To zero out our operational CO2 emissions, Mapbox is making a $60K investment in a combination of carbon forestry initiatives using maps for monitoring and advocacy; carbon removal by sequestration in concrete, and destruction of other potent greenhouse gases; and supporting climate policy change efforts addressing systemic issues.
For 6 years, Mapbox has committed to net zero in our operations. Each year we calculate our carbon footprint from our company flights and travel, cloud computing, and office power. We have openly shared our process for assessing emissions. In 2019 and 2020, Mapbox was responsible for the emission of 3,201 tons of CO2. We decided to wait and see the impact of the pandemic and watch the development of the carbon removal market. Like many in 2020, we saw a significant drop in air travel and associated emissions and an encouraging decrease in CO2 emissions from computation. We also admired the commitments to innovation from Stripe and Microsoft, and wanted to learn from their open knowledge sharing.
Our three part approach addresses operational emissions, focuses our products on more efficient navigation and the transition to electric vehicles, and support for groups using maps for climate action. Going forward, Mapbox is taking a portfolio approach to addressing our operational emissions, balancing more tried and true investments with ambitious endeavors that have higher impact potential.
Data-driven carbon forestry
Reforestation and forest management is the traditional approach available on the carbon credit market. However, many forestry-based carbon offset projects have come under scrutiny over whether they generate truly additional and permanent reduction in emissions, and how to effectively measure and monitor them. Forests remain critical for addressing carbon and they provide additional benefits for wildlife habitat and opportunities for sustainable use by communities. After speaking with leaders in carbon forestry about their use of spatial data and technology, we agree that greater transparency is essential and support initiatives that bring new methodologies to the effort.
Mapbox is making approximately $35k of investments in carbon forestry. We are purchasing credits from NCX, CO₂ Operate, and Pachama. NCX enables corporations to support the climate, ecosystems, and communities by incentivizing North American family landowners to not harvest their forests for immediate and permanent climate impact. We connected with the CO₂ Operate’s Forest Food Program via explore.land’s platform for tracking forestry project implementation in high detail. They are converting degraded land in Indonesia to productive, community managed food forests. And Pachama’s Amazon work applies remote sensing and machine learning to monitor and track forest preservation and fight illegal logging.
Accelerated greenhouse gas removal
Climate models concur that removal is needed in order to meet global targets for limiting temperature increase. Removal technologies like direct air capture, mineralization, and geological storage are still in early development and relatively expensive. To drive down the costs over time, investment is needed now at this early stage.
Mapbox is dedicating approximately $15k to these potentially high impact methods. Mapbox is purchasing credits from CarbonCure and Tradewater. CarbonCure have introduced an XPRIZE awarded process that injects C02 into the production of concrete, permanently sequestering CO2 in building materials (even after a building is demolished) and making the concrete stronger. Concrete production represents 8% of total global CO2 emissions, and CarbonCure concrete is already on the market and in use in construction projects. Tradewater is working to find and destroy legacy refrigerants around the world which would otherwise leak into the atmosphere. These are extremely potent greenhouse gases, thousands of times more harmful than CO2.
Systemic change through policy
The global energy system is the greatest contributor to climate change, representing 75% of all emissions. Changing the methods our energy system uses to generate and transmit power requires fundamental regulatory change and public investment. We appreciate the advice of the Giving Green initiative that one of the most effective ways to address the climate crisis is through support of solid policy work.
On top of directly addressing our operational emissions, Mapbox is directing an additional $10k donation to the work of the Clean Air Task Force. With over 25 years of experience and deep expertise on climate change and energy systems issues, CATF takes a pragmatic, all-of-the-above approach to decarbonizing power. They have impacted beyond their size, right now working hard on the frontlines of the policy debate on congressional climate funding.
Ongoing commitment across our products and partnerships
Our net zero commitment builds on our fundamental customer focus in automotive and logistics to optimize efficient use of resources through our navigation products. We are leaning into our climate impact potential in these sectors, such as how to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles through the best possible driver experience. Read more about how our Community team supports a wide range of efforts to raise awareness, drive action and implement solutions for climate change.