Environmental sustainability

We are always looking to deliver new initiatives, improving on our established environmental and sustainability efforts, and developing a roadmap that builds on them.

investor presentation

Objectives of Xero’s work

Building on established efforts, we will continue to positively contribute to environmental sustainability. Our objectives are to:

  • reduce waste and increase recycling

  • reduce electricity consumption in buildings

  • evaluate our greenhouse gas emissions footprint

  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging alternative modes of transport for employees  

  • minimize carbon intensive travel options such as air travel, and encourage video and teleconference style meetings

  • enhance our procurement processes so that social and environmental impacts are a key consideration in purchasing decisions (e.g. minimizing the carbon impact of transportation)

annual report

Office buildings

We set out to lease buildings that are Green Star, LEED, BREEAM or NABERS certified.

  • The Auckland office has a 5* Green Star rating (5,900m2, second largest office).

  • The new Denver office is LEED Platinum rated (2,786m2, fourth largest office).

  • The Wellington building, opened in 2017, is our largest office at 6,804m2. It was built with Green Star principles but is not certified.

  • Xero has recently signed an agreement to lease 7,580m2 of space in Melbourne, Australia. This building is due to be operational in 2021 and will be built to 5* Green Star rating.

Note: The Auckland and Denver offices together represent 30% of our leased space.

The Xero office in Wellington, NZ

Electricity consumption

Office spaces
We are working on setting specific targets to complement our objectives to lower electricity consumption in all offices where we have sufficient control. Currently we can effectively monitor usage in 14 of our offices. In these offices we aim to reduce consumption to 226 kWh/mper year or less, as per the standards set in the UK WRAP green office guide.

Half (50%) of Xero’s office electricity consumption is in New Zealand, which has a high proportion of electricity generation from renewable sources. According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) data, in 2018, 83.9% of New Zealand's electricity supply was from renewable sources. 

In addition, we are working towards compliance with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme in the United Kingdom.

Read more
Heritage building reinvented as modern business premises
New Xero Wellington HQ officially opened
Inside Xero’s new Wellington HQ
First look inside Xero's trendy Auckland headquarters


Data center storage
Xero uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform as our cloud services platform partner. AWS has a long-term commitment to use 100% renewable energy in its global infrastructure, and in January 2018, it achieved 50% renewable energy usage. We are working with AWS to determine how we can optimize infrastructure utilization. 

Read more
AWS and sustainability

Recycling bins in Xero offices

Office recycling

We are committed to continually improving our recycling methods. We already:

  • recycle paper, glass, hard plastic, aluminium and tin cans and cardboard

  • undertake composting where these services are available in leased offices

  • have eliminated the use of bottled water in all offices

  • endeavour to source all paper for printers from FSC/PEFC sources

  • use paper hand towels and toilet paper from recycled/ FSC/PEFC sources where we have direct control of supplies

  • procure recycling services for printer toner cartridges, batteries and electronic waste

  • return leased IT equipment (principally laptops) at the end of their life to the leasing company

  • recycle non-leased IT equipment (printers, screens etc) where possible via certified e-waste companies

Proposed recycling improvements
We're looking at ways to make improvements to our recycling methods. In addition to company initiatives, we benefit from having employees who are committed to recycling efforts and have lots of ideas to offer.

Read more
Plastic pollution: How to be part of the solution
Green expo promotes environmental wellbeing for employees and local business community

 

 

Bike stans in Xero's new Auckland office building, NZ

Getting to work

We provide end-of-trip facilities, including secure bike parking, showers and well-equipped changing rooms in all our newer buildings to better support alternative modes of transport. Charging points for electric vehicles are also made available.

Xero's 2019 branded organic t-shirt

Sustainable sourcing

To ensure we’re taking responsibility for our impact, we’re continually looking at ways to make more sustainable purchasing decisions in our everyday work.

Some of the other ways in which we are making improvements through more sustainable decisions include:

  • Our 2019 annual report is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited and is printed with vegetable inks.

  • Our major vendor, Amazon Web Services has stated its long-term commitment to using 100% renewable energy in its global infrastructure. It exceeded 50% renewable energy for 2018. We're working with AWS to determine how we can optimize infrastructure utilization.

  • For our 2019 annual global Xerocon conferences, attended by thousands of delegates, we're introducing more sustainable options for our delegates. You can read more about our improvements for Xerocon Brisbane here.

  • We switched to ethically sourced organic cotton from AS Color for our staff t-shirts in 2019.

Case study: switching to organic cotton staff t-shirts

Xero sees sustainability as an opportunity for innovation and to be a leader in making improvements where it makes business sense. So we took a small step towards sustainable sourcing by having all of our 2019 Xero-branded staff t-shirts (from sizes XS to 2XL) made from AS Color’s organic cotton range.

AS Color’s commitment to sustainability
AS Color is a New Zealand company with a commitment to sustainability. Its cotton is grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides, and is GOTS certified. AS Color also has a responsible sourcing strategy whereby it has zero tolerance to bonded labor, and is part of the Child Labor Free and the Amfori BSCI initiatives.

Time to go organic
For Xero, we knew the time was right to make the switch. We’ve been using AS Color for the past five years to source our t-shirts, so when they released their new organic cotton range last year, it was something we had to get on board with.

We also made a conscious decision to have the t-shirts sent to us in bulk without the use of individual plastic wrapping – another step towards improving our environmental impact.

Taking it further
We’re also looking to expand this initiative to the t-shirts that we provide externally – both at our events and on the online store.

This is part of our broader efforts to ensure that sustainability principles are part of our business planning and every day practice.  We’re taking steps to grow our business sustainably and this includes taking responsibility for our social impact by respecting environmental resources.

 

Community
Community

We are actively building out programs that engage and contribute to thriving communities, such as our employee volunteering...

Find out more

Community
Diversity and inclusion

Xero continues to strongly champion diversity and inclusion to cultivate an engaged global team, who also represent the diverse needs...

Find out more

Community
Business support

Our purpose at Xero is to have a positive impact on the lives of people in small business, their advisors and communities around the world...

Find out more

Community
Social impact

For Xero, building a fast-growing but sustainable business means taking responsibility for our social and environmental impact...

Find out more

Need more information?

The Xero annual report 2019 outlines our performance for the year to 31 March 2019. It also includes details of our work to date in the area of social and environmental impact, and our latest gender diversity figures.

If you need more information, please email socialimpact@xero.com