ESG Across DoorDash: Digging Into Our First-Ever Report

DoorDash was founded nine years ago with a big mission: to grow and empower local economies. Delivering on our mission requires us to create value for all of our stakeholders.

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Today, with the publication of our company’s first ESG report, we aim to demonstrate our progress and the impact we’re making in the communities we serve.

DoorDash can only succeed when the local businesses we work with are successful, when Dashers gain value from our platform, and when community members can use DoorDash in a way that improves their lives.

In 2021, we supported $68.9B in direct, indirect, and induced economic activity in the United States. Over the last two years, from 2019 through 2021, Dasher earnings while on deliveries increased by nearly 40%, while DoorDash reduced average consumer fees per order by 11%, and we reduced the average commission rate paid by Marketplace partners. At the same time, we’ve continued to set new all-time highs in total orders, monthly active users, and Marketplace gross order value — both improving unit economics and setting record engagement for Dashers, consumers, and merchants across our platform. 

Below, we’ve summarized some of the highlights from our work empowering and supporting our key stakeholders — merchants, Dashers, and consumers — as well as from our efforts around 1. merchants 2. Dashers, and 3. consumers and community impact, as well as in 4. sustainability and 5. employee DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).

1. Powering Inclusive Economic Development and Growth for Merchants of All Kinds

Local businesses are the backbone of our economies. Small businesses account for more than 40% of total economic activity in the United States and employ nearly half of all employees in the country. Helping merchants grow their businesses is essential to achieving our mission of empowering local economies, and we’ve built DoorDash to be a partner and a catalyst for growth for local merchants of all kinds. In December 2021, more than 40% of stores listed on our Marketplace were businesses with five or fewer locations on the DoorDash platform.

We exited 2021 with more than 573,000 merchant partners on our platform, and generated 23% year-over-year same store sales growth for Marketplace partners. Whether merchants choose to list themselves on our Marketplace or utilize our white-label Platform Services, like DoorDash Drive or Storefront, our goal is to equip all local merchants with the tools to build and grow successful businesses in the on-demand economy. 

Over the course of the year, we generated nearly $30 billion in sales for merchants through our Marketplace and facilitated several billion more in sales for merchants through our Platform Services. As we continue to grow and evolve our platform, we aim to support more merchants across more categories and markets, and have invested in programs designed to improve equitable outcomes for historically underserved entrepreneurs––with the goal of helping small businesses grow and putting more money back into local economies.

2. Providing Work Opportunities That Empower Millions  

DoorDash provides people with a uniquely accessible platform to earn when and where they want. In 2021, dashing continued to provide millions of people all over the world with earnings opportunities that complement other forms of income and other commitments in their lives. 

Complementary to structured work, dashing gives people incremental earnings opportunities that work flexibly with their schedules. In each quarter of 2021, the average Dasher delivered with DoorDash for fewer than 4 hours per week, and on an annual basis, dashed for just 72 hours throughout the yearThe majority of Dashers (85%) have other sources of income outside of app-based work or are balancing other responsibilities like being a student or caretaker, with the majority (54%) working full-time or part-time jobs. 

In 2021, there were more than 6.3 million Dashers active on our platform, earning more than $11 billion while dashing 456+ million active hours. This work fills a niche in the labor market, with low barriers to entry–helping people make money and reach their financial goals.

3. Increasing Access to Local Goods In More Communities

We are proud to be creating more access to local goods, while serving more consumers than ever, in all our markets.

It took DoorDash more than 7 years to fulfill our first billion orders; in 2021 alone, we fulfilled nearly 1.39 billion orders. We also reached an all-time high of 25 million+ monthly active users on our Marketplace as of year-end 2021, speaking to the accessibility of our platform for consumers looking to connect with merchants in their neighborhoods. Additionally, we expanded our reach to historically underserved communities in this past year: 37% of DoorDash’s U.S. consumers were located in low-income communities, and 30% were located in rural communities.

Through Project DASH, our flagship social impact program aimed at strengthening access to food in our neighborhoods, we’ve supported hunger relief agencies and food insecure communities by powering deliveries of charitable food and essentials. In 2021, DoorDash powered the delivery of an estimated 16.9 million meals on behalf of food banks, food pantries, and other social impact organizations. An estimated 84% of Project DASH deliveries were made to people in communities of color, and 10% were made to people in food deserts.

4. Tackling Our Emissions and Investing in Sustainability

As we grow, we want to evolve our platform to operate with less relative environmental cost, while building programs that work for merchants, Dashers, consumers, and the environment. This will require proactive emissions reduction strategies; business as usual won’t get us there. DoorDash is working with leading climate platform Watershed to develop a comprehensive carbon footprint analysis, assess our impact, and take action to avoid, reduce, and remove emissions. 

