2018: galvanizing climate action
It was an exciting year of achieving impact across all aspects of 3Degrees operations, including our customers, employees, and community.
While the headlines about climate change are concerning, I remain optimistic that we can rise to the call, but we must act with greater urgency. Together, we have more ways than ever to reduce our carbon footprint.”Steve McDougal, CEO, 3Degrees
Impact on our clients
We make it possible for businesses and their customers to take urgent action on climate change.
In 2018, we rewrote our company mission to be even more explicit about the urgent need for climate action. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report provides a sobering case for mobilization within the next 12 years to avoid the likely impacts if the world warms by 1.5°C. This urgency inspires our employees and infuses our work with clients.
3Degrees supported the largest aggregated corporate renewable energy transaction to date (six power purchase agreements – the largest one greater than 130 MW and the smallest less than 5 MW). The participants’ efforts demonstrate how corporate energy buyers of all sizes can successfully purchase renewable energy directly from new renewable projects.
Since 3Degrees was founded, a core part of our business has been helping utilities design and manage renewable energy options for their customers. This work continues to expand with new utility partners, fueled by a growing interest in community solar and customized renewable energy programs that provide meaningful choice to electric utility clients. We’re also supporting gas utilities’ efforts to offer climate-smart programs to their customers.
Over the past decade, the science around carbon offset projects has continued to improve, enabling offsets to be a more effective tool for taking action on greenhouse gas emissions that are otherwise difficult to address. In 2018, 3Degrees collaborated with Lyft’s sustainability team to design a program that enables them to offset emissions from their rides worldwide while supporting projects that address the environmental impacts from vehicle use.
3Degrees’ ability to develop unique emission reduction projects with a high level of environmental integrity made them a natural fit for us. Their depth of experience, analytical rigor, and creativity helped us craft a program that can change over time and as our needs evolve.”SAM ARONS, DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABILITY AT LYFT
Impact on our community
Our mission is just the beginning of how we contribute to the community. Our employees take active steps in giving back to their local communities throughout the year.
Employees are eligible (and encouraged) to apply paid hours each year to volunteer at an organization of their choosing. In 2018, more than 55% of employees participated in ecological restoration in local parks, tended community gardens associated with food banks, planted seedlings, and cleaned up trash with a variety of environmental non-profits.
In addition, 3Degrees donated over $7500 to 17 organizations that employees nominated based on their impact in the community and alignment with 3Degrees’ mission. These donations helped support community gardens, broaden access to bicycling, restore wetlands, and provide environmental education to school children.
The 3Degrees Sustainability Committee has continued its efforts to enhance how we do business. In 2018, the committee completed a mini-waste audit, established an employee sustainability baseline survey, piloted Wegowise (energy use for remote employees to evaluate impact), and created a draft purchasing policy to incorporate environmental impact into our decision-making. 3Degrees also completed our 4th EcoChallenge, which allowed the committee to determine 3Degrees’ broader sustainability sophistication and identify gaps that still need to be addressed.
IMPACT ON OUR EMPLOYEES
During a time of rapid growth, 3Degrees is committed to fostering a strong culture where employees flourish. In 2018, 3Degrees initiated our first annual employee engagement survey, using the platform of fellow B Corp, Culture Amp. The survey identified places where 3Degrees is exceeding benchmarks (e.g. opportunities and resources) as well as areas for improvement (e.g. engagement and fairness). 3Degrees continues to participate in the B Corp Inclusion Challenge to further spur our efforts.
For the fifth year, 3Degrees was recognized as a Bay Area “Best and Brightest” employer, which is based on both an employee survey and a review of best practices. The award highlighted our focus on encouraging flexible workplace policies as well as inspires our desire to get even better, a goal that we take seriously. Case in point: 3Degrees updated its parental leave policy in 2018 to include six weeks fully paid parental leave for the non-birthing parent.
At the end of 2018, we started the process for reassessing and refreshing our company values to ensure that they are relevant and fresh as we continue to grow as an organization. This effort brought together a 12 person team of representatives across departments, office locations, and all levels (including the CEO) to make sure 3Degrees remains accountable to fostering a positive, productive, and inclusive environment for all employees.
In 2018, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee at 3Degrees shared results of the companywide equity audit, created policies to support sharing gender pronouns, including inviting employees to use their gender pronouns in their email signature, and sponsored brown bag discussions on a variety of topics, including climate change and social equity.
The Staff growth committee collaborated with HR to assess learning platforms to expand employee education and career development. A key finding was the need for flexibility to support a range of career development options, which ultimately led to the launch of a professional development benefit at 3Degrees (live in 2019). The committee also overhauled our intranet page to make existing employee education and career development materials more accessible.
PUBLIC BENEFITS AND DISCLOSURES
- 3Degrees is both a B Corp and a benefit corporation under California law. We work to provide public benefits to our clients, our employees, and the community.
- 3Degrees measures our public benefit through B Lab Impact Assessment which measures a company’s positive social impact on its stakeholders. We have been using this assessment since 2012, the year we registered with B Lab. This audit takes place once every three years and will happen again in 2019-2020.
- There is no organizational connection between 3Degrees and B Lab, although a 3Degrees shareholder (and board member) donated a significant amount of money to B Lab when it was founded.
- The 3Degrees shareholders with an ownership stake of more than 5% are Daniel Kalafatas, M. Hadley Mullin, Stephen McDougal, Jan McDougal, The McDougal Family Foundation, Mark Mondik, Erin Craig and American Resources and Biochemical, Inc. (Harry Halloran).
WHAT'S NEXT FOR 2019
We have big plans for 2019, including:
- Establishing Leadership Team vision to guide employee resource groups
- Rolling out updated company values to ensure our culture remains strong
- Expanding workplace benefits and policies to support mindfulness
- Enhancing 401K match program: percentage increases to recognize additional years of service
- Launching new Learning and Development benefit for employees
- Starting “podcast club” to help employees gain industry knowledge, business skills, and a connective touch point
- Reviewing holistically our total compensation package and revising our employee equity and profit-sharing benefits
- Engaging with B Lab and B Corp community on the Climate Change Collaborative and Action Strategy
- Finalizing an official 3Degrees sustainability purchasing policy which includes diversity and inclusion
- Engaging at least 75% of staff to participate in volunteer activities and improve tracking & reporting of volunteer hours
- Expanding 3DGives Charitable Gifting Program in both funds and eligible organizations