esg overview / environment
Embedding Environmental Efficiency
We are committed to minimizing our impact on the planet and supporting our customers to reach their environmental goals by providing a security cloud that is less energy- and emissions-intensive than legacy point product security solutions.
We address the emissions impacts of our cloud-based services by optimizing environmental efficiency in our architecture and processing, and we power our data centers and offices with 100% renewable energy by purchasing high-quality offsets. We’re working toward the goal of net zero emissions by 2025.
In 2023, we committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which will further align our emissions-reduction strategy with global efforts to limit global warming to well below 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels. This commitment directly supports many of our customers’ science-based target objectives.
Environmentally conscious security architecture
With the world’s largest security cloud, we’re poised to help lower environmental impacts associated with security worldwide. Switching to Zscaler from on-premises solutions can help organizations reduce IT waste, energy consumption, and their carbon footprint.
The majority of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions comes from energy used by the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange, our cloud-based platform, which is distributed across more than 150 data centers worldwide. This architecture is designed to be more efficient than both on-premises solutions and virtualized solutions on public clouds.
We built our multitenant cloud architecture from the ground up to deliver our solution efficiently, which leads to better traffic density per unit of hardware, resulting in both performance and environmental benefits.
To understand the holistic environmental impacts and benefits of the Zscaler platform vs. on-premises cybersecurity solutions, we worked with a third-party environmental expert to conduct a comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) following ISO principles. The LCA study, conducted in 2022, compared the impacts of the resources required for one year of use of Zscaler’s ZIA™ and ZPA™ products with impacts of on-premises solutions providing equivalent cybersecurity functionality for a specified number of users.
This cradle-to-grave analysis focused on carbon intensity and examined phases of the value chain: raw materials, upstream production processes, hardware manufacturing, distribution, customer use, and hardware end-of-life.
The result of the analysis shows that the Zscaler solution can deliver significant hardware reduction and energy efficiency over on-premises solutions.
For more information on the approach of the study and results, please see our 2022 ESG Report.
Learn more about the environmental benefits we provide to our customers here.
Renewable energy and reducing carbon impact from cloud operations
We built the Zero Trust Exchange, the largest inline cloud security platform, by choosing data centers that are exceptionally connected with the highest level of security, close to users, and operationally reliable.
Our data center facility selection and renewal processes factor in sustainability criteria. Where possible, we prioritize data centers that are highly efficient, use renewable energy, have established climate goals, and follow other environmentally conscious practices.
We engage our data center providers through an environmental questionnaire to further understand and track their progress. In 2023, we received responses representing over 95% of our data center capacity. We use this annual survey and periodic business reviews to more deeply engage our data center providers on our environmental priorities, particularly as we work toward our net zero target.
As an edge service provider, Zscaler has a footprint across many global locations. In addition to the renewable energy purchased by our data center providers, we purchase high-quality renewable energy credits from country-specific wind and solar projects to make up the nonrenewable difference. This allows us to reach 100% renewable energy for our data centers and global offices.
Carbon neutrality, with a net zero goal by 2025
Building on our milestone of 100% renewable energy for our global offices and data centers, we have broadened our attention to reducing emissions in additional business areas. Starting in 2022, we’ve taken steps to address our emissions through additional permanent, high-quality, certified carbon offsets to reach carbon neutral for our offices, data centers, business travel, employee commuting, procurement, and customer usage.
Carbon neutrality is not the end goal, and we are working toward our new goal to reach net zero emissions by 2025. We are developing a path to net zero GHG emissions by implementing policies and practices such as increased supplier engagement, lowering power needs, and using data to identify areas for improvement. We also plan to share our progress so that our customers can be confident they’re working with a partner aligned with their carbon reduction goals.
Climate risk and opportunity
In line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, we’re taking a comprehensive approach to assess climate risk across key areas of our business, including products, data centers, customers, employees, office locations, and more.
The results of our most recent climate risk assessment, conducted in 2023, revealed that our cloud is resilient against climate risk through a highly redundant system of data centers deployed worldwide. If any region or data center experiences an outage, we have capacity to process customer traffic in other parts of the cloud, minimizing business disruption. Additionally, our largest sites are located in areas where we have our lowest physical climate risk.
As climate change continues to create chronic events such as prolonged heat waves, storms, and fires, this may increase the need for more businesses to move to the cloud and adopt hybrid work environments. We are hopeful that we can support more organizations with Zscaler solutions and help build a climate-resilient world.
Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Emissions for calendar year 2022
by scope are as follows:
(Metric tons CO2e)
Natural gas used to heat offices
Indirect emissions associated with purchased electricity in offices and co-located data centers
Purchased Environmental Attribute Certificates (EACs) / Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
(market-based, after applying purchased EAC/RECs)
Scope 3 Total
Scope 1 + 2 + 3
*Does not include the application of voluntarily purchased carbon offsets certified to the Verified Carbon Standard to cover 100% of the relevant emissions categories listed above from Scopes 1 and 3.
We have also purchased carbon offsets to match the metric tons of carbon emitted from calendar year 2022 Scope 1 and Scope 3 activities.