Today, we are able to measure with confidence our scope 1 (natural gas) and 2 (electricity) emissions, and have proactively invested in technologies that reduce those emissions across our global corporate operations and facilities. In 2021, we became net-zero [1] across our scope 1 and scope 2 emissions globally by investing in clean energy purchases and carbon removal [2].

Like most companies, the vast majority of DoorDash’s carbon footprint comes from scope 3 emissions, specifically from vehicles on deliveries. We are working to improve the accuracy of our measurements and projections, and aim to develop and share a plan that addresses our biggest opportunities for impact.

We have initiated programs that will address emissions reduction in this important area, including programs that support Dashers to use low-emission delivery modes. While packaging and food are not included in the scope of DoorDash’s carbon footprint, we recognize that these are impacts of restaurant delivery and areas we can influence and improve, and to that end, we have offered compostable and reusable packaging options, as well as the option to opt out of single-use utensils, for merchants and consumers in some markets.

We want to be both innovative in our efforts to become more sustainable. We look forward to collaborating with others as we move forward in our sustainability efforts.

5. Progressing In Our Goals to Increase Representation Across DoorDash

Employee diversity, equity, and inclusion are important drivers for our innovation and success. To address the biggest areas for growth in diversity across our team, we set new commitments in 2021 to further increase representation for women, nonbinary people, and underrepresented people of color in technical roles and leadership over the next four years. 

In the last year, we substantially increased representation of underrepresented people of color [3], women, and nonbinary people across DoorDash, specifically in leadership roles. We continue to focus on increasing diversity in decision-making and leadership roles to ensure we are reflecting the communities we serve as we grow, innovate, and succeed as a company.

Women and nonbinary people:

  • Over the last several years, we have invested significantly in increasing representation for women and nonbinary people across DoorDash, and are proud to share that women and nonbinary people now comprise 46% of our global team (increase of 2 percentage points, year-over-year), and 40% of our global leadership team (+5pp YoY), which includes employees at the director level and above.

  • Additionally, women of color and nonbinary people of color make up 28% of our U.S. workforce (+4pp YoY). For the first time ever, the majority of women and nonbinary employees in the U.S. identify as underrepresented people of color.

Underrepresented people of color:

  • In October 2020, we created and implemented a DEI Accountability Mechanism to hold leaders at DoorDash accountable to increasing diversity and fostering inclusion on their teams and in their organizations, with the end goal of improving representation. Today, more than one-third of our U.S. team (36%) are underrepresented people of color (+7pp YoY).

  • In the last several years, we established infrastructure to improve our diversity recruiting efforts; established partnerships with 10 organizations specifically to improve diversity in hiring; and adopted resources and introduced more extensive anti-bias training to support recruiting teams and interview panelists in hiring more talent from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds. In 2021, we increased representation of new hires identifying as underrepresented people of color significantly (+12pp YoY)––specifically increasing representation of Black new hires by +8pp YoY. 46% of all U.S. employees hired in 2021 are underrepresented people of color, with well over one third of all new hires in the U.S. identifying as Black or Latino (39%).

  • In conjunction with hiring more underrepresented people of color into leadership positions, we aim to better support, retain, and advance employees of color across all levels. Underrepresented people of color now comprise 11% (+1pp YoY) on the global DoorDash leadership team. Additionally, approximately 1 in every 5 people managers in the U.S. is an underrepresented person of color (+6pp YoY).

Pay equity:

  • Working with a reputable third party, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of total compensation across DoorDash for the first time in 2021. We confirmed pay equity across the company, finding that job-related factors – not gender, race and ethnicity – are the key factors driving employee pay.

Our strategy around DEI is holistic. To achieve our goals, we will focus not only on recruiting, but also on strengthening programs and systems that promote upward mobility and retention of underrepresented talent, ensuring we are maintaining pay equity and achieving promotion parity, and more. Improved representation will only result from a successful DEI strategy across the entire employee lifecycle, day after day and year after year. 

[1] Being ‘net zero’ goes beyond ‘carbon neutral’ and is accomplished when the amount of greenhouse gas removed from the atmosphere is the same as the amount added. This year, we became net zero in scope 1 and scope 2 by purchasing clean energy certificates and investing in carbon removal to cover the emissions we generated from our buildings.

[2] Carbon removal, distinct from carbon offsets, applies natural and technological processes to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it through various means, such as in trees and plants, soils, rocks, underground reservoirs, the ocean, and even through products like concrete.

[3] ‘Underrepresented people of color’ is a term meant to include those who have not historically been represented within tech, technical roles, and startups. At DoorDash, ‘underrepresented people of color’ includes all employees who self-identify American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Latino/e/a, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or Two or More Races; ‘people of color’ is used to refer to all non-white employees.