This page is a portal to information about the environmental sustainability status and efforts at Wikimedia, including Wikimedia Foundation, the Wikimedia projects, and the communities that participate in the projects.
Words from the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation pledged to "reduce the impact of our activities on the environment" with a February 2017 resolution by its Board of Trustees. Both the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia community members are making active efforts to improve the environmental sustainability of this work.
Wikimedia Foundation board resolution on environmental impact
"The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to seeking ways to reduce the impact of our activities on the environment. We aim to always act responsibly and sustainably as possible, including favoring renewable energy for our operations. We believe that a long-term commitment to sustainability is an essential component of our work towards the Wikimedia mission and vision.
To this end, the Wikimedia Foundation makes the following commitments:
- We will seek to minimize our overall impact on the environment;
- We will consider sustainability as an important part of decisions around servers, operations, travel, offices, and other procurement;
- We will use green energy where it is available and financially prudent; and
- Starting in 2018, we will include an environmental impact statement in our annual plan."
Wikimedia Foundation sustainability mission statement
"The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to reducing the impact of our activities on the environment – our goal is to act responsibly and sustainably. We believe that a long-term commitment to the environment, and consideration of the effects of climate change, is an essential component of our work.
To this end, the Wikimedia Foundation will:
- Minimize our overall impact on the environment by seeking to reduce our global carbon footprint;
- Consider sustainability as a critical part of our decisions around how we plan our operations, travel, physical office use, and other procurements;
- Use green energy where it is available and financially feasible;
- Share sustainability information and lessons learned; and
- Perform and share an annual environmental impact assessment
We are creating a Sustainability Consortium that is comprised of a cross-functional team of Foundation staff and interested community members that are dedicated to helping to create, implement, and advise executive leadership on potential activities to reduce the Foundation’s global carbon impact. We are deeply passionate about environmental sustainability and reducing the effects of climate change to ensure that the sum of all human knowledge continues to be available, regardless of political and global realities."
– Janeen Uzzell, Chief Operating Officer, Wikimedia Foundation, December 13, 2019
Wikimedia Foundation sustainability framework
Wikimedia Foundation strategic sustainability roadmap
|Minimize our carbon footprint||Calculate carbon footprint and publish impact statement|
|Identify carbon-reduction opportunities|
|Integrate sustainability into planning process||Create and manage a robust sustainability strategy|
|Incorporate sustainability deliverables into budget/planning process|
|Empower “green” choices||Develop guidelines for remote vs. in-person participation of events, including meeting options to accommodate virtual participation|
|Develop purchasing guidelines that are environmentally sustainable|
|Encourage and enhance personal investment by suggesting “green” choices|
|Leverage a remote workforce||Develop sustainable protocols for co-located Foundation events, including site selection criteria, lodging / accommodation practices, food / catering guidelines, etc.|
|Enable global participation||Develop protocols for events to encourage and accommodate virtual participation|
|Develop, facilitate, and support Community efforts in the Sustainability space|
|Share lessons learned||Create protocols for sharing lessons learned back with the Community|
Wikimedia Foundation board resolution update on environmental impact
"Whereas, in 2017 the Board of Trustees committed to including environmental impact statements as part of the Wikimedia Foundation’s annual plan; and
"Whereas, environmental impact statements are not a natural output of an annual planning process;
"Now, therefore, it is:
"RESOLVED, that the Board commits to regular assessment and transparency regarding the Foundation’s environmental impact through the publication of periodic environmental sustainability (carbon footprint) reports."
Facts from the Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia Foundation sustainability metrics
We will assess the following metrics annually:
|tCO₂e total for Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions||2,867.86||2,605.32||1,169.43 (see note 1)||1,1090.38|
|tCO₂e office related (facility/operation activities)||1.70 per SF-based staff||1.62 per SF-based staff||0.77 per SF-based staff (see note 2)||n/a due to limited access to SF office|
|tCO₂e of travel for internal convenings||3.21 per attendee||1.07 per attendee||0.95 per attendee (see note 3)||n/a due restriction of travel unless critical|
|tCO₂e of travel for community convenings||n/a||0.68 per attendee||1.02 per attendee (see note 3)||n/a due restriction of travel|
|tCO₂e of data center emissions / on all Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia||5.63 kgCO2-eq per 1M pageviews||3.05 kgCO2-eq per 1M pageviews||2.29 kgCO2-eq per 1M pageviews (see note 4)||4.05 kgCO2-eq per 1M pageviews|
|kWh of data center electricity / on all Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia||13.55 kWh per 1M pageviews||12.41 kWh per 1M pageviews||11.26 kWh per 1M pageviews (see note 4)||11.86 kWh per 1M pageviews|
|% participants engaging virtually in large-scale conferences (100 or more attendees)||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
- Note 1: During the COVID-19 global pandemic, selected data for the carbon footprint was unavailable and estimates were used instead. Subsequently, actual data was obtained and the results have been restated here. In addition, in 2020 the CyrusOne data center provided additional information about its energy and water use for 2019 and 2018. These numbers have been restated accordingly in the report covering calendar year 2020.
