PayPal Holdings, Inc.






2211 North First Street
San Jose, California 95131



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Report created by Maribel Sabino

PayPal Holdings, Inc.

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders.

PayPal Holdings, Inc. engages in the development of technology platforms for digital payments. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid.

The firm manages a two-sided proprietary global technology platform that links customers, which consist of both merchants and consumers, to facilitate the processing of payment transactions. It allows its customers to use their account for both purchase and paying for goods, as well as to transfer and withdraw funds.

The firm also enables consumers to exchange funds with merchants using funding sources, which include bank account, PayPal account balance, PayPal Credit account, credit and debit card or other stored value products. It offers consumers person-to-person payment solutions through its PayPal Website and mobile application, Venmo and Xoom.

In addition, PayPal is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Their open digital payments platform gives PayPal’s 325 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person.

Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies.

The company was founded in December 1998 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA.

Company Sustainability Activity

PayPal believes that financial security is critical to the resilience of individuals, organizations, and communities impacted by a changing climate.

As part of their mission to democratize financial services, PayPal is exploring opportunities to mobilize their payments platform and manage their global environmental impacts to support an equitable transition to a climate-neutral economy.

They are committed to managing their key environmental, social, and governance (ESG) opportunities and risks in a way that is consistent with these values and demonstrates their dedication to operate as a responsible global citizen.

Additionally, the company is working to maximize the positive impact of their business by advancing their environmental sustainability program by mitigating their greenhouse gas emissions, managing their water consumption and resilience, and enhancing their waste management practices.


  • Matched 65% of the energy in data centers with renewable generation, representing significant progress toward their goal of 100% by 2023.
  • Made progress toward setting a science-based target for greenhouse gas emissions that aligns with the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Maintained 100% pay equity for women globally and ethnic pay parity in the US for the fourth year in a row and advocated for inclusive public policies.


Renewable Energy

  • 100% renewable energy use in data centers by 2023


Renewable Energy

  • 65% renewable energy use in 2019.
  • In 2019, PayPal achieved a 10% reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2018, driven mainly by the growth in their data center renewable energy use. 
  • PayPal engaged Aligned, a strategic partner with their data centers, to procure renewable energy for a large portion of their outstanding data center energy footprint beginning in 2020.
  • The company  joined the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) as a founding member to share best practices, build relationships, and gather insights into the latest corporate renewable energy procurement trends. 

Water Management and Resilience

  • In 2019, PayPal took steps to enhance the effectiveness of water measurement and management across their global facilities.
  • In 2019, they conducted a water resilience assessment of their global facilities portfolio using analytical tools including the World Resources Institute Aqueduct tool

Waste Management

  • In 2019, PayPal evaluated and enhanced waste sorting systems for six offices with a focus on increasing diversion from landfills and streamlining waste handling processes, and plan to expand these assessments to additional offices going forward. 
  • Implemented a zero-landfill strategy for electronic waste (e-waste) throughout PayPal’s operations. For both data center and office electronics, their IT asset disposal service providers are certified to the R2, e-Stewards, or WEEELabex standard for responsible e-waste management. 
  • In 2019, PayPal’s IT asset management teams retired over 300 metric tons of IT hardware across our global offices and data centers, of which 57% were sold for refurbishment and reuse. The remaining 43% were transferred to our certified disposal vendors for disassembly and recycling in accordance with responsible e-waste practices.


United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations SDGs Compliance


  • PayPal makes the management and movement of money more accessible, secure, and affordable so that more people — including the financially underserved and small businesses — have access to economic opportunities. 
  • PayPal provides digital financial solutions to 305M+ active accounts in 200+ markets globally. They also empowered 47K customers and employees to fund ~$2.5M in Kiva loans since 2016.


  • PayPal promotes the financial health of all employees through their comprehensive Employee Financial Wellness Program. 
  • In 2019, PayPal maintained 100% pay equity for global women and US ethnic pay parity. The company also recruited and developed a diverse talent pool by implementing their diverse hiring program and partnering with organizations including YearUp.


  • Since 2013, PayPal has provided more than $14.5B in funding through over 860K loans to more than 290K small- and medium- sized businesses. 
  • Through their ongoing partnership with Village Capital, PayPal have supported ~250 startups and helped improve the financial health of over 2.8M people and 100K small businesses since 2014.

SDG 10

  • Through PayPal’s digital remittance product, Xoom, they actively support people around the world, particularly immigrants and refugees, with a low-cost money transfer service. 
  • In 2019, Xoom remittances cost 2.7% on average — significantly less than the global average of around 6.8% according to an analysis from The World Bank.

SDG 17

  • PayPal is committed to engaging in public-private partnerships, as demonstrated by their close collaborations with the World Economic Forum, the Financial Health Network, and the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion, among others. 
  • In 2019, they launched Financial Health for the Future of Work, a research project which explored the implications of the future of work on financial services based on interviews with over 100 experts.

Secondary SDGs: 3, 4, 5, 7, 16


PayPal has made a conscious effort to address sustainability throughout its business. The company is committed to managing its key environmental, social, and governance (ESG) opportunities and risks. 

PayPal has implemented an environmental sustainability program aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, managing their water consumption and resilience, and enhancing their waste management practices.

Despite their efforts, the company holds few certificates and has some listings and awards. While they do comply with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, they have one target in renewable energy and have made non-specific progress.

PayPal lacks transparency in its reporting. For these reasons, PayPal has been rated a C.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral

Despite PayPal’s non-specific targets and initiatives, the company is driving positive environmental impact through innovation and technology.


Key Points

  • PayPal uses the following frameworks: Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), U.N. SDGs, U.N. Global Compact, WEF Global Risks Report, SustainAbility’s Annual Trends Report, and financial and technology peer company disclosures. 
  • As part of PayPal’s environmental sustainability strategy, they are committed to full transparency of their climate risks and opportunities in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). 
  • Consistent with their commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative, PayPal continues to make meaningful progress toward establishing a company-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal that aligns with the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • PayPal also joined the United for the Paris Agreement coalition to reinforce their support for meeting the goals set forth in the global agreement.
  • PayPal is pursuing opportunities to drive positive environmental impact with their products and services. The company launched the iZettle Ocean Reader, the world’s first card reader made from recycled plastic. The Ocean Reader is a great example of employees innovating to solve complex sustainability issues.
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