Persefoni was founded with the mission to enable every organization and person with the technology to positively impact the health of planet Earth. At the time, we saw an inflection point on the horizon where technology solutions would be needed to enable more efficient, accurate, and transparent greenhouse gas (“GHG”) measurement and reporting (for voluntary purposes and to meet emerging regulatory requirements). GHG reporting was too difficult and too prone to error without software to facilitate accurate calculations and traceability.
Today, we’re witnessing the emergence of regulatory requirements and scrutiny over GHG reporting that bear out our thesis. Companies and investors are looking for software to help add rigor, accuracy, controls, and transparency to their carbon calculations. Our goal as a company is and has always been to build the preeminent carbon accounting and management software platform supported by exceptionally talented and committed people with a drive to innovate in order to meet our customers’ carbon reporting needs. At the same time, we are keenly focused on the safety and security of our platform and ensuring the security of our customers’ data.
We are extraordinarily focused on our three sustainability priorities: (1) climate - helping our clients address their carbon footprint while managing our own; (2) our people - creating an environment that enables the best talent to thrive; and (3) cybersecurity - providing a safe and secure platform to maintain the trust of our customers. While other areas of sustainability also are important, at this time, we are keeping our attention closely locked in on the issues of the greatest significance for our customers, our people, and our company. We believe that by focusing on these areas, we will positively impact the world; help our people, customers, and investors to do well; and remain a leader as this market continues to evolve. Our sustainability program is evolving, and we will continue to enhance our sustainability program and report over time.
This report is meant to be a brief update on what we have accomplished to date, and what we’re working on as we mature. Most importantly, we plan on issuing a more formal ESG report aligned to GRI, TCFD, and ISSB standards later in 2023.
CEO & Co-Founder
Deputy General Counsel & Chief Sustainability Officer
Materiality & ESG Focal Areas
In 2022, Persefoni completed an ESG materiality assessment to guide and focus our priority ESG issues. As part of the assessment, we completed interviews with Persefoni’s Executive Management Team and Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB), which we supplemented with inputs from other Persefoni stakeholder groups such as peers, investors, customers, and suppliers. In total, we evaluated over 30 potential topics, leading us to focus on the three areas described previously as those most critical to our customers, our people, and our company’s success:
Carbon Emissions & Climate
Human Capital Management
Cybersecurity & Data Protection
Carbon Emissions & Climate
We believe the most significant climate impact we can have as an organization is enabling our customers to optimize their carbon visibility using the Persefoni Climate Management & Accounting Platform (CMAP), unlocking more proactive and real-time carbon management. In addition to the core carbon accounting capabilities of the Persefoni CMAP, we’ve built several modules (with more in development) that enable our customers to better analyze and drive impact on their footprint, including:
Portfolio Analytics Suite
Designed to help financial institutions understand, report, and take action on the climate impact of investment activities.
Net Zero Navigator
Built to customize and track a unique decarbonization strategy based on Bain’s industry-specific decarbonization actions informed by deep net zero expertise.
Climate Impact Benchmarking
Leveraging footprint data of over 6,000 companies that disclose to CDP, Persefoni’s CIB module helps companies understand how they stack up against peers to support process enhancement and strategic carbon decisions.
Helping companies focus on decarbonization activities by automating data collection from key applications like Concur, NetSuite, Expensify, and AWS, eliminating time-consuming, manual processes.
We also invest significantly in supporting our customers using the Persefoni platform. Persefoni maintains a Customer Success team of climate experts to work directly with our customers on using the platform while also developing tools and resources to enable our customers to use the platform independently. In 2021, we performed an in-depth analysis of our customers’ ambitions and challenges as our roadmap to develop a Rapid Deployment Program to onboard and provide ongoing support to our customers. We have used feedback from that assessment to build ongoing support tools, including Persefoni Help Center, ZenDesk-enabled customer service experience, and 24/7 access for all customer personnel to our Persefoni Academy learning resources that address carbon accounting topics and the use of the Persefoni platform.
