UK, Ireland and Benelux operations are first company regions to hit RE100, 100% green power goals.
Earlier this year Iron Mountain became one of approximately 140 major corporations to join the RE100 and commit to sourcing all of our global electricity use from new, renewable energy resources. We’re pleased to announce that our UK, Ireland and operations in The Netherlands and Belgium, are the first to hit the target. Through a combination of green power contracts, the European procurement and global real estate teams and the Data center business unit collaborated to negotiate supply contracts for wind and other renewable resources for 100% of our electricity use in these countries.
A big change in our business made this accomplishment even more noteworthy. Last year we announced a contract with Credit-Suisse to acquire and operate a large Data Center facility in Slough near London. That facility uses more electricity than the rest of our UK operations combined, and we’re actively working to expand the facility to welcome more co-location data center customers. In addition, earlier this year we acquired another data center business, EvoSwitch in Amsterdam, doubling again our energy footprint. If we continued to depend mostly on fossil fuels for electricity generation, our carbon footprint would dramatically turn for the worse. Instead, all of these facilities now are powered by renewable electricity because of a combination of purchases by these locations and new contracts we’ve executed this year.
“We have an environmental obligation to protect our planet. We saw an opportunity to do things differently and our team found a way to solve an environmental challenge in a way that’s good for our business and good for our customers. We can all be proud of this success”
Steve Kowalkoski Senior Vice President, Country Manager - UK & Ireland
In most of the world, the primary source of electricity is burning coal and natural gas. Combined, they have represented the biggest single factor driving Iron Mountain’s Climate pollution or greenhouse (GHG) gas footprint. In 2016 electricity use made up about ½ of our GHG emissions. The good news is that by 2017 our strategy of purchasing cost effective wind and solar power totaled about 30% of global electricity supply, and reduced electricity to just 38% of our annual GHG footprint.
As our business, especially our data center business grows, our commitment to 100% renewable electricity will be a key factor in insulating us from the cost volatility and environmental impact of a dependence on fossil fuel. By relying on long term contracts for renewable energy we can serve more customers and grow our business while reducing our carbon footprint at the same time. This is good for our business, good for customers and will help us meet our future commitments to achieving aggressive carbon reduction targets in line with the Paris Climate Accord.
Any big sustainability success takes a lot of collaboration and often receives help from key outside supporters. European purchasing and operations teams worked with our energy consulting partner Schneider Electric to find and evaluate new ways to contract for power. And suppliers like Engie Power Ltd , SSE electricity and Essent have contributed to our success.
Iron Mountain has a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Our switch to renewable energy is a good example that we can achieve great things using our business as part of the solution to big challenges and benefiting our customers and stakeholders at the same time.