Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Engineering Management

First Advisor

Allison Luengen


Information technology companies contribute to greenhouse gas emissions via data servers, office administrative operations, and manufacturing of hardware components. Corporate Social Responsibility programs are a voluntary method of tracking and reducing negative environmental impacts. The 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility data from four Bay Area (California, USA) information technology companies (Adobe, Cisco, Salesforce, and Nvidia) all listed in sustainable index funds were compared to determine best reporting standards. The data analysis also allowed for research into how carbon emissions are categorized and reported on, and which emissions companies pay attention to through Corporate Social Responsibility projects. The physical ownership responsibility for CO2 emissions are titled Scope 1 (company’s own emissions), Scope 2 (energy used in operations), and Scope 3 (suppliers and stakeholders’ emissions). Most of the company’s emissions come from Scope 3 operations, but most of the Corporate Social Responsibility projects address emissions in Scope 1. Without industrywide key performance indicators or standard reporting frameworks, sustainable actions cannot be easily compared. Adding regulatory requirements, such as those proposed by US Securities and Exchange Commission, will improve corporate CO2 reporting standardization and transparency, allowing for easier comparisons and highlighting scalable environmental improvements. Companies in the information technology industry can reduce their carbon emissions by improving energy efficiency at data centers, implementing sustainable software design, and prolonging the lifespan of hardware components by making products modular and repairable.