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


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.

About

DocuSign, Inc. (stock ticker: DOCU) allows organizations to manage electronic agreements. Based in San Francisco, California, DocuSign offers eSignature, a way to sign electronically on different devices.

DOCU's Role in Drawdown

DocuSign has a long list of products that are based on their anchor product, eSignature, that enables the sending and signing of agreements on a wide variety of devices. Some of these products help customers customize and manage the lifecycle of contracts, analyze and understand the clauses and risks in contracts, and products tailored to professionals like real estate brokers and agents, mortgage lenders, and federal government employees.

DOCU: What We Like

Aside from offering products and services that directly help reduce business travel and paper use, DocuSign has several environmental commitments and programs:

  • DocuSign recently set a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2022, and as part of this effort, to reduce air travel by 20% per employee.
  • DocuSign for Forests” is their initiative, launched in 2019, to provide financial support to nonprofits that work to protect the world’s forests. DocuSign has already committed over $2.5 million to organizations including the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation, The WIlderness Society, Rainforest Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Trees for Cities, and Friends of the Urban Forest.

DocuSign is undertaking these sustainability projects all the while achieving rapid growth in their sales and revenue:

  • 42% CAGR (p. 28) in customer base between 2013 and now
  • 29.4% CAGR in total revenue between 2017 and 2020

DOCU: 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.

Other Telepresence Stocks in the Climate Index

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