Carbon impact report

Saildrone is committed to mitigating operational emissions and expanding adoption of Saildrone technology to avoid emissions generated by existing solutions.
Download the 2022 Report
Ocean waves

Executive Summary

In 2022, Saildrone avoided 99.9% of comparable ocean data collection emissions and 143% of its own total Scope 1 – 3 carbon emissions.

Oceans cover 72% of the planet’s surface and play an important role in regulating climate, sustaining life, and fostering interconnected ecosystems—yet we know more about the topography of Mars than we do about Earth’s oceans. Saildrone uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) provide innovative autonomous ability to gather the large volumes of ocean data needed to address a daunting array of challenges, from seafloor mapping and maritime security to storm intensification, carbon cycling, and sustainable fisheries management.

Saildrone technology supports the company’s vision of “a healthy ocean and a safe, sustainable planet.” Powered almost entirely by renewable wind and solar energy, Saildrone USVs deliver critical data from the most remote corners of the ocean. Our solutions are a force multiplier, enabling crewed vessels—the traditional source of maritime data collection—to prioritize other missions, while helping to preserve the ecological integrity of our planet.

This report serves as Saildrone’s inaugural Carbon Impact Report, a vital step in our commitment to environmental stewardship. Saildrone’s approach to assessing our carbon impact required two separate initiatives: first, we analyzed the emissions resulting from our business activities; and second, we analyzed the emissions avoided through the use of our zero- and low-carbon solutions as compared to traditional alternatives. This report will help us focus our efforts on both “doing less harm” by mitigating our operational emissions and on “doing more good” by expanding technology adoption to avoid emissions generated by ocean data collection.

Two striking results emerged from our evaluation.

First, Saildrone USVs produced only 10 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) while collecting data during missions in 2022—compared to 8,299 tCO2e that would have been produced by traditional vessels to complete the same missions. That means that Saildrone’s fleet, which in 2022 consisted almost wholly of zero-carbon Explorer class USVs, avoided 99.9% of operational emissions for maritime data gathering.

Second, when comparing the 8,299 tCO2e that were avoided by using Saildrone USVs to the total emissions of Saildrone’s operations in 2022 (5,806 tCO2e across Scopes 1, 2, and 3), we found that we avoided 143% of the total emissions we produced. In other words, even after accounting for all of the emissions resulting from our business and value chain activities, we avoided over 1.4 tCO2e for every 1 tCO2e our operations produced.

Graphic showing a comparison of Saildrone's emissions and avoided emissions.

Reducing the carbon footprint of maritime data collection has been part of our core mission from the beginning.

As we grow our fleet in support of our science, commercial, and defense customers, so too do we grow the amount of carbon we offset. It is an honor to be a part of the long-term carbon solution.

Richard Jenkins

Saildrone founder & CEO

Carbon Impact Report

Download the 2022 report for complete details on Saildrone's methodology, footprint, and  carbon emissions avoided.