Collectively, we aim to combine high-quality climate expertise, an intuitive product, and leading customer support to enable our customers to calculate their emissions and report with confidence, no matter their progress on their climate journey. For customers who need additional support, Persefoni has established a Partner Network that can provide additional support, regardless of carbon program maturity, from data services to help them establish their initial footprint, build an ESG data stack, and develop and execute a decarbonization strategy.
Since 2021, we have leveraged our Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB) to advise us on creating best-in-class solutions that assist and guide enterprises and investors to manage their carbon accounting, disclosure, internal education, and ultimately, decarbonization efforts. Our SAB comprises leading industry experts helping shape the ESG and climate disclosure space and providing us with invaluable guidance on building our product - and company - in this rapidly evolving market.
While our largest climate impact is through our platform and enabling our customers, we also believe it is critical to lead by example by taking action to reduce our own carbon footprint and making commitments that demonstrate our dedication to supporting urgent and universal action on climate change.
Persefoni is proud to be a signatory to The Climate Pledge and Carbon Call. As signatories, we work to mitigate our own footprint, commit to a net zero by 2040 target, partner to support joint action to address critical climate challenges and participate in the development of a reliable and interoperable carbon accounting system for companies and the planet.
With these commitments, we are proud to share our first carbon footprint data, which includes all relevant material Scope 3 categories for our business. As a software business that operates primarily as a distributed workforce, our most significant carbon impacts are currently business travel, purchased goods and services, and capital goods.
We are currently in the process of finalizing our 2022 carbon footprint, securing assurance of that data, and conducting a TCFD-aligned risk and opportunity assessment. We look forward to publishing that work later in 2023.
Persefoni 2021 Carbon Footprint
2021 Total Emissions
Scope 3 Emissions Breakdown
Category 1 Purchased goods and services
Category 2 Capital goods
Category 6 Business travel
Category 7 Employee commuting
Category 11 Use of Sold Products
Methodology details: Persefoni’s Scope 2 emissions are generated from purchased electricity from our Tempe, Arizona, world headquarters, and a separate facility that served as a corporate working and housing space during 2021. We have assessed and are reporting all relevant material Scope 3 categories for our business. All non-reported Scope 3 categories are not relevant to our business at this time, with the exception of Category 5, waste generated in operations, which is relevant but immaterial. As we grow, we will continue to assess additional potentially relevant categories. Purchased goods and services, capital goods, and business travel are calculated using a spend-based approach, with the exception of spend with Amazon Web Services as part of Scope 3 Category 1, which has been calculated using a hybrid approach that includes emissions data provided by Amazon’s Customer Carbon Footprint Reporting tool. Persefoni operates as a primarily distributed workforce. As such, our employee commuting calculation includes a distance-based calculation for the small percentage of our employees that regularly work from our physical office spaces, as well as energy use attributable to work-from-home activity of our distributed workforce. To develop these figures, we surveyed Persefoni’s workforce to determine commute distances and modes of transportation for those that physically commute and the size of home offices for those that telecommute. Persefoni’s inventory has been developed using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
From inception, we recognized the need to have security architected throughout the Persefoni CMAP and our supporting services. Our customers share a range of data to calculate their carbon footprint and expect their data in the Persefoni platform to be kept secure and private. To that end, we’ve invested heavily in our platform to enable our ability to provide investor-grade emissions data while incorporating robust, enterprise-grade security features and processes.
Through this investment, we’ve obtained multiple certifications related to the security, confidentiality, and privacy of our platform:
In addition to these certifications, Persefoni has adopted the NIST Cybersecurity Framework as the foundation for development and maturing of our security organization, systems, processes, and procedures. We also monitor and routinely test the Persefoni CMAP for a range of vulnerabilities using various tools and external third-parties.
We review all vendors that process or store customer data before service initiation and at least annually thereafter to confirm their cybersecurity systems and processes are appropriate.
100% of Persefoni employees complete cybersecurity awareness training on areas such as phishing, malware, and password protection. This formal training is completed by each employee at least annually, and we also begin every bi-weekly company town hall meeting with a “cybersecurity moment” to further promote a culture of awareness and diligence.
Persefoni was founded with the core values of sustainability, collaboration, impact, and equality. Through these shared values, we cherish and respect people and organizations of all backgrounds. Ours is a culture of innovation, creativity, diversity, and inclusion.
