1

Million Customers

and over a billion users in more than 180 countries

609000

Barrels

of oil have been saved by DocuSign by avoiding wasted printouts for signatures since the company’s founding in 2003

2.5

Million Dollars

committed by DocuSign to organizations working to preserve the world’s forests

View Our Analysis

The Path to Drawdown: Telepresence

From multipurpose-room systems, immersive telepresence, desktop systems, videophones, and cloud-based software systems, telepresence comes in many forms. But what they all have in common is that they can replace flying for business meetings and reduce overall air and land transportation.

Air travel is estimated to account for about 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. That’s more than 700 million tons of CO2 annually. A big chunk of this is from business air travel.

By integrating telepresence systems, companies, schools, hospitals and museums can offer their services and facilitate communication without being in the same place. This way they can avoid emissions from commutes and business travel by air. Not only that, telepresence can help cut costs and ease employee schedules by avoiding travel, enhance meeting productivity and faster decision-making, and increase interpersonal connection across geographies.

The global market for telepresence solutions is on the rapid rise, from US$2.2 billion in 2010 to US$3.3 billion in 2014. The novel coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated this adoption.

Project Drawdown estimates that, if telepresence is adopted widely enough to replace 16-30% of global air business travel by 2050, it can help avoid between 1 - 3.8 gigatons of CO2 equivalent emissions. This would mean that between 486 - 676 million business-related trips will be replaced, US$1.2-4.4 trillion worth of business travel savings, and between 107 - 143 million fewer unproductive travel hours.

What We Want to See Improve

Track GHG Emissions

We applaud DocuSign’s target to become carbon neutral by 2022 and their commitment to measure major GHG emissions from their operations to inform emissions reduction strategies. As of now, DocuSign doesn’t report these emissions metrics. We are eager to see the amount of emissions - particularly those from electricity used for their offices, employee commute, and computer servers - and concrete reduction strategies. An annual ESG report would be the appropriate place to report them.

Set More Aggressive Targets

DocuSign’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2022 is commendable. But for a company whose carbon footprint is already low, we think this is a low bar to clear. We would like to see more aggressive emissions targets, like achieving zero emissions by the end of this decade by switching completely to renewable sources of energy for their servers and eliminating employee travel.

Offset All Historical Emissions

Once DocuSign achieves zero emissions, we want them to go even further by offsetting or sequestering historical emissions. Their current initiatives to support reforestation is a great start, and we would like to see them ramp up these efforts in the near future. By significantly increasing carbon sinks both in urban and forest areas, internet and tech companies like DocuSign can be a leader in pushing the world toward negative emissions.

Related Telepresence Stocks in the Climate Index

View All Climate Index Stocks →

Allocated Company Description

4.94%

Zoom (ZM)

Zoom offers a unified digital communications platform, integrating video, phone, chat and content sharing - replacing carbon-intensive business travel

3.49%

Docusign (DOCU)

DocuSign offers products that let organizations electronically manage contracts, replacing carbon-intensive business travel

0.07%

AudioCodes Ltd. (AUDC)

AudioCodes offers VoIP network routing, media servers, and value-added applications for businesses. Telepresence cuts emissions from business air travel

0.07%

Kaltura, Inc. (KLTR)

Kaltura offers video products that are heavily used in distance learning for virtual classrooms.

0.02%

ClearOne, Inc. (CLRO)

ClearOne offers conferencing, collaboration and streaming solutions for businesses. Telepresence can help reduce emissions from business air travel

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