Sustainability in the Cloud

Workday 2012 Sustainability Report

Our second sustainability report focuses on the environmental, social, and economic issues that we believe are most important to build and sustain long-term success at Workday. We share our approach to issues that we believe are most material to our stakeholders. These include energy efficiency, data privacy and protection, customer satisfaction, company culture, community outreach, and governance and ethics.

We hope this report provides you with a sense of what we value as well as the progress we are making. We welcome your feedback on our progress and value innovative ideas on how we can improve.

Download our 2012 Sustainability Report

Workday believes that success is not only measured in financial terms, but also in how we operate in the context of our community and environment. Companies, just as individuals, need to assume responsibility for their actions as part of a global ecosystem. Workday is committed to reducing or eliminating any negative impact we have on our immediate and global environment.

SaaS is Green

The SaaS business model provides Workday with a unique opportunity to positively impact the global carbon balance. Owners of on-premise software are typically not strongly focused on reducing electricity usage and operate redundant and often outdated hardware in server rooms that are not optimized for energy consumption. SaaS can make this old server infrastructure obsolete and centralize the processing into Workday’s efficient and modern data centers. This helps customers to achieve their own carbon-neutrality goals more quickly. In addition, Workday’s multi-tenancy architecture allows us to provide Workday business services to our customers with a minimal number of servers as opposed to each customer having to operate a single install on sub-optimal hardware. Finally, modern data centers are pooling large quantities of processing power and can be dramatically optimized for energy- and cooling-efficiency. SaaS is inherently green and helps to achieve goals for a greener future.

Clean Energy

Renewable Choice EnergyWorkday supports the development of renewable energy projects and has offset 100% of the electricity use in our office buildings and data centers. To achieve this, we have partnered with Renewable Choice to purchase over 14 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy credits (RECs) annually.

Wind farms or other clean energy projects, can sell RECs to help finance their projects. This can provide the additional funds needed to make a wind energy plant cost-competitive with non-renewable energy sources. In this way, more clean energy is produced and added to the energy mix. More than 65 percent of U.S. electricity comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, which emit the harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to air pollution and climate change. Wind or solar power-generated electricity is renewable, sustainable, and does not produce air pollution or contribute to climate change. Read more about how RECs work.

Many companies cannot directly source their electricity from clean sources, but through RECs the same positive global end result can be achieved. The process for RECs is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the validity of RECs is monitored by a variety of institutions such as Green-e and others.

Workday's purchase of renewable energy credits has an annual impact that is similar to:

  • Planting 64,923 mature trees or
  • Not driving 19,877,356 miles in an average car or
  • Taking 1,403 cars off the road for a year.

Green Power PartnerWorkday's commitment to clean energy has been recognized by the EPA in the Green Power Partnership program and we have achieved “100% Green Power Purchaser” status.

Energy Conservation

Workday is pursuing energy efficient strategies in all aspects of the operations. This ranges from telecommuting to video conferencing to efficient hardware for our employees and in our hosting operations. We are committed to purchasing energy-efficient hardware (ENERGY STAR 5.0 specification) as well as using efficient power-management settings on all laptops and servers.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Workday strives to reduce office waste such as paper and print products wherever possible. A strict "question every print-out" policy and double-sided, draft printer settings help in this goal. Used printer paper can serve a scrap paper. For all remaining paper waste Workday provides recycling opportunities.

All glass and plastic bottles as well as aluminum cans from our vending machines are collected and properly recycled in all offices. Special waste such as old batteries, printer cartridges, or cell phones are frequently collected and recycled.

"No Landfill" Policy

Renewable Choice EnergyAs part of our sustainability goals, we not only strive to use the most efficient hardware, but also to handle the entire lifecycle of all IT equipment responsibly. Workday is progressing toward a strict “no landfill” rule for all its equipment. A comprehensive electronics disposition policy ensures that all media is securely disposed, we maximize reuse of equipment where possible and dispose all remaining electronics responsibly by adhering to the strict e-Stewards standard.