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Environmental sustainability
We contribute to a more sustainable world through resource conservation and the reduction of our operational impact on the environment.

Environmental sustainability goals

As a digital bank, our carbon footprint is relatively small. But, we still have a responsibility to do more. We have set specific goals that align with our environmental sustainability commitment and will further reduce our carbon footprint.

Goals

"We keep making incredible changes to decrease our environmental impact. As of 2023, we reduced our emissions by 24% since 2017, achieved a waste diversion rate over 74%, and saved over 46 million gallons of water since 2017. There’s more that we can do—we’re excited for our plans in 2024 and the future."

Pictured:
Richard Prange
Vice President, Real Estate, Facilities, and Sustainability

Environmental Working Group

We progress towards our environmental sustainability goals through the leadership of the Environmental Working Group. Their objective is to reduce the company’s footprint across all company operations that impact energy and emissions, supply chain, sustainable products and services, and resiliency planning.

"Our environmental initiatives are born at the intersection of sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion. We’re aware that vulnerable communities often bear the brunt of environmental hazards, so we’ve identified goals that serve not just the planet but also the people who live on it."

Pictured:
Kathia Benitez
Director Sustainability, Compliance and Health & Safety, and Environmental Working Group Committee Lead

Built environment decarbonization

We’ve reduced total Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 24% from our 2017 baseline through several energy-saving measures. To calculate our emissions, we rely on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Standard, a comprehensive framework used industry-wide to calculate and manage GHG emissions. 

Our path forward: We’re developing a strategy to implement decarbonization measures that further reduce our Scope 1 and 2 footprint:

Maximize building efficiency through lighting upgrades and end-of-life equipment replacements

Improve building automation and set point optimization, behavioral changes, and retro commissioning of existing building systems

Evaluate electrification to reduce use of fossil fuels, explore onsite solar, and offsite renewable energy investments such as a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement

Waste, transportation, and water

Waste management
We are committed to minimizing waste in every part of our business, in every building. In 2023, we recycled 1,310 tons of material across all our U.S. offices, achieving a 74% diversion rate.


Sustainable transportation
Even before employees get to work, we’re trying to reduce their carbon footprint. We’ve organized several commuting options to support sustainable, equitable, and accommodating travel choices including Car and Vanpooling, a Commuter Benefits Plan, Shuttle services, and we’ve installed Electric Vehicle Chargers at our Discover Headquarters.


Water conservation and land use
To reduce water usage, we rely mostly on facilities’ plumbing and landscaping conservation efforts. Measures contributing to water reductions included the use of low-flow fixtures like faucets and flushometers, incorporating native plants that thrive in local climates, and xeriscaping to avoid supplemental irrigation, improving the quality of the landscape over time.

Inclusive engagement

Our Green Team, made up of hundreds of Discover employees, is a volunteer group that educates employees on sustainable actions and technologies while encouraging colleagues to be more environmentally mindful at home and in the office. The Green Team is focused on volunteerism, education, and advocacy.

For more information, download our latest report.

Download Report
Updated 05/29/2024

1 Greenhouse gases (GHG) Scope 1 is defined as direct emissions from company’s resources, like fuel oil, natural gas, mobile combustion, and refrigerant losses. Scope 2 is defined as indirect emissions generated by electricity purchased from a utility provider. Discover is developing a strategy to implement decarbonization measures that further reduce our Scope 1 and 2 footprint including: Maximizing building efficiency through lighting upgrades and end-of-life equipment replacements. Improving building automation and set point optimization, behavioral changes, and retro commissioning of existing building systems. Evaluating electrification to reduce use of fossil fuels, explore onsite solar, and offsite renewable energy investments such as a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement. Our emissions are not currently verified by an independent third‑party. Discover reports under the “control” approach for emissions in Scopes 1 and 2, as defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, from sources over which it has operational control. Scope 2 Emissions are calculated using the location-based method which reflects the average emissions intensity of grids on which energy consumption occurs. In 2023, we aligned electrical grid coefficients with the reporting year dating back to 2017. The changes are reflected in our latest ESG report. Discover uses the U.S. EPA eGRID sub-regional average emission factors to calculate indirect emissions resulting from the purchase of electricity in the United States, while indirect emissions resulting from the purchase of electricity outside of the U.S. are calculated using DEFRA for the UK. Electricity emissions for the a reporting year are calculated using the most recent grid emissions factors available from the EPA and DEFRA as of the time GHG emissions calculations are run for the reporting year.