Watching Cloud(s) Go By: How are Tech Companies Performing?


Many tech companies view themselves as responsible, seeking to be good actors on the various stages they find themselves.  Many see (and all should see) the business value in tackling GHG footprint, eliminating toxics, and improving staff and supplier morale.

The opportunity to benchmark the cloud-based software industry on a range of performance metrics

“Cloud system unknown type”by Alien In Life is licensed under CC BY 2.0

– to validate to what extent companies are actually responsible, and who is relatively responsible compared with peers – was too enticing to pass up.

Beyond the basic metrics listed above, consider presenting metrics in ways that are really insightful for specific audiences and/or ready for presentation to leadership.  For example, rather than simply report MTCO2E (GHG/carbon emissions), consider instead the super-interesting carbon productivity metric, where you gauge how much value these companies produce for every ton of emissions they generate.

Unfortunately, only four cloud-based software companies provided consistent enough data (2014-2017 vintage) to make an assessment, but kudos to those four companies.  More money per amount of climate harm is more better.  (Nice job, Adobe.)

Though our work tends to fall on the ecological end of the responsibility spectrum, diversity has been a big issue in the tech sector.  Diversity benchmarking, covering gender and those of underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, yields insight on who’s doing well against their goals.

On gender representation, a few companies are approaching 50% women.  Note that this is simply looking at overall workforce.  Leading companies also look at diversity of technical staff separate from non-technical, as well as diversity among company leadership as well as rank-and-file.   As these are the companies that care enough about the issue to report on it, they are likely ahead of non-benchmarked peers.

Water Use, Material Reuse and Recycling, Non-Toxics, Employee Satisfaction, Supplier/Customer Satisfaction and many other performance measures lend themselves well to similar treatment.

How do you stack up?  Send over your data and let’s talk.