On Friday November 5th, Airbnb announced that it is committing to operate as a Net Zero company by 2030, reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions associated with their global corporate operations and investing in quality nature-based solutions to offset residual emissions.
This commitment is the latest step the company is taking to help address the climate crisis. In 2020, Airbnb made a commitment to achieve 100-percent renewable electricity use for its corporate operations, and earlier this year, it became a founding participant in the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition, a new public-private initiative that has mobilized $1 billion to fight tropical deforestation.
Addressing climate change is one of the world’s greatest challenges of our generation. Committing to Net Zero is the latest action we’re taking to lower carbon emissions and we will continue to work with our community to promote sustainable travel.Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and CEO
To achieve the goal of becoming a Net Zero company by 2030, Airbnb is committing to a number of steps, including:
- Measurement and transparency: Annually, the company will measure and publish its carbon and greenhouse gas footprint for their corporate operations, as well as report on progress towards their targets.
- Reinvestment in nature: They will invest in high-quality nature-based offsets that protect the natural world and the communities that rely on it, including as part of their participation in the LEAF Coalition.
With regards to rapid decarbonization, the company commits to develop reduction targets for all scopes of emissions, in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement. The targets include:
- Operations: Power the corporate operations with renewable energy and undertake waste and water reduction measures.
- Vendors: Partner with corporate vendors to help them reduce their carbon footprints.
- Employees: Help employees reduce the footprint associated with their commute (e.g., encouraging the use of public transportation), and help support adoption of renewable energy for their homes through partnerships offering community solar and green utility programs. Airbnb launched a renewable energy program for its employees based in the US this year and are exploring expanding this offering.
The company is committed to doing more, and are regularly consulting with its global community of Hosts and guests, as well as environmental experts and community leaders from around the world. This includes working closely with the Host Advisory Board on how to embed sustainable practices in hosting and make them more widely available.
Airbnb is piloting ways to enable Hosts to switch to renewables. The company is actively working with Hosts to educate them on actions they can take to become more sustainable. The company is also working on quantifying the emissions from stays and Experiences to provide the data needed to guide the actions of the community.
It’s encouraging to see climate goal that aims for Net Zero in less than 10 years. Although much hard work remains, the company’s size and scale offer transformational potential for reducing emissions at the speed and scale that the science demands.Elizabeth Sturcken, director net zero program at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
In partnership with the global community Airbnb is also developing additional strategies to further reduce the carbon footprint of stays and Experiences on its platform.
This work is being developed with input from sustainability leaders, including Elizabeth Sturcken, managing director of the net zero program at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), who is advising Airbnb on sustainability targets and strategy, as well as with other climate and sustainability experts.