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Tesla Details CO2 Emissions in First Environmental Report

Tesla Details CO2 Emissions in First Environmental Report
(Photo: Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Credit: Windell H. Oskay, Flickr Creative Commons)

Tesla published its first ever Impact Report this week. The Palo Alto, California-based automotive and energy company shared self-reported carbon dioxide emissions data from their global operations in 2017.

That year, Tesla established a baseline global carbon footprint across manufacturing, retail, distribution, sales, Supercharger, energy, warehouse, and office facilities. The company focused on tracking electricity and natural gas usage for their sites, the report said.

The report showed direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by Tesla as well as indirect emissions that are a consequence of the company’s activities, but occurring at sources owned or controlled by other entities. In 2017, the Supercharger network produced 64,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Sales, service, and delivery were responsible for 39,000 metric tons while energy operations produced 33,000.

Facilities produced the most carbon dioxide emissions that year: 146,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Added together, Tesla’s operations released 282,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide directly and indirectly that year.

In the future, Tesla plans to build out their global carbon emissions data, which should help the company set specific goals to reduce their GHG footprint on a per-product basis while also growing the business.

“Global CO2 levels in the atmosphere are higher than ever,” the report noted. “It is an unsustainable trend that drives Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Speaking with Environmental Leader recently, Tesla’s Mary Jo Press shared internal efforts to lower emissions at the company’s campus in California. “The grassroots efforts are usually the best because you see personally what needs to change in a department or job function,” she said. “Then you can share that success with other areas and watch it bloom.”

By publishing the new sustainability report, Tesla has joined 80% of S&P 500 Companies that do so, Bloomberg’s Emily Chasan noted. Allan Pearce, a shareholder advocate at Trillium Asset Management in Portland, Oregon, told Chasan that a full greenhouse gas footprint is often left out of first-time reports. However, he said that investors would have wanted more data and concrete goals around water use per vehicle.

The full 2018 report is available here.

The 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 13 – 15, 2019 in Denver. Learn more here.

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