Commitment to Environmental Management
We are committed to reducing the environmental impact from our operations and strive for continuous improvement in all key areas. We have revised our Environmental Policy to align with our ambition of achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
Supporting the TCFD
Paychex is a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). According to the TCFD, “by publicly declaring support for the TCFD and its recommendations, companies demonstrate that they are taking action to build a more resilient financial system through climate-related disclosure.” Our annual disclosures aligned with the recommendations of the TCFD are available in our annual CDP Climate Change Response on our corporate website.
Annual CDP Reporting
“By disclosing, Paychex, Inc. has underscored their commitment to transparency on their environmental impact, risks and opportunities. This step is critical not just for their goals, but also for their investors, customers and employees. CDP greatly values Paychex, Inc.’s contribution to a more sustainable future.”
- Ateli Iyalla, Managing Director, CDP North America
Climate-related Risks and Opportunities
Paychex is actively engaged in assessing the climate-related risks and opportunities. We perform an enterprise-wide risk assessment, at least annually, that includes an environmental-focused risk assessment to identify climate-related risks and opportunities. Previously, all findings and activities were reported to the Board of Directors through the Governance and Compensation Committee. Going forward, they will be reported to the newly created Nominating and ESG Committee, which has oversight over these matters. We disclose risks or opportunities in line with the United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
GHG Emissions and Energy Use Management
Paychex is committed to managing and reducing its energy consumption and GHG emissions. In recent years we have undertaken several initiatives to reduce our direct and indirect emissions. We have a long-term ambition of achieving Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050. To achieve that ambition, we have established short- and medium-term targets across scopes, with FY19 as baseline year.
Announcing Interim GHG Emissions Reduction Targets:
Targets for Reducing Scope 1 emissions
- 50% Reduction in Scope 1 Emissions by 2030 and 70% reduction by 2040
Targets for Reducing Scope 2 emissions
- 50% Reduction in Scope 2 Emissions by 2030 and 70% reduction by 2040
Targets for Reducing Scope 3 emissions
- 50% Reduction in Scope 3 category Business Travel emissions by 2030 and 70% reduction by 2040
- 50% Reduction in Scope 3 category Employee Commuting emissions by 2030 and 70% reduction by 2040
- 50% Reduction in Scope 3 category Upstream Leased Assets emissions by 2030 and 70% reduction by 2040
- 50% Reduction in Scope 3 category Downstream Transportation and Distribution emissions by 2030 and 70% reduction by 2040
Initiatives To Reduce Energy Use and GHG Emissions
To decrease our dependence on natural gas for heating, a geothermal HVAC system was installed at three buildings at our Rochester campus. We have started the process of replacing the lighting in our existing facilities in Rochester with LED light fixtures. In addition, we install LED light fixtures, occupancy sensors and dimmers, and other energy-efficient fixtures (lighting, HVAC, plumbing, hand dryers) as a standard practice in all new facilities. We design our facilities considering the principles of green buildings, such as maximizing the use of daylight, utilizing interior finishes with recycled content and paint with low–volatile organic compounds (VOC) content, and other furnishings with similar properties.
Environmental Footprint of Data Center Infrastructure
Paychex strives to reduce our overall environmental impact and carbon footprint. We continue to assess and improve the energy efficiency of our data centers. We proactively maintain our power and cooling systems and continuously look for ways to conserve energy, including regularly decommissioning old equipment, migrating to energy-efficient high-density computers, optimizing airflow and converting to LED lighting in our data centers to improve Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) scores. We are actively exploring ways to retrofit green technology for our data centers to further reduce carbon footprint and improve PUE scores. We are not currently designing any additional data centers.
We continuously seek ways to increase our share of paperless products and services. With our “Smart Print” program, we’ve replaced printing equipment with more efficient devices that enable printing to the cloud. This initiative, as well as eliminating paper-filled binders in favor of electronic documents in our training programs and replacing many client-facing paper outputs with electronic reports, has led to a decrease in paper consumption in our offices.
We have a vast portfolio of low-carbon products and services to reduce environmental impact, including paper usage and GHG emissions. These include a digital onboarding system for new employees that replaces the need for the use of paper during on-boarding of a new employees; digital applicant tracking system that replaces the need for paper resumes and streamlines the hiring process; digital time and attendance machines that replace the need for paper and ink based time clocks; direct deposit and digital pay stubs that replace the use of paper checks and paper stubs. Our Paychex Flex® mobile app allows clients and their employees to receive and provide information in a paperless format. We have initiatives in place to encourage our clients and their employees to transition to these low-carbon products and services from their traditional counterparts.
In FY21 we adopted the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Notice and Access rules (e-proxy) by which we transitioned from paper-based to electronic copies of the Annual Report on Form 10-K and Proxy Statement provided for FY20 reporting to shareholders. This decision leads to annual savings of approximately 15.8 million pages of paper, as compared to previous years before this initiative was implemented.
At Paychex, we are committed to reducing the waste generated in our facilities that goes to landfills, and have implemented numerous initiatives to increase recycling. We manage the waste from construction and decommissioning of our facilities by following the principles of waste management hierarchy. This involves practices such as maximizing the reuse of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure; donating furniture to charities; and recycling demolished material that cannot be reused.
Coffee Pod Recycling Initiative
We recycle the coffee pod waste created in our offices. The spent coffee grounds from the pods are composted, and the metal and plastic components are recycled.
Recyclable Container Deposits
Container deposit refunds from bottle and can recycling are used to support local charitable initiatives.
We partner with our waste removal vendor’s food and organic recycling program. Acceptable food and organic items are collected from onsite cafeteria facilities by our food service vendor, and taken weekly to a special facility, where they are turned into valued reuse products such as feed for livestock, fertilizer, or soil amendments.
For the other waste generated in our facilities, we have a recycling program and provide bins to support waste segregation at its source. Paper that contains confidential information is managed by turning into shred, which is then recycled by our partner.
We work with a recycling partner to manage the electronic waste generated from our operations. Our recycling partner removes electronic data following necessary guidelines and manages the waste by resale and recycling. All equipment from our U.S. operations is recycled in secure and environmentally sound manner, in compliance with federal and state laws, including the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling & Reuse Act, and the Industry Certifications of Responsible Recycling (R2), Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS) and National Association for Information Destruction (NAID).