Tesla CSR: a brief overview

By John Dudovskiy
May 3, 2021

Tesla CSR programs and initiatives are currently led by Vice President of People Valerie Chapman. Tesla did not pay due attention to social responsibility aspect of the business and did not engage in corporate sustainability reporting for a long time. Although the electric automaker was founded in 2003 and became publicly traded company in 2010, the company released its first CSR report titled Impact Report only in 2018. The alternative fuel vehicles manufacturer has Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team that uses data-driven approach to champion diversity, equity and inclusion in business practices and communities.[1]

Tesla produces electric vehicles, energy storage systems and solar panels. These products are perceived to promote environmental sustainability and this perception is effectively integrated into company’s marketing communication message.

Tesla CSR Programs and Initiatives 

Employee Health and Safety at Tesla

  • Production employees are required to participate in a multi-day training program before ever setting foot on the factory floor.
  • Tesla provides zero-cost health care and benefits to full-time employee positions.
  • Employee engagement in health risk reduction measured by employee suggestions, good observations, Find it-Fix it program and continuous improvement ideas have increased from 3,000 engagements in 2017 to almost 23,000 in 2019.


Tesla and Gender Equality and Minorities

  • Tesla was recognised as Best Employer for Diversity in 2019 by Forbes
  • The electric car maker attempts to ensure a fair representation of traditionally underrepresented communities among its workforce. As it is illustrated in Figure 1 below, traditionally underrepresented groups amount to the majority 60% at Tesla.

Tesla Corporate Social Responsibility (Tesla CSR)

Figure 1 Underrepresented communities representation at Tesla US

  • Traditionally underrepresented communities are also present in Director and Vice President positions at Tesla, as illustrated in Figure 2 below.

Tesla Corporate Social Responsibility (Tesla CSR)

Figure 2 Underrepresented communities in leadership positions at Tesla US

  • Gender representation is an issue at Tesla. Only 21% of US employees are female and in leadership positions females represent as low as 17%.


Water Consumption by Tesla

  • Annual water usage per Tesla vehicle was reduced from 5.2 cubic meters in 2018 to 2.9 cubic meters in 2019. This accounts for 45% reduction in a year.


Waste Reduction and Recycling by Tesla

  • In 2019 Tesla recycled 1,000 tons of Nickel, 320 tons of Copper and 110 tons of Cobalt


Carbon Emissions by Tesla

  • It has been estimated that internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, i.e. vehicles that run on petrol produce 69 tons CO2 emissions during their lifetime. Tesla electric cars, on the other hand, produce only a small fraction of these, as illustrated in Figure 3 below:

 Tesla Corporate Social Responsibility (Tesla CSR)

Figure 3 Average lifecycle CO2 emissions by Tesla vehicles[1]


Tesla other CSR Initiatives and Charitable Donations

  • Tesla served more than 16,000 individuals through its disaster-relief projects in 2018-2019
  • The electric automaker serviced 40 individual sites after major disasters in 2018-2019

Tesla Inc. Report contains a full analysis of Tesla corporate social responsibility including Tesla CSR issues. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on Tesla. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Tesla leadership, business strategy, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Tesla marketing strategy and its ecosystem.

Tesla Inc. Report 2021


[1] Impact Report 2020 (US), Tesla

[2] Source: Tesla Impact Report 2019