- Note 2: During the COVID-19 global pandemic, select data at the San Francisco office was unavailable and estimates for 2019 were used instead. Subsequently, actual data was obtained and the results have been restated in the report covering calendar year 2020.
- Note 3: In 2019, travel data categorization was improved and data collection procedures were updated. As a result, all progress-to-date WMF travel calculations will reference 2019 as the baseline year. 2018 data is provided for historical reference only (as part of the report covering calendar year 2020).
- Note 4: In 2020 the CyrusOne data center provided additional information about its energy and water use for 2019 and 2018. These numbers have been restated accordingly in the report covering calendar year 2020.
Wikimedia Foundation sustainability timeline, reports, and more
Wikimedia Foundation Data Center Supplementary information
This data was collected by Strategic Sustainability Consulting during 2020 and 2021 for the Foundation's annual carbon footprint report research.
- Wikimedia Foundation - Data Center Matrix, Spring 2021
- Digital Reality
- Interxion Data Center References - Amsterdam Campus Factsheet
- Iron Mountain
Words from Wikimedia affiliates
Facts from Wikimedia affiliates
Direct energy usage
In 2016, Wikimedia Italia was the first known Wikimedia entity to switch to 100 % renewable electricity usage for its office. See Wikimedia offices for more information.
In 2018, Wikimedia Italia was the known first Wikimedia entity to adopt a sustainable financial investment policy. Implementation started in 2019 and was reversed by a new board in January 2021 (information not yet official pending up to date financial reports).
Scope 3 emissions
Little information is available on scope 3 emissions caused by chapter activities.
Chapter meetings are often arranged to maximise the usage of public transportation, but some geographies are more challenging than others. Local work, such as photo documentation of remote places, may necessarily entail some level of fossil-powered travel.
Value-driven tooling can improve sustainability even while keeping activities largely the same. Some Wikimedia entities give priority to efficient free software and reused hardware to decrease power usage from the participants' devices.
Other agenda 2030 work
- Wikimedia Sustainability Initiative (since July 2015)
- Wikimedians for Sustainable Development (since November 2019)
- Climate change portal, to coordinate efforts to improve content related to climate change and global warming on the Wikimedia projects
- A list of Wikimedia community events for Earth Day 2020 which takes place on April 22.
- Women in Climate Change international campaign (since 2020)
- Wednesday Wisdom by Women international initiative for Gender Equality by RisingIndia ThinkTank (since 2022)
- Climate Justice editathon - September 18, 2020
- Sustainability Community Roundtable - September 18, 2020
- Supporting Wikipedia and the environment: The Wikimedia Foundation and Plant Your Change collaborate to plant 400,000 trees - December 7, 2020
- Wikipedia and Women in the Climate Change Movement - December 10, 2020 (video recording, blog post)
- Dr. Ayana Johnson is interviewed by Dame Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, the co-founder of the Women in Red, a WikiProject to discuss the current gender bias in Wikipedia content, the role Wikipedia plays in women and the climate change movement, as well as how we can all help to turn the red links blue in regards to women environmentalists. Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher will provide welcome remarks to kick off the conversation.
- Women in Climate Change Editathon with WikiDonne - December 11, 2020 (session 1, 2 recordings)
- Wikipedia and agriculture of the future - March 11, 2021
- We are having a special live discussion with Louise Mabulo and Vanj Padilla that will be focusing on sustainable agriculture that includes local food production, climate change mitigation and the relationship to broader information ecosystems.
- Sustainable Agriculture Editing Event - March 11 - 15, 2021
- Climate workshop - action starts with community - February 24, 2022
- Climate workshop - Risk and Resilience - March 9, 2022