SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) today published its 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report to provide an update on the progress of its efforts to operate a responsible and sustainable business while fostering an inclusive environment for its employees, customers, communities, and shareholders over the last year.
“Despite the unprecedented challenges 2020 brought, we were able to make meaningful advances across Square’s environmental, social, and governance initiatives,” said Neil Jorgensen, Global Environmental, Social, and Governance Lead at Square. “Our CSR Report reflects how our business evolved to meet the times, and we will continue to adapt as we strive to build a more inclusive and sustainable foundation in pursuit of our purpose of economic empowerment.”
In 2020, Square maintained its focus on bolstering its four key priority areas: Climate Action, Social Impact, Employees and Culture, and Corporate Governance. Among its key commitments are plans to be net zero carbon for operations by 2030, a $100 million investment in minority and underserved communities, and the launch of the Bitcoin Clean Energy Investment Initiative.
Additional highlights from Square’s 2020 CSR Report include:
- Climate Action: As a company with a diverse ecosystem of products and services, Square is planning for increased efficiencies across its entire value chain. To strengthen this ongoing effort, Square conducted a comprehensive global carbon audit for 2020 across its business and key emission categories, providing it with data to drive meaningful reductions in its internal emissions while informing its goal to reach net zero carbon for operations by 2030. Square also committed $10 million to investments that help accelerate the adoption of clean energy in bitcoin mining and announced it would be allowing employees to permanently work from home, helping to reduce commute emissions, energy consumption, and the embodied carbon of workplace construction.
- Social Impact: Square is continuing to drive financial inclusion and community and small business advocacy. In 2020, it pledged $100 million towards minority and underserved communities, including a $25 million investment in The Keepers Fund and a $25 million investment in The Black Economic Development Fund managed by LISC. Square additionally facilitated more than $850 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through Square Capital, providing more than 80,000 small businesses with access to a financial lifeline. During COVID-19, Cash App was well positioned to help individuals efficiently access, deposit, and use stimulus funds distributed by the government.
- Employees and Culture: Square is working to build a thriving, inclusive, and healthy workplace. As reported in its 2020 diversity update, Square employees were 41% women and 21% underrepresented minorities (URM), which grew 4.9% and 9.3%, respectively, in relative percent year over year. In an effort to meet its aspirational benchmark target of 50% women and 30% URM, which is on par with U.S. census data, Square is continuing to implement meaningful programming and deepening its partnerships with organizations such as AfroTech, Lesbians WhoTech and Allies, and /dev/color. Square additionally expanded medical coverage to include resources for employees in the U.S. undergoing gender confirmation while ensuring its short-term disability plan covered them during this time, and designated two new annual holidays: Juneteenth (June 19) in the U.S. and the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (December 2) in markets outside the U.S.
- Corporate Governance: In 2020, Square continued corporate governance practices that it believes promote long-term value, engender public trust, and serve the best interest of its stockholders, sellers, customers, and other stakeholders. Some highlights of Square’s corporate governance practices are its lead independent director role with a comprehensive scope of responsibilities, independent director sessions that do not include its CEO as part of each regularly scheduled Board meeting, strong risk oversight controls by full board and committees, and significant stock ownership requirements for directors and executive officers.
The full 2020 CSR Report can be found on Square’s Investor Relations website at investors.squareup.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact could be deemed forward-looking, including, but not limited to, statements regarding plans of becoming operationally net zero carbon, hiring goals and investment pledges and commitments.
Risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include, among others, risks and uncertainties relating to Square, Inc. (the Company) listed or described from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), including the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is on file with the SEC. All forward-looking statements are based on information and estimates available to the Company at the time of this press release. Except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update any of the statements in this press release.
About Square, Inc.
Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) builds tools to empower businesses and individuals to participate in the economy. Sellers use Square to reach buyers online and in person, manage their business, and access financing. And individuals use Cash App to spend, send, store, and invest money. Square has offices in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Spain, and the UK.