Sustainability

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This page is a portal to information about the environmental sustainability status and efforts of the Wikimedia Foundation, its projects, and the communities that participate in the projects. A February 2017 resolution by its Board of Trustees committed the Wikimedia Foundation to "reduce the impact of our activities on the environment". 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[edit]

"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:

  1. We will seek to minimize our overall impact on the environment;
  2. We will consider sustainability as an important part of decisions around servers, operations, travel, offices, and other procurement;
  3. We will use green energy where it is available and financially prudent; and
  4. Starting in 2018, we will include an environmental impact statement in our annual plan."

Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, February 24, 2017

Wikimedia Foundation 2019 sustainability mission statement[edit]

"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 2019 sustainability framework[edit]

WMF Sustainability Impact Statement 2019.pdf

Wikimedia Foundation 2019 strategic sustainability roadmap[edit]

Operations
Strategy Deliverable
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
Culture
Strategy Deliverable
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.
Engagement
Strategy Deliverable
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 sustainability metrics[edit]

Wikimedia Foundation 2019 Sustainability Assessment and Carbon Footprint

We will assess the following metrics annually:

2018
tCO₂e (total) 2,132.32
tCO₂e of facility/operation activities (per FTE) TBD
tCO₂e of travel/community (per FTE) TBD
tCO₂e of IT activities (per 1M website hits) TBD
% participants engaging virtually in large-scale conferences (100 or more attendees) TBD

We will also measure and assess project-specific metrics that are temporary in nature (projects that are a one-time event) – these will also be included within the annual impact statement.

Wikimedia Foundation sustainability timeline[edit]

Community-led efforts[edit]