100 Winchester Circle
Los Gatos, CA 95032, USA
(Customer service): 0800 096 879
Netflix International B.V.
1072 AB Amsterdam, the Netherlands
CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
Netflix, Inc. (“Netflix,” “the Company,” “we,” or “us”) is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 139 million paid memberships in over 190 countries. They provide TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen, and play, pause, or resume watching all without commercials or commitments. Additionally, over two million members in the United States (“U.S.”) subscribe to Netflix’s legacy DVD-by-mail service.
Netflix is a pioneer in launching this streaming service in 2007. They have developed an ecosystem for internet-connected screens and have added increasing amounts of content that enable consumers to enjoy TV series and movies directly on their internet-connected screens. As a result of these efforts, Netflix have experienced growing consumer acceptance of, and interest in, the delivery of TV series and movies directly over the internet.
Their core strategy is to grow the streaming membership business globally within the parameters of their operating margin target. They are also continuously improving members’ experience by expanding and mixing streaming content to attract new members. In addition, Netflix continuously enhances user interface and extends streaming service to more internet-connected screens. They also offer offline viewing for members to download.
Company Sustainable Activity
According to the company
Minimizing electricity use: “For the electricity we use ourselves in our own offices or DVD warehouses, we try to be as efficient as possible. This includes the electricity we use directly in our own offices and studios but also the telecommunications facilities that are part of our content delivery network. We are continually tuning the performance of our servers, both to reduce energy use and increase speed and other performance metrics. In 2015, we shared impressive metrics about the increase in server efficiency, as in 2017, our servers were able to support 200 percent of the bandwidth per watt than they were two years before, taking us half as much energy to provide the same output.
“With servers being the largest part of our footprint, we devote the majority of our efficiency efforts there. We also run a few other efficiency projects that reduce energy use in our office buildings, and we encourage and enable our employees to be green-minded.”
Using renewable energy: “First, there is the energy that Netflix uses directly to run our operations. This includes energy use in our offices and our owned or leased facilities, and includes our Open Connect content delivery network. In 2019, the annual energy use for this part of our footprint was approximately 94,000 megawatt hours.”
“But the larger part of our energy use is indirect— electricity we don’t use ourselves but is needed to deliver Netflix to everyone. This includes the energy use of companies we work with such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, and the power required to support the servers we install with internet providers. We don’t control this energy footprint, so we’re not able to address its efficiency directly ourselves. This indirect energy use was about 357,000 megawatt hours in 2019.”
Sustainable in our operations: “Beyond our renewable energy commitments, we are working to be as sustainable as we can in our operations. We are leaning into industry-wide practices in production as members of the Producers Guild of America Green Production Guide and Albert in the United Kingdom. When our employees, production teams and the artists we work with travel on behalf of Netflix, that has an impact on the environment.”
“We will publish a report each year covering our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. The report will focus on what’s material to our business and our industry using the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) framework as a benchmark.”
Sustainable Development Goals
N/A. Netflix does not cover any of the UN SDGs.
According to the company
“We are matching our non-renewable energy with renewable energy products nearby. We purchase renewable energy certificates (RNEs) to match our non-renewable energy use and fund renewable energy production from sources like wind and solar. The projects we support generate renewable energy in locations where we have a direct electricity footprint or a footprint through partners. Netflix supports projects across 20 countries as in Canada, Western Europe and Brazil and 15 U.S. states. Unfortunately, not all regions of the world have well-developed markets for renewable energy. In these cases, we contribute to emissions reduction by purchasing carbon offsets, which are sourced from projects that reduce, absorb or prevent carbon and other emissions from entering the atmosphere.”
“100 percent of our estimated direct and indirect non-renewable power use was matched with renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets in 2019.”
“In 2017, Netflix joined the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program, a voluntary program where businesses commit to use green power for some or all of their annual electricity consumption. As part of this program, we submit an annual report on our total electricity use and investment in renewables.”
For 2019, we offset the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the majority of this air travel by investing in emission reduction projects. We’ll continue this practice going forward. In our offices, sustainable practices include donating excess food and reducing our use of paper. Finally, through content like Our Planet—featuring David Attenborough and supported by the World Wildlife Fund—we work with storytellers who use their talents to build awareness around environmental issues, reaching millions of people around the world. We take our environmental impact seriously and will continue to look for ways to minimize our impact in the years ahead.”
Netflix made a move forward by starting to write a Social Environmental Governance report. 100 percent of their estimated direct and indirect non-renewable power use was matched with renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets in 2019. However, Netflix does not mention how they engage their employees in offsetting environmental responsibility, nor do they disclose their key numbers. Their only disclosed number is their electricity usage but even that is not complete as some are outsourced. They need to do more by setting clear targets for the company. In brief, they do not engage in much sustainable activity. Therefore, they are rated a D.