Esri #TogetherWithNature and the Power of Smart Mapping

08-05-2020 11:36 AM
Esri Regular Contributor
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Esri, as the world's sixth largest privately-owned technology company, a world leader in geographic information system software, spatial data science research and development, and a strong record of supporting thousands of environmental conservation initiatives since our founding in 1969, holds a vision to conduct business in harmony with the environment. This embodies Esri’s core values in the way we function, and spurs us on toward our mission of continually embedding sustainability in our internal operations (e.g., As part of our values we acknowledge that everyone and everything in this world is connected. One does not have to lose profits by conserving – everyone needs clean air, clean water, everyone has a sense of place. It does not have to be good vs evil. We care about the same things no matter what business sector we represent or where we fall on the POLITICAL spectrum: we want a safe place to live, clean water, clean air for our families, safe food, gainful employment; good health for our family, friends, loved ones, our community, city, country, world. Science-based land and ocean conservation serve to ensure this.


Esri’s ongoing sustainability initiative, includes a new strategic plan, a host of performance reporting and employee community networking and sustainability improvement projects, all in keeping with the #TogetherWithNature principles. This plan includes:

  • Continuing to Reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) Footprint by identifying our current scope of emissions and working to reduce our net GHG emissions.
  • Quantifying Sustainability in Esri Operations by following policies and practices to reduce our environmental impact, exceed environmental standards where practicable (such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and the GHG Corporate Standard), and measuring our success. We currently deploying our own host of company-wide sustainability performance dashboards, built with our own GIS technology, that tracks pounds of CO2 emissions avoided, pounds of e-waste and hazardous waste recycled, gallons of water saved, kilowatt hours saved, pounds of particulate emissions saved, and annual car CO2 emissions avoided.
  • Increasing Environmental Stewardship: as sustainability lies deep in our company’s values, we aim to foster sustainable practices within our organization and among our employees, distributors, and partners, including the conservation and protection of existing ecosystems on our campuses, within our vast communities, and at the global level through deep participation in initiatives such as the EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s Half-Earth, Microsoft’s AI for Earth and Planetary Computer, National Geographic’s Earth Pulse, Nature Serve’s Map of Biodiversity Importance, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and more.
  • Enabling Sustainability SolutionsThe largest impact we can make in creating a sustainable world is through our users. We work to enable our user community of 350,000 organizations worldwide to build sustainability solutions with our location intelligence technology. To make careful and consistent decisions on issues such as fair and sustainable economic models that create new employment opportunities; where to engage underserved customers; where a company’s carbon footprint is rising or falling; where employees’ income levels fail to match the local cost of living or reveal discrepancies like a gender pay gap, companies need a way to monitor, manage, and report on their activities. One way to do this is to focus on the element that grounds nearly every social responsibility issue: its geographic dimension—the whereof what happens. For a holistic view of where an organization’s work supports its broader social duties—and where improvements are needed—companies are moving toward the idea of smart mapping to create a corporate responsibility map. In smart maps, organizations have a powerful tool to plan, track, and manage efforts toward responsible practices in every geography they touch. Many have already harnessed location intelligence generated by smart maps to grow their businesses profitably. Now, they’re finding this geographic guidance indispensable in the era of stakeholder value.

Esri is proud to be among the 120 Signatories that have committed to the four #TogetherWithNature principles for investing in #NatureBasedSolutions. For more information, see

About the Author
Dawn was appointed Chief Scientist of Esri in October 2011 after 17 years as a professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University. As Esri Chief Scientist, she reports directly to Esri CEO Jack Dangermond with a mission to strengthen the scientific foundation for Esri software and services, while representing Esri to the national and international scientific community. Dawn maintains an affiliated faculty appointment as Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State. Follow her on Twitter @deepseadawn. More info. also at and