Putting our money where our mouth is

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What do we mean when we say “do some good”?

Our new motto is more than just a catchy tagline that fits with our initials. It’s a commitment to making the world a better place through our business practices. We want to make great stuff, but we want to leave the world better than we found it in doing so.

We could make the usual sorts of woolly environmental commitments that most companies do. We could commit to using 100% recycled paper and packaging1, or switching to renewable energy2, or pledging to achieve lots of targets “by 2030” (or some other date that’s far enough away that we don’t have to have a plan yet). But we’re not particularly interested in that sort of goal — it’s hard to measure, and puts a lot of pressure on our staff to make sure they’re always doing the right thing. Also, I’m yet to see a company that promises to make some big environmentally-friendly change “by 2030” actually outline how they’re going to get there.

It wouldn’t help anyone for us to reinforce the myth that only individuals are responsible for the fight against climate change. Businesses are the most to blame for carbon emissions, and have the greatest opportunity to take corrective steps. Everyone’s individual actions help, sure, but they don’t tell the whole story.

That’s why, as well as having our woolly environmental commitments, we’ve taken the ‘put up or shut up’ approach and joined Stripe Climate to fund businesses and projects that are actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere. A portion of every single sale across the Group will go towards this cause. Stripe processes virtually all of our payments across our companies, so you can be sure that every transaction is going to help.

What are Stripe doing with the money?

Stripe is investing the money raised from over 5,000 businesses in ambitious carbon removal projects supported by scientific experts. Stripe believes — as do we — that raising funds for these companies at this point is crucial, so that they can refine and perfect their technologies, and as they scale their costs will reduce. DSG is helping provide capital for these businesses so that they can prove their technology works, and we can all start to benefit as it becomes more affordable.

Why is this important?

Climate change is happening now, and it isn’t going to stop. On our current trajectory, we’re looking at about 3°C of global temperature rise above pre-industrial levels, even with drastic changes to reduce our global CO2 output. We have already put too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and we need to remove it to be able to limit this rise; three degrees doesn’t sound like a lot, but we can already see the effects of a one-degree rise with the increase in extreme weather events in recent years. The solution to bring us down to less harmful levels is to start removing carbon from the atmosphere.

At DSG we fully believe that, for as long as businesses are the driving force behind most global CO2 emissions, businesses need to work harder to reduce their impact on the environment. We believe that Stripe’s coalition of likeminded businesses is a great way to start doing that work.

This is far from the only environmental commitment we plan to make, but it’s the first thing we’ve done since we started using our new motto, and we decided that — for the sake of accountability, and to show you we’re not all talk — we ought to tell you about it. We’re sincerely grateful for your support, and we hope to have more like this to share with you in future.

  1. … which we did, in 2019. 

  2. … which we also did. Being a mostly remote company, this is hard to measure, but as far as we can tell our servers and cloud technologies use renewable energy. Our staff are encouraged to do so at home. 

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