Fast Facts

Customer Name





  • Media


  • Global

Key Regulations


  • Scope 1 and 2 Accounting
  • Scope 3 Accounting
  • Reductions and Offset Marketplace

SoundCloud aims for a carbon neutral future

SoundCloud is a next-generation streaming music entertainment company, powered by a global ecosystem of artists, fans, and curators leading what’s next in music. Founded in 2007, the company is an artist-first platform empowering artists to build and grow their careers by providing them with progressive tools, services, and resources. With over 300 million tracks from 30 million creators heard in 190 countries, the future of music is SoundCloud.

Business goal

SoundCloud is committed to positive change for its user communities, and this is reflected in its position on climate action – shaping a future for the global community that is safer and more sustainable. With an overarching goal of achieving carbon neutrality, the company partnered with OneTrust to assess its climate impact and identify carbon reduction and offset opportunities.

Key results

  • Calculated carbon footprint of 6,496 t CO2e for 2019
  • Offset 3.670 t of its 2019 carbon footprint through three certified climate action projects in 2021

Creating positive change for SoundCloud communities is core to our mission and is reflected in our commitment to climate action. We have taken the first important steps to set SoundCloud on track to a carbon neutral future.

Jan Gackenholz
SoundCloud SVP, Finance & Operations

Solution approach

Phase 1: Analyzing SoundCloud’s carbon footprint

To calculate the carbon footprint, OneTrust measured carbon emissions across SoundCloud’s locations in Berlin, New York, London, and Los Angeles, as well as those of its employees and service providers. All relevant scope 1 and 2 activities as well as scope 3 categories were considered, including energy consumption, office waste, employee commuting, business travel, and more. OneTrust also looked at emissions from other sources such as external service providers, IT infrastructure, user activity, events, and postage.

External service providers such as human resource support, IT, and professional services make up the largest share of SoundCloud’s carbon footprint. Powering, heating, and cooling the company’s four office locations are the second largest emissions source. Finally, employee activities such as commuting, teleworking, and business travel account for the third largest share of the footprint.

SoundCloud’s carbon footprint for 2019 was:

6,496 t CO2e total emissions

  • 3,776 t CO2e procurement emissions (contractors/service providers)
  • 1,223 t CO2e office and building emissions
  • 1,066 t CO2e employee emissions




Phase 2: SoundCloud’s commitment to carbon reduction

SoundCloud is committed to reducing and avoiding emissions wherever possible and has begun implementing reduction measures such as expanding use of renewable and clean energy. Since scope 3 emissions from external service providers account for most of the company’s footprint, SoundCloud is also reviewing its procurement policies. Moving forward, SoundCloud plans to switch to carbon neutral IT infrastructure and work with partners and suppliers who also consciously track and reduce their emissions.

Phase 3: SoundCloud takes climate action

Working with OneTrust, SoundCloud offset a part of their 2019 corporate carbon footprint, including most emissions from their service providers, by supporting three certified climate action projects in 2021. These include:

  • (Peru) A REDD+ project to protect the Andean rainforest from deforestation through voluntary agreements with local communities
  • (Democratic Republic of the Congo) A REDD+ project to protect the Congo Basin rainforest through carbon certificates, preventing the release of CO2e into the atmosphere and improving living conditions for local communities
  • (India) A large-scale wind project that delivers renewable energy to electricity grids across India, reducing emissions and air pollution from conventional (fossil fuel) power plants

All three projects are certified by the highest standards, including the Gold Standard and the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS).

Value realized

By partnering with OneTrust, SoundCloud:

  • Gained an accurate picture of carbon footprint and emission reduction opportunities
  • Partially offset its 2019 carbon footprint by supporting three certified climate action projects that had the following outcomes:
    • Protected 182,000 hectares of Andean rainforest in Peru, one of the most threatened ecosystems in the tropical Amazon, preventing the release of 515,268 metric tons of CO2e into the atmosphere annually and providing livelihood improvement measures for local families
    • Protected 300,000 hectares of Congo Basin rainforest (the second largest rainforest in the world), which is conserving bonobo and forest elephant habitat, preventing the release of 5.6 million tons of CO2e into the atmosphere annually, and improving living conditions for 180,000 people through access to basic social services
    • With a total installed capacity of 49.5 MW in wind energy, this project trained staff, and created new jobs, and prevents the release of up to 73,000 t of CO2e annually in India

Looking ahead

SoundCloud and companies like it understand that climate leadership is an essential part of building trust. It takes commitment, collaboration, consistency, and transparency, but it’s worth it. Those that do reap the business benefits that come with being more attractive to stakeholders. SoundCloud is pursuing reduction actions such as switching to renewable energy and carbon neutral suppliers. The company successfully offset part of its 2019 carbon footprint with high-quality, certified climate action projects. Moving forward, SoundCloud will continue working with OneTrust on its long-term decarbonization strategy to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality.


The OneTrust ESG & Sustainability Cloud helps companies like SoundCloud gain critical insights into where carbon emissions are generated throughout the value chain, making it easier to pinpoint hotspots for reduction. The ESG Cloud not only provides a GHG Protocol compliant overview of scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, it also offers a path for clear target setting, automated reporting, and transparent benchmarking.  

Part of the Trust Intelligence Platform™ from OneTrust, it unifies and delivers visibility across four trust domain areas, action based on AI and regulatory intelligence, and automation to build trust by design. Empower your organization to drive change, demonstrate impact, and put trust at the center of your operations.  


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