2016 Workiva Sustainability Report

Our Communities

We give our employees the flexibility to achieve a genuine work-life balance so they have time to give back to their communities.

We give our employees the flexibility to achieve a genuine work-life balance so they have time to give back to their communities.

At home on the prairie

The Workiva headquarters in Ames, Iowa are twin buildings with sweeping roof lines that mimic the waves of prairie grass that fill the grounds. In addition to planting more than 10,000 native prairie plants, we created a habitat for birds and butterflies to flourish in our gardens. Nine bluebird nest boxes offer respite on our campus. And in 2016, Workiva was certified as a Monarch Butterfly Waystation by Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas. We maintain substantial amounts of milkweed, nectar plants, shelter, and other necessary amenities to support Monarch conservation.

Energy-efficient, north-south windows are oversized to maximize natural daylight and reduce electricity use. Above-grade insulation improves heating and cooling efficiency. Inside and out are a variety of locally sourced and environmentally friendly materials, such as coverings of Iowa limestone and recycled aluminum. Many furnishings, including carpet, were chosen because they were cradle-to-cradle recyclables.

Our hospitable, mobile atmosphere is designed to make daily work and collaboration enjoyable in relaxed settings. We often work outside on our patio with furniture made from recycled plastics.

We have nine car-charging stations for commuters with electric cars at our Ames headquarters, and a rack full of Workiva bicycles for employees.

Our Ames Cafe has state-of-the-art, energy-efficient appliances. We partner with local farmers and Community Supported Agriculture programs to source food, and we pick from our organic herb and vegetable gardens, which are within steps of our Cafe.

Workiva native prairie



new trees planted throughout Ames parks



pounds of cardboard recycled

Where we live and work

Our priorities for giving include technology entrepreneurship, career advancement for students, fine arts programs, business alliances, community chambers and museums. We also sponsor business incubators and several state technology associations to help people develop their ideas into viable businesses at all stages.

We believe in nurturing the next generation of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. In Scottsdale, Bozeman and Ames, we supported a variety of professional development sessions and events for students. We mentored technology students at a “Hackathon” at Iowa State University that helped students collaborate on software projects.

Workiva employees often serve as advisors to university programs. For example, employees served as panelists on a Senior Design Industry Review at Iowa State University and on the Computer Science Advisory Board of Montana State University and the University of Montana.

We also encourage people from diverse groups to work in the software industry. We visit local high schools and universities to teach students about the many benefits of a career in science, math and engineering. One teaching activity involves helping students create ideas for software apps in the classroom to spur innovation at a young age.

Pay it forward

We give our employees the flexibility to achieve a genuine work-life balance so they have time to give back to their communities. We support a wide variety of hands-on community service projects as well as office-based fundraisers. Our annual United Way campaign is one way that our employees support charities in their communities throughout the U.S. In 2016, through fun runs, sports and game tournaments and pledges, we raised $70,000 for United Way, which was up 23 percent from last year.



We estimate that our electricity use from operations in 2016 created 2,814 metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions. The perimeter for our environmental data are our offices in Ames, Iowa; Bozeman, Montana; Chicago, Illinois; Missoula, Montana; New York, New York; and Seattle, Washington. These offices collectively host 53 percent of employees. Because we have offices in multi-tenant buildings, we cannot obtain precise information in Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as in our other smaller offices.

*Based on U.S. Energy Information Administration multipliers.

Headquarters building

Energy-efficient, north-south windows
Above-grade insulation
Locally sourced Iowa limestone
Furnishings of cradle-to-cradle recyclables

Workiva building


Prairie grasses and other plants grow densely throughout our Iowa campus to reduce topsoil erosion from nearby streams. Bioswales in the parking lot help filter out oils and other debris that would otherwise flow directly into the storm-water system. Parking lot island strips are planted with native prairie grasses as well to expand the aesthetic and take advantage of space.

We also pay close attention to water usage. Our solar-powered irrigation system has sensors that measure the moisture content of soil and only water the grounds when it is truly needed. Water conservation systems are also incorporated in our buildings, including a dish-washing system that recycles its water.

More than


native prairie plants flank our headquarters to help conserve topsoil and filter pollutants from entering nearby streams.


We look for many ways to conserve resources.

In 2013, we committed to reduce our carry-off waste by 30 percent over a three-year period. We exceeded our goal and reduced waste by 42 percent in that time period, which ended in 2016. We were successful primarily because of initiatives to phase-out disposable cups at all offices, compost a portion of food waste from our Ames and Boulder office kitchens and compost paper products, which are certified BPI free, in our Boulder office.

As a cloud-based software company, Workiva prints very little paper. At our headquarters, our trash goes to the Ames Resource Recovery Plant, where 70 percent of the waste generates electricity for the municipal utility. In 2016, Workiva generated 12,153 kWh of electricity with our trash.

We also know that electronic waste is one of the fastest growing sectors of solid waste in the U.S., and we follow strict guidelines disposing electronic devices. In Ames, the local recycling company separates all raw materials for a separate processor that follows the Responsible Recycling Practices (R2) certification.

In 2016, we composted 22,943 pounds of compostable material from the Ames office, at roughly 81 pounds per day. Our Saskatoon office location also instituted recycling of plastic cups and began to compost food waste.

*According to the Ames Resource Recovery Plant, every pound of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) generates 0.225 kWh of electricity.

Workiva building