Why a good climate plan can be a recruiting tactic

A new Morning Consult survey shows tech workers are much more likely to care about a company’s environmental impact than the general public.

A silhouette of a person walking and checking their phone San Francisco's financial district.

While cutting carbon emissions is clearly in the climate’s best interest, new polling shows that it could double as a recruitment tactic for Big Tech.

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Having a good climate plan and following through on it could help tech companies attract top talent.

Roughly 43% of tech workers say a company’s environmental impact is a “very important” factor when considering a new job, according to data from Morning Consult published on Tuesday. That's significantly more than the 30% of the general population that said the same, indicating that tech workers weigh a company’s environmental impact more heavily. While cutting carbon emissions is clearly in the climate’s best interest, the new polling shows how it could double as a recruitment tactic for Big Tech.

Only work-life balance elicited a larger gap between the share of tech workers who said it is “very important” when considering a new job (72%) and that of the general population (58%).

The survey defined tech workers as developers, software engineers, database administrators and project managers. There are a few caveats, as with any polling. The tech workers sample comprises 131 people, meaning the results come with a relatively large margin of error. And greater portions of both tech workers and the general public said things like salary, benefits or company culture matter more than a company’s climate bonafide.

Tech workers have already increased pressure on their companies to strengthen climate plans and follow through on their commitments, notably a movement within Amazon in 2019 to set more aggressive emissions goals in line with science and stop selling cloud computing services to the fossil fuel industry. (The leaders of that campaign lost their jobs, showing that internal activism comes with real risks.)

The new polling results indicate that employees could be ready to take an even greater role in shaping how tech companies address the climate crisis. Justin Gillis, a former journalist and co-author of the new book “The Big Fix,” told Protocol earlier this month that the tech industry is uniquely primed to listen to employee — potential or otherwise — input on climate, in part because it tends to skew both younger and more science-curious than the general public.

Some organizations are trying to harness tech workers’ concerns about the climate crisis and put them directly to use. Climate Draft, a coalition of climate startups and VCs, just launched its second “draft” for tech workers looking to provide know-how to climate companies just getting off the ground as well as investors. In the absence of decisive action by the tech industry’s major players, some tech workers are leaving the field altogether to work in climate tech.

Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

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Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

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The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

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Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

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We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

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Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.


Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

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