The United Nations climate science panel has said that global emissions must reduce by 45% by 2030 — and by 90% by mid-century — in order to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Netflix has joined this effort with the announcement of its climate strategy aligned with science-based targets.
On March 30, 2021, Netflix committed to achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2022. The company hopes to influence the industry by implementing its sustainability strategy on an accelerated timeline. Netflix also wants to bring its audience along on its ambitious journey, communicating clearly about its science-based strategy and providing insight into complex topics such as the carbon impact of streaming. Netflix is building a strong internal team focused on setting strategy and ambition, green energy transition, and leveraging carbon offsetting.
Three fundamental dimensions can help any organization map out and make rapid progress toward its Net Zero transformation. They are:
The decarbonization levers companies deploy, the scales at which companies transform operations, and the enablers that serve as the foundation for unlocking opportunities and accelerating decarbonization.
ENGIE Impact has supported Netflix in the design and launch of its inaugural sustainability strategy and carbon neutrality commitment. Here’s how Netflix's journey can be mapped to the three dimensions needed to deliver Net Zero.
Recognizing that half of Netflix’s footprint sits within the physical production of the content, the company is prioritizing its decarbonization efforts on its content production and operational sites. This encompasses its facilities, where it has master lease agreements, and where it can influence corporate office leases.
With the scale defined, Netflix is implementing a range of decarbonization levers. It is optimizing energy efficiency, replacing fossil fuel energy sources with electric power and purchasing 100% renewable energy in its operations. For the remaining emissions, it has adopted a high-quality approach to offsetting, both conserving at-risk natural areas and removing carbon from the atmosphere by investing in the regeneration of natural ecosystems.
Netflix is bringing together coalitions of industry peers, nonprofits, and other stakeholders to shape new science-based guidance. It saw quickly that some emission sources, for example, those associated with streaming, are difficult to calculate in the absence of guidance from leading standards and protocols.
Netflix’s sustainability strategy is built around 3 R’s: Reduce, Retain and Remove. See below for key metrics from Netflix's strategy.
reduction of scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030
compensation of emissions that can’t be reduce internally by 2021
year to achieve net zero across scopes 1-3
With a stronger understanding of its greatest emissions sources, Netflix was able to design a roadmap that gave the company confidence to communicate its science-based strategy widely.
Quote Source: Geiger, O. (2021). Sustainable Streaming Services Lead Industry Into Carbon-Free Future. Forbes.