Sustainability in Action: Meet MongoDB's Green Team

Derek Lowry

#Culture

MongoDB affinity groups are employee-led resource groups that bring together employees with similar backgrounds, interests, or goals. They play an important role in our company and culture. Our affinity groups build community and connections, help us raise awareness of issues unique to their members’ experiences, and offer networking and professional development opportunities. Green Team is a MongoDB affinity group focused on sustainability and environmental responsibility. Hear from Derek Lowry, Senior Director of International Finance and the global Green Team lead based in Dublin, to learn about Green Team’s initiatives and goals, and the impact it is making on our company and our planet.

Going green

Green Team began in April 2020 after a group of people across departments decided it was time our company took greater action to positively impact the climate crisis. We believe businesses are one of the greatest levers for change in our society, and we want MongoDB to be part of that change. Green Team is committed to driving MongoDB to become a sustainable, social, and environmentally responsible company that is relentless in its pursuit of reducing its negative impact on the environment.

How we're making an impact

At the outset of Green Team, we determined there were two work streams to concentrate on: education on sustainability topics and collecting data on our carbon footprint as a company. We called these groups “Community” and “Collaboration,” respectively. Our Community group has held multiple webinars and workshops on sustainability for our employees over the past year covering topics such as how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, the problem of plastic pollution, and how to have a sustainable holiday season, as well as a “grow it yourself” workshop and a deep dive into recycling centers for our New York City employees. The team also compiled a plant-based cookbook that received a lot of positive feedback and engagement from employees across the globe. We continuously enforce the message of the “power of one” by highlighting that all our voices and actions together can have a positive impact on the climate crisis.

We are not just relying on our employee base, but also focusing on taking action as a company. Our Collaboration team led a project to calculate our carbon footprint for 2019 and 2020 together with our climate partners, Watershed. Our carbon footprint baseline project is just the start of a climate strategy designed to help us significantly reduce our impact on the environment over the coming years, especially as we grow and scale as a company. We strive to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of the business, from product development to office selection, and we hope to make more announcements regarding this strategy over the coming months.

Green Team's plans for the future

Due to the commitment of more than 250 Green Team members globally — particularly the Green Champions who lead individual projects — we believe we are well positioned to execute on our projects and strategies over the coming year. We have had strong support from our executive sponsor, Michael Gordon, and we believe there is an appetite within the company to address the climate crisis and be part of the positive change. There also has been an increase in demand from both internal and external stakeholders for us to take action on the climate crisis, consistent with overall regulatory and market trends.

Our future plans revolve around the two main work streams we initially created: educating our workforce and taking action as a company to reduce the overall impact we have on the environment.

Hear from Green Team members

Annie Black, Software Engineer, New York City

"I joined Green Team because I thought there was more we, as a company, could be doing about sustainability. I realized I knew very little about day-to-day sustainability practices after joining Green Team, so most of my involvement now is with the Community side of the group, which focuses on educating employees."

"I love seeing how people share their ideas and the things they’re passionate about in the #greenteam Slack channel, and I’ve really enjoyed learning and growing with everybody! One of my favorite recent projects was our Green Team Holiday Recipe Book. The focus was on meat reduction and an introduction to more plant-based diets, which was a new topic for me. I think it was a great way to help people feel connected to their colleagues during the remote holiday season."

"The Collaboration side of Green Team is also doing a great job with our Watershed collaboration. The team at Watershed is assisting us with calculating our carbon footprint across the company and advising us on how to reduce it. This has such a big impact, and it’s great to see MongoDB investing in our planet!"

"For Earth Week 2021, Green Team hosted webinars and activities as a way for MongoDB employees to learn more about sustainability and other topics related to environmental responsibility. I’m also very excited for the day we’re able to organize some in-person events! Nothing is planned yet, but I hope to help initiate plant-based tastings, park cleanups, and tree plantings."

Shakti Sharma, Data Governance Associate, Gurugram

"I joined Green Team because I wanted to help drive sustainability and green choices at an organizational level. We have some super energetic folks around the world at MongoDB who are passionate about bringing positive change. I am fairly new to MongoDB, so this group has also helped me build a network across the organization and constantly supports my personal growth."

"Green Team encourages employees to make sustainable choices every day, whether it’s choosing eco-friendly items for gifts or wearing reusable masks. I believe organizations have some corporate responsibility to ensure their employees are safeguarding the environment as much as possible, and I’ve started focusing on how I can make a positive difference for the environment."

Interested in pursuing a career at MongoDB and joining Green Team? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!