Wikimedia Technology/Annual Plans/FY2019/TEC7: Environmental Sustainability

Current Goal Status.

This program encompasses the creation of an actionable roadmap for sustainability for the Wikimedia Foundation. This is in response to a Board resolution on environmental impact adopted in February 2017, as follows:

The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to seeking ways to reduce the impact of our activities on the environment. We aim to always act responsibly and sustainably as possible, including favoring renewable energy for our operations. We believe that a long-term commitment to sustainability is an essential component of our work towards the Wikimedia mission and vision.

To this end, the Wikimedia Foundation makes the following commitments:

  • We will seek to minimize our overall impact on the environment;
  • We will consider sustainability as an important part of decisions around servers, operations, travel, offices, and other procurement;
  • We will use green energy where it is available and financially prudent; and
  • Starting in 2018, we will include an environmental impact statement in our annual plan.

Program outline


Teams contributing to the program

  • Technology: Program Management (Erika), some input from Ops
  • Other WMF Teams: Communications (reporting), Facilities/OIT (input on WMF facilities initiatives around sustainability)

Annual Plan priorities


Primary Goal: 3. Knowledge as a Service - evolve our systems and structures

How does your program affect annual plan priority?


We have a commitment from the board to publish in 2018.

Program Goal


What is the environmental cost of spreading free knowledge around the world, and what can we do at WMF to minimize that cost? These are the questions we are setting out to answer with this program. We will first produce and publish an environmental impact statement, and once we understand that impact, we will establish measures we can track and a sustainability roadmap with actions we can both take as an organization and recommend to our chapters, affiliates, and community with regard to minimizing our environmental impact as a movement.

Outcome 1
Produce an environmental impact report and statement
Output 1
From the environmental impact report, extract set of metrics that shows where we are on the sustainability spectrum that we can use to track progress
Output 2
A set of steps toward reducing energy footprints of our servers/data centers and shift them to alternative sources where feasible.
Outcome 2
Increased awareness of the broader activities WMF could do to increase overall sustainability beyond energy issues
Output 3
A roadmap encompassing efforts we are able to make toward reducing our environmental impact, shared across the movement
Output 4
Educational materials and success stories shared among staff and community (ie. on the blog)


FY2017–18 FY2018–19
People (OpEx)
  • Minor organizational work
  • Program Management
  • Communications: occasional progress write-ups
  • budget for Environmental Impact Report and subsequent writing/reporting
Travel & Other
  • 1 x WMCON
  • n/a x Wikimania (centralized)
  • 1 X WMCON


  1. Deliverable: Environmental impact statement
  2. Deliverable: Sustainability Roadmap, with baseline and target metrics


  • Data Center vendors (Equinix, CyrusOne) will need to provide information for the Environmental Impact statement