Climate Tech

Canva goes big on green power to cut supply chain emissions in the US

- May 24, 2024 2 MIN READ
solar power
Photo: AdobeStock
Design giant Canva has partnered with US sustainability and carbon reduction platform Watershed to cut the impact of its energy use with renewables.
The deal, announced at the annual Canva Create conference, being held in the US for the first time, will tackle what are known as scope 3 emissions. They can cause up to 90% or more of a company’s carbon footprint.

Canva has signed what’s called as a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA), which has been co-funded by several of the company’s largest Canva Print suppliers. It will build a network of new community solar projects in Illinois while reducing the emissions of these suppliers. The agreement delivers a fixed-price supply chain VPPA to solve a major challenge for companies looking to address their scope 3 emissions.

For example, renewable energy developers often demand that corporate buyers commit to a minimum facility size and a long-term contract of 10+ years. Watershed will handle the sourcing and negotiation processes to reduce contract complexity for Canva and its suppliers and offer shorter-term VPPA commitment of 5 to 7 years.

Canva gobal head of sustainability Mike Williams said that approach allows small to midsize companies like their print suppliers to be a part of renewable energy projects that otherwise would be out of reach as well as allowing new suppliers to join in.

“Canva alongside our Print Partners, are united by the aspirations of Canva’s Two-Step Plan, to do the most good we can,” he said.

“Forecasting the expected future energy demand of our North American Print Partners, and co-funding a community solar facility to address it using Watershed will create real, additional, emission reductions for Canva and our suppliers. Together, we’re tackling scope 3 emissions while building greater resilience for local communities.”

The new solar projects will also give US households in the midwest who can’t afford rooftop solar (such as renters or low-income households) access to clean power via a community solar model, that will also reduce power bills.

On top of that they deliver what’s known as Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which Canva’s suppliers will use to to reduce their reported scope 2 emissions from electricity, feeding into the scope 3 emissions, Matt Konieczny, head of clean power at Watershed said.

“Scope 3 emissions are by far the biggest component of almost every company’s carbon footprint. Reducing these emissions is the challenge that keeps most of our customers up at night,” he said.

“This program achieves scope 3 reductions through the combined action of Canva and its print suppliers. Canva has delivered an example others can follow, showing that with the right approach, companies can enable their supply chain to take high-impact climate action.”