Article

In the quest for a healthier planet, ecosystem restoration offers hope

Climate change is one of four focus areas for Zendesk social impact programming in 2021. This Earth Day, we’re sharing our climate commitments.

By Laura Shear, Sr. Manager, Content and Impact Marketing

Published April 21, 2021
Last updated June 17, 2021

Our collective environmental footprint is not a new topic area—but it is one that deserves more attention. Not only because the current rate of climate change poses an existential threat to all life on the planet, but also because it’s a topic that matters to Zendesk employees.

Surveyed last October, employee feedback informed four deliberate areas of social impact focus for 2021: Food Insecurity, Mental Health, Digital Equity & Inclusion, and Climate Change. Before proceeding, we had to stop and consider how a technology company could address and have a meaningful impact in each of these cause areas and how they align to our corporate values.

[Related read: The fight to end world hunger can begin with gratitude]

Our long-term corporate strategy and growth relies on a stable, productive society, and climate change increases the risks of poverty, social inequities, and political instability. We owe it to our stakeholders to be a leader in addressing the reduction of Co2 in our atmosphere, and preserving natural habitats.

Our collective environmental footprint is not a new topic area—but it is one that deserves more attention.

In the complex world of climate change mitigation, Zendesk has chosen to invest its money and expertise in organizations that rebuild ecosystems and restore natural habitats, as a means to reducing carbon emissions and promoting health and social equality globally.

Our commitments

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to taking action on climate change. At Zendesk, we want to contribute to the larger global effort to tackle big issues by aligning our work to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals initiative (SDGs). In total, our products, services, and social impact strategies are aligned with eleven of the Sustainable Development Goals, at the target level.

We're dedicated to supporting country-level climate goals and are committed to powering our offices with 100% renewable energy—an achievement we reached in 2020, one year ahead of schedule—and to reaching a carbon footprint of net-zero in our hosting operations by 2022.

[Related read: Zendesk’s Global Impact Report]

We also focus on reducing the waste generated in our offices and at our events, by educating our employees on recycling and composting through our social impact programs, and making more sustainable choices for all large internal and external events. Zendesk recently joined We Are Still In, a group of over 3,750 US companies mobilized in support of the Paris Agreement.

Because we believe that healthy ecosystems are a proven method for eliminating food insecurity, poverty, and social inequalities for millions of people, our corporate foundation, the Zendesk Neighbor Foundation, has committed to further investment in ecosystem restoration work to help reverse the effects of climate change.

[Related read: How community nonprofits shift focus to solve for food insecurity]

We’ve partnered with the following organizations: American Forests, Ecosystem Restoration Camps, Bush Heritage Australia, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to solidify our commitment to this cause. These organizations have all received grants from the Zendesk Neighbor Foundation that help them support their climate initiatives.

World Wildlife Fund

World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

    “Conservation endures as a living discipline because it is inhabited by a magnificent collection of people. Only by working together can we create solutions to the most vexing problems we face.”
    —Carter Roberts - President & CEO, World Wildlife Fund

Established in 1961 by a group of passionate and committed individuals who sought to secure the funding necessary to protect places and species that were threatened by human development, WWF is tackling climate change by working directly with entrepreneurs, investors and businesses to support and promote innovative, low carbon and zero carbon solutions. WWF works with local communities, governments, and others around the world to help people and nature prepare for the many impacts of a changing climate. They help local communities conserve the natural resources they depend upon; transform markets and policies toward sustainability; and protect and restore species and their habitats.

A $300,000 Zendesk Neighbor Foundation grant supports WWF’s climate initiatives, including their work protecting biodiversity, forests, oceans and freshwater ecosystems.

Ecosystem Restoration Camps

Ecosystem Restoration Camps (ERC), a new Zendesk Tech for Good partner, is seeding a movement to regenerate Earth’s natural systems by empowering ordinary citizens to take the lead in ecosystem restoration. In 40 camps in 26 countries on 6 continents, ERC volunteers experience firsthand the transformative power of land stewardship, sharing learnings and techniques with other camps and organizations as they go.

Restoring degraded land increases local biodiversity, restores water systems, and improves food security and local livelihoods. Individual participants are empowered to make a difference on a small area of land, inspiring hope for a global project of rejuvenation.

Zendesk has provided ERC with free software and skilled implementation expertise to build a centralized Help Center so camp organizers, campers, and expert advisors can share challenges, best practices, and success stories.

Ultimately, ERC’s goal is to develop the site into a knowledge exchange, shared and used by environmental organizations across the globe. If interested, learn more and join the movement.

Making the world a better place

Read more success stories from our Tech for Good program partners.