Scope 1: Emissions from fuels we buy and burn within our operations. Examples are natural gas used to heat our buildings and back-up generators that run on diesel.
Scope 2: Emissions from electricity we buy for our operations. Examples are the power we use in our offices and labs to power our equipment and keep the lights on.
Scope 3: Emissions related to our business, but that we don’t own or control. Examples are the electricity our products consume after we sell them, our suppliers’ energy use, transporting our products, and employees commuting in their personal vehicles.
Since F5 formed its Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) team in late 2020, one of our biggest goals has been to set a science-based target to reduce F5’s greenhouse gas emissions. For a company that had an environmental policy but little else three years ago, this goal of ours could generously be called ambitious.
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is among the most rigorous and exacting types of climate target frameworks, intended to prevent the worst effects of climate change. To date, just under 3500 companies in the world have approved targets from the SBTi, and of those, less than 300 are Tech companies. For F5 to join this group, we knew it would take a major push to collect and assess emissions data across F5 and our value chain for the first time. Because like most companies, our operational emissions, called Scope 1 & 2, that come from our worldwide offices are relatively small. In contrast, the vast majority of our emissions come from our value chain, much of it outside our direct control, in what is called Scope 3.
We reached the first milestone towards our science-based target goal this time last year, when we committed to cutting our absolute Scope 1 & 2 emissions in half by 2030. Throughout 2023, we expanded upon that work to follow the SBTi’s target-setting framework and identified the biggest sources of our Scope 3 emissions.
As is typical for a company that straddles software, SaaS, and hardware, the category with the highest emissions volume overall comes from the use of our products. Every product and service we sell to our customers requires energy to operate, and the work we have ahead of us is to make our products and services more energy efficient and to transition to low(er)-carbon alternatives across our supply chain. While reducing the energy consumption of our products helps lower our emissions, more importantly, it also helps our customers reduce their energy consumption and costs.
The remainder of our emissions come from multiple categories at much lower volumes—again, a fairly typical distribution of emissions for a company of our scale in the Tech industry.
With this emissions inventory completed and analyzed, we could reach the second milestone towards our goal: setting a target that included our Scope 3 emissions and submitting our complete target to the SBTi for validation.
Now that the path we have in front of us to reduce F5’s environmental impact is clear, we are committed to a science-based target by 2030 from a 2021 baseline year that will:
The result of this target will be a significant reduction in F5’s overall emissions by the end of the decade, but equally, achieving a climate target of this magnitude will represent a true transformation of F5’s environmental impact on behalf of our communities, employees, customers, and shareholders.
If you’d like to chart our progress against these targets, please watch for our ESG report published annually on our ESG site or drop us a note at email@example.com and we will send you a copy directly.