MongoDB Goes (Leafy) Green: Our Net Zero Commitment

Sophie Riegel

At MongoDB, we have a deep commitment to sustainability and taking ownership of our environmental impact. In 2021, we internally announced our pledge to have net zero emissions (CO2e) by 2030, and have since benchmarked our emissions and have worked on developing a strategy to achieve this goal.

Through this process, we discovered that over our last fiscal year we produced the same amount of carbon as driving a gas-powered vehicle around the globe more than 6,000 times. This amount may seem high because we calculated not only our Scope 1 (direct; e.g., offices) and Scope 2 (indirect; e.g., purchased electricity) emissions as is standard under current reporting requirements, but also our Scope 3 emissions (indirect; e.g., supply/value chain). These Scope 3 emissions account for ~97.5% of our total footprint. We have chosen to disclose this full amount because we are committed to reducing our entire carbon footprint as much as possible and want to be transparent on this journey.

While 2030 may seem far away, we are committed to reducing emissions and already have taken immediate action. Last year, we invested in hiring a Sustainability Manager to help us tackle how we are going to achieve our goals and engage teams across the company to develop carbon reduction strategies. This included adding an interim target to be 100% powered by renewables by 2026.

We can’t do this alone. A large part of our indirect emissions is from our cloud partners, so we have partnered with them to see what we can achieve for our customers together. In addition to reducing our direct footprint, we are also focused on cleaner energy sources. By 2025 our major partners—AWS, Google Cloud (GCP), and Microsoft Azure—will be 100% powered by renewables. Following their example, we have entered into our first virtual power purchase agreement to support the construction of a new 10MW solar plant in Texas and add renewable energy to the grid. This is unique for a company our size and is evidence of our commitment to sustainability.

By reducing our emissions, we can help our customers reduce their own carbon impact through MongoDB and the cloud.

Enabling our customers to make greener choices

We have heard from our customers that sustainability is important to them and influences their purchasing decisions. We looked at our own technology and have re-engineered MongoDB Atlas to reduce power consumption by ~30%.

While moving to the cloud can have a positive impact on reducing carbon emissions, the actual amount depends on various factors, including the cloud provider, the type and amount of workloads, and the location of data centers. That's why we've introduced a new level of transparency to help our customers make more sustainable choices, including our Green Leaf icon in MongoDB Atlas that highlights low-carbon AWS and GCP cloud regions and encourages customers to consider the carbon impact of their choices.

Additionally, MongoDB Atlas Serverless takes this one step further. Serverless infrastructure can help customers reduce their carbon footprint by reducing their infrastructure overhead and only using computing resources only when needed rather than constantly running. This means less energy is consumed overall, and less waste is created. Additionally, with MongoDB Atlas Serverless, customers can quickly scale up or down in response to changing demand, ensuring they're not wasting resources on idle infrastructure.

To drive awareness and use of our products’ sustainability features, we have released a quick reference blog and detailed white paper on sustainable architecture. Finally, to help our customers understand how these changes impact their footprint, MongoDB will now include a note on attributable carbon emissions on our customers’ invoices.

Changes in our offices, operations, and beyond

We are making actionable changes to gain momentum towards our larger net-zero goal within our offices. We are switching over 100% of the lights in our offices to LEDs, have eliminated many single-use items, and are reducing power consumption by regulating usage outside of peak hours– this is as simple as putting Zoom Screens on timers. Additionally, we have introduced a Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure ESG compliance throughout our value chain.

Finally, we have partnered with our Green Team ERG to enable employee engagement in our sustainability goals. Our Green Team fosters employee engagement by organizing community building and educational events centered around environmentalism and act as a voice for our employees' drive for corporate sustainability. As of this year employees can donate towards a project selected by our Green Team leads focused on reforestation through points earned in our employee recognition tool.

We are just getting started, and our commitment to you is to be as transparent as possible throughout this process. We encourage you to follow our progress on our Sustainability webpage and check out our latest CSR report, which dives deeper into our emissions benchmark. At MongoDB, we believe that sustainability is everyone's responsibility, and we are committed to doing our part to create a more sustainable future.