Beginning with recruitment and continuing with training, our benefits, and employee engagement programs, our operating principles compel us to maintain and develop that culture as we grow. Through that journey, we’re working to address issues we know to be meaningful to companies like ours, such as bringing more women into tech roles and operating as a distributed workforce, allowing us to build talent density regardless of location. We are proud of the programs we have implemented to support talent acquisition and retention, performance management, engagement, and the fostering of an inclusive, equitable, and diverse workforce.
Inclusive Recruitment & Hiring
All Persefoni job descriptions include our equal opportunity statement. We actively work to have our open roles placed on job boards that focus on diverse candidate pools to support the inclusion of diverse candidates in our interview panels. Our interviewing and hiring processes use a fact-based scorecard to evaluate candidates to help remove biases and promote equity in hiring decisions.
All hiring managers and leaders with direct reports are required to complete Interview Training. This training helps ensure that all hiring managers have a shared understanding of how to make balanced and equitable hiring decisions, create a positive candidate experience, and ultimately demonstrate our commitment to fair hiring practices.
When a hiring decision is made, we use benchmarking to generate fair and equitable offers based on Persefoni’s compensation philosophy and compared to median salaries for other companies in the technology sector. Pay decisions are led by our dedicated Compensation Team, who conducts bi-annual pay equity reviews.
Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (IDE) Working Group
Persefoni started an Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity working group only a year after the company was created. The cross-functional team continuously monitors conversations, questions, and feedback across Persefoni and develops programming to address the real-time needs of our employees. Additionally, the working group supports our Talent Acquisition team in researching, interviewing, and selecting partnerships and memberships that will help us reach diverse talent.
Pronouns at Persefoni
All Persefonites are asked to share their preferred pronouns during our onboarding process, which are included as part of their introduction to the company via our teammate announcement Slack channel and everyone’s individual profile in Slack. All Persefonites have access to guidance on gender identity and the use of pronouns and are encouraged to complete training on the Use of Gender Pronouns in the Workplace.
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Persefoni established our first ERG in 2022 based on feedback and requests from our employee base. Persefoni’s Pride ERG is focused on creating a safe, collaborative, and thoughtful space for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies and promoting inclusivity throughout the company. The Pride ERG is sponsored by a Persefoni Vice President.
The Persefoni Collective
In 2023, we launched this programmatic effort focused on creating an inclusive work environment for our team, emphasizing storytelling. By hearing teammates' stories centered on their lived identities, Persefonites are able to better understand diverse perspectives, particularly those of people with historically marginalized identities. The end goal of this program is to amplify the voices of fellow Persefonites, catalyze learning from their stories, develop a greater sense of connectedness as a team, and gain increased awareness of ways to strengthen inclusion.
Persefoni’s Holiday Schedule
In addition to federal and international holidays, Persefoni formally recognizes International Women’s Day and International Day Against Homophobia/Transphobia/Biphobia, as paid days of commemoration. We encourage Persefonites to use these days to celebrate, honor, learn, and reflect. We provide Persefonites with educational resources to learn more about the importance and impact of these days and ways they can take action. We provide similar resources in support of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Juneteenth in recognition of their cultural significance in the United States. We also offer these days as paid company days of commemoration for our US employees.
Persefoni’s Employee Handbook
All Persefonites are required to read and acknowledge our employee handbook, which is home to a number of key policies:
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
Paid Parental Leave
Policy Against Harassment, Discrimination, & Retaliation
Voting Time Off
Our Paid Parental Leave policy offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all parents, inclusive of all gender identities. It can be exercised by anyone anticipating the birth of a child or the placement of a child for adoption or foster care. Information on Persefoni’s key employee benefits are available on our Careers page.
We are continually evaluating ways to advance inclusion, equity, and diversity within our company, including implementing a voluntary self-identification process that will enable us to assess and report on a variety of diversity metrics.
Persefoni will publish a more formal, robust ESG report aligned to GRI, TCFD, and ISSB standards later in 2023. In addition to updates on the topics covered in these updates, we will provide additional information on governance and risk management, including our approach to ESG governance.