"Our commitment to environmental sustainability is directly tied to Indeed’s mission to help all people get jobs. In order to make the world – and the world of work – a better place, we are dedicated to supporting our communities and our environments," said LaFawn Davis, Indeed Senior Vice President of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG). Indeed is pursuing a variety of environmental sustainability initiatives, including achieving carbon neutrality, which is on track to be several months ahead of its targeted public commitment date. Valeria Orozco, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Indeed, is on a mission to bring those initiatives and commitments to life.
Valeria Orozco Head of Environmental Sustainability
A passion for environmentalism that stems from a love for biodiversity and the Andes Mountains
Valeria leads Indeed's environmental sustainability initiatives as Head of Environmental Sustainability. After earning her master's degree in environmental management, she worked as a corporate sustainability consultant, and then moved to the sustainability department of a global beverage company, leading many successful projects in the field. Valeria says her curiosity for biodiversity stems from her childhood experiences in the Andes Mountains, where she fell in love with the region’s broad biodiversity.
"The truth is that it’s possible to protect the environment and its ecosystems, and commit to fair trade while being a business. And I was really lucky to have the chance to do that at Indeed. If you can change a big company a little bit, it's actually quite impactful on society," said Valeria.
Valeria joined Indeed in 2020 and has been leading the carbon neutrality initiative from the beginning, which included measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, obtaining third-party verification of measurement methods, and selecting offset suppliers. Valeria worked to earn a CarbonNeutral® company certification in collaboration with Natural Capital Partners, which was based on 2019 emissions data. In 2021, Indeed supported projects that neutralized its GHG emissions across the company’s entire value chain (i.e., Scopes 1, 2, and 3*¹). Valeria has also contributed to raising sustainability awareness for Indeed employees by hosting internal events.
Valeria and her team is currently working on Indeed’s corporate announcements and disclosures, developing internal systems and relationships, and planning internal events related to environmental sustainability. She and her team also specialize in organizing resources, opportunities, and engagement programs for employees, including iGreen (a volunteer employee-driven organization) and the Sustainability Champion's Council (a volunteer group of employees that advises the sustainability core team on environmental initiatives).
(*1) GHG emissions through business activities are the sum of direct emissions from the use of fuels in the owned or controlled sources ("Scope 1") and indirect emissions from the use of purchased electricity, heat, or steam in the owned or controlled sources ("Scope 2"). GHG emissions through the value chain are indirect emissions other than Scope 1 and 2, occurring in the value chain ("Scope 3").
How the tech industry is tackling climate change
Indeed does not have a manufacturing base, so the key to making an impact on the environment is through its own operational footprint GHG emissions (Scope 1, 2) as well as its entire value chain (Scope 3), which includes office management, waste, employee travel, remote work, and vendor spend. These initiatives have an impact on employees, stakeholders, and society as a whole.
Through her professional experiences, Valeria says that carbon neutrality is one of the first steps tech companies can take toward demonstrating a concrete plan of action for employees, communities, and investors.
While Indeed reached its carbon neutrality goal in 2021, the company will continue setting annual carbon neutrality goals to meet ongoing sustainability expectations. To Valeria, it is important to share how Indeed is achieving carbon neutrality, and how doing so can create a positive chain reaction. According to Valeria, the main mechanism of achieving carbon neutrality is through the support of carbon offset projects that avoid or remove carbon emissions (e.g., forestry). Indeed mainly selects and supports carbon offset projects in consideration of the social benefits in addition to environmental benefits.
"There are various carbon offset projects to choose from, but we aim to support those that produce environmental and social benefits, such as enhanced livelihoods and human health. An example of this could be a solar water heating system, a project we supported in 2021. Through this project, we helped a community go from burning fossil fuels to heat its water to instead using the sun to do so. This way the community meets their energy needs while maintaining a low carbon footprint."
Valeria also believes that there are a lot of potential opportunities to reduce carbon emissions in Indeed’s products and services. For example, Indeed Interview is a virtual hiring platform that eliminates the need for job seekers to physically travel to a location for an interview, in which they might otherwise use a single occupancy vehicle or public transportation to get there. By eliminating the need for travel, Indeed Interview represents a reduction in job seeker's GHG emissions.
"Environmental sustainability projects and programs support the planet upon which we all depend on. A thriving planet plays a part in a thriving healthy human population. In order to cultivate a better world with happier work environments, supporting the environment is crucial. In short, our initiatives are directly tied to Indeed’s mission and services."
Realizing a sustainable society through all corporate activities
Achieving carbon neutrality is an important step toward meeting Indeed’s overall sustainability goals. The company is aiming to achieve net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Valeria and her team are also finalizing a plan to reduce Indeed’s Scope 2 emissions from electricity consumed across five key markets that represent 60% of the company’s electricity (Ireland, Japan, India, Germany, and the U.S.). According to WRI's GHG Protocol, Indeed must measure, manage, and reduce Scope 3 emissions in partnership with its vendors, including emissions for business travel, employee commuting, and procured goods and services. Now, Valeria and her team are making steady progress toward communicating with vendors, recognizing common obstacles, and encouraging vendors to take action.
Valeria deeply resonates with Indeed's mission to help people get jobs, having experienced ups and downs in her own career journey. "I was given an amazing and unique opportunity to shape Indeed’s vision for environmental sustainability all thanks to Laura McCafferty, Vice President of Internal Communications at Indeed, who reached out to me about the role and is now a close colleague of mine," said Valeria. "I am very proud to be a part of Indeed's efforts toward becoming a leader in environmental sustainability. My vision for Indeed is to be confident in our environmental data, eliminate environmentally adverse impacts, and, ultimately, create products and services that help restore the planet."