key consideration when engaging with our supply chain (e.g. minimising the carbon impact of transportation)
Net Zero @ Xero
Our environmental sustainability program, Net Zero @ Xero, is our commitment to offset 100% of our carbon emissions.
In FY20 and FY21, Xero was certified carbon neutral by the Australian Government’s Climate Active program.
To achieve this carbon neutral status, we purchased certified carbon offsets supporting projects in Indonesia, India and New Zealand. In 2020, we expanded our sponsorship of the Fishermans Bay Conservation Project near Akaroa, New Zealand.
More information about Xero’s FY20 and FY21 carbon disclosure, emission reduction plans, and the projects we selected to offset our emissions, can be viewed on the Climate Active website.
Download our carbon emissions data here.
Xero is proud to be a signatory of The Climate Pledge, co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019 as a commitment to decarbonising the economy. We look forward to collaborating with the 200+ global companies who have signed the pledge to address the most critical climate challenges.
We continue to implement initiatives aimed at reducing our electricity consumption, such as ‘switch it off’ signage; sensor and timer lighting; extensive use of LED lighting in all offices; working with air conditioning engineers and landlords to improve the efficiency of systems; and automating switching off of AV equipment.
As part of our Net Zero @ Xero program, we are working on setting science-based targets to lower electricity consumption and its carbon impact. Over the last three financial years, Xero has purchased electricity amounting to:
FY18 - 2,180,471 kWh
FY19 - 2,719,305 kWh
FY20 - 2,987,610 kWh
During this period, our absolute consumption has increased, but at a slower rate relative to the growth in office space. Thanks to our electricity reduction initiatives, and a focus on energy efficiency in new office designs, we have reduced electricity consumption by 8% per square metre of space occupied.
Xero is also compliant with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme in the United Kingdom.
Inside Xero’s new Wellington HQ
Data centre storage
Xero uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) as our cloud services platform partner.
AWS is committed to running its business in the most environmentally friendly way possible and achieving 100% renewable energy usage for its global infrastructure by 2025. We're also working with AWS to determine how we can optimise infrastructure utilisation.
We are committed to continually improving our recycling methods. We already:
recycle paper, glass, hard plastic, aluminium and tin cans and cardboard
undertake composting where these services are available in leased offices
have eliminated the use of bottled water in all offices
endeavour to source all paper for printing from FSC/PEFC sources
use paper hand towels and toilet paper from recycled FSC/PEFC sources where we have direct control of supplies
procure recycling services for printer toner cartridges, batteries and electronic waste
return leased IT equipment (principally laptops) at the end of its life
recycle non-leased IT equipment (printers, screens etc) where possible via certified e-waste companies
As part of our Net Zero @ Xero program, our initiatives and employee commitment to waste minimisation and recycling has reduced the proportion of our waste that goes to landfill from 63% in FY19 to 40% in FY20.
Responsible supply chain
To ensure we’re taking responsibility for our impact, we’re continually looking at ways to make more sustainable purchasing decisions in our everyday work.
Some of the other ways in which we are making improvements through more sustainable decisions include:
Since 2019, our annual reports are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited and are printed with vegetable inks.
Our major vendor, Amazon Web Services is committed to running its business in the most environmentally friendly way possible and achieving 100% renewable energy usage for its global infrastructure by 2025. We're also working with AWS to determine how we can optimise infrastructure utilisation.
In 2019, we introduced more sustainable options for our thousands of Xerocon attendees. You can read more about our improvements at Xerocon Brisbane here.
- Since 2019, we’ve used ethically sourced organic cotton for our staff t-shirts.
Supplier Code of Conduct
We’ve integrated our Supplier Code of Conduct and risk-based approach into our ongoing supplier due diligence processes. Our procurement team has completed ethical procurement certification provided by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) so that they can better recognise situations where we need to safeguard against unethical behaviours and consider modern slavery risks in our supply chain. We aim to have a positive impact through our influence on our supply chain and by working with socially conscious vendors that fulfill our business needs.
Modern slavery and human trafficking
We are committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in our operations and supply chains. We remain vigilant about understanding our key modern slavery risks; have policies and processes in place to help us address these risks; and we regularly assess the effectiveness of our actions. Given the visibility we have over our operations, we consider our modern slavery and human trafficking risk to be relatively low.
We provide end-of-trip facilities, including secure bike parking, showers and well-equipped changing rooms in all our newer buildings to better support alternative modes of transport. Charging points for electric vehicles are also made available.
We set out to lease buildings that are Green Star, LEED, BREEAM or NABERS certified.
The Auckland office has a 5* Green Star rating (6,800m2, second largest office).
Our Napier office has solar panels.
The Wellington building, opened in 2017, is our largest office at 6,804m2. It was built with Green Star principles but is not certified.
The Denver office is LEED Platinum rated (2,786m2, fourth largest office) and includes solar panels.
Our Toronto office is BOMA Gold rated.
Xero will be moving into a new 7,580m2 office in Melbourne, Australia. This building is due to be operational at the end of 2021 and will be built to 5* Green Star rating.
The Canberra and Sydney offices are NABERS 4* rated.
Our Brisbane office is NABERS 3* rated.
Supporting sustainable small business
Part of managing our social and environmental impact at Xero is educating small businesses on the importance of sustainability and helping them operate in socially and environmentally responsible ways. Xero’s small business sustainability hub includes helpful information and resources from across the globe to help our small business customers and partners build more sustainable businesses.
Ethical and socially-aligned investing
Xero has invested NZ$10 million of our cash holdings into BlackRock’s new Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund. The purpose of this is to establish whether we can meet our business objectives while investing in securities issued or guaranteed by entities with strong environmental impact practices (as verified by third parties and BlackRock’s proprietary environmental, social and governance model). We will monitor the outcome and consider further environmentally-conscious investment over time.
Supporting thriving communities gives us the chance to give back to the communities where we do business, and directly influences the success of our small business customers.
Diversity and inclusion
Fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace allows us to build the best platform for our diverse customer base, and to make sure our products are accessible for all.
We’re committed to supporting the wellbeing of small business owners by advocating with policymakers for their needs, and enabling more sustainable business practices.
For Xero, building a sustainable business means building positive social and environmental impact across everything we do.