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Energy & Climate Change Strategy

EMC’s primary GHG emissions arise from the generation of the electricity needed to run our business. Within our own operations, our energy and climate change strategy focuses on the following key areas:

  • Decreasing the demand for energy
  • Maintaining a highly efficient infrastructure at our company-owned facilities
  • Optimizing logistics routes and modes to decrease carbon intensity
  • Designing and operating data centers for energy efficiency
  • Identifying opportunities to adopt renewable energy sources that are economically and environmentally sound

To see our full energy and climate change strategy, including our supply chain, use of our products, and global energy demand, visit the 2013 Sustainability Report: Main Report.

Goal Setting

We began measuring our GHG emissions in 2005. Since then, our energy intensity by revenue – the amount of global GHG we emit per $1 million we earn – has declined by more than 40 percent, from 32.54 to 19.29 metric tons. In the past, our energy efficiency approach has been measured against the following goals:

  • 30% reduction of global Scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per revenue intensity below 2005 levels by 2012. Achieved
  • 40% reduction in energy consumption per employee below 2005 levels by 2012. We missed the target but we are pleased to have achieved a 35% per employee reduction over the goal period
  • 40% reduction of global Scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions per revenue intensity below 2005 levels by 2015. Achieved early; We are not retiring the goal yet, as we need to remain on-target to meet reduction levels through 2015
  • 50% of global electricity needs to be obtained from renewable sources by 2040 (excludes VMware)
  • 80% absolute reduction of global Scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions below 2000 levels by 2050

Determining Our Goals

To set our long-term goals, we began with the imperative to achieve an absolute reduction of at least 80 percent by 2050 in accordance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fourth Assessment Report recommendations. We then modeled various reduction trajectories; our goal was to identify a solution that would be elastic enough to adjust to changes in our business, while achieving a peak in absolute emissions by 2015, in accordance with recommendations from the 2007 Bali Climate Declaration.

Our model was based on the Corporate Finance Approach to Climate-stabilizing Targets (C-FACT) proposal presented by Autodesk in 2009. The model calculates the annual percentage reduction in intensity required to achieve an absolute goal. We selected this approach because intensity targets better accommodate growth through acquisitions (in which net emissions have not changed but accountability for them has shifted), and aligns business performance with emissions reductions performance rather than forcing tradeoffs between them. Setting an intensity trajectory also drives investment beyond one-time reductions to those that can be sustained into the future.

The C-FACT system, however, is “front-loaded” as it requires a declining absolute reduction in intensity each year. EMC developed a variant of the model that requires reductions to be more aggressive than the previous year. This makes better economic sense for the company as it takes advantage of the learning curve for alternative fuels as they become more efficient and cost effective. Please see the “Trajectory Diagram” below for more information.

While EMC put much thought into setting our long-term goals, some stakeholders felt that they were too distant for most people to conceptualize. In response to this feedback, in 2014, we set the following new mid-term targets to mark progress:

  • 40% absolute reduction of global Scopes 1 & 2 GHG emissions below 2010 levels by 2020 (excludes VMware)
  • 20% of global electricity needs served by renewables by 2020 (excludes VMware)

The basis of our mid-term targets is an understanding of the contribution that businesses must make to greenhouse gas mitigation to avoid dangerous climate change, as described in the CDP and World Wildlife Fund report “3% Solution”. We believe these mid-term goals are aggressive and aspirational, particularly given the anticipated growth in our business. However, we also realize the potential for a combination of escalating effects of climate change and a lack of collective action could require that all businesses, including EMC, accelerate their mitigation plans. We will continue to monitor conditions and adjust our targets accordingly.

Renewable Energy

EMC’s reduction targets cannot be achieved through operational energy efficiency alone. We continue to work toward our renewable energy goal (and the new 2020 target) by seeking renewable energy sources that are economically and environmentally sound. In 2013, our efforts included:

  • Setting the new mid-goal target of obtaining 20% of global electrical needs from renewables by 2020.
  • Continuing investigation of a combined heat and power plant for a large U.S. site. In 2013, we further analyzed the cost-benefit analysis to determine the appropriate next steps needed if we were to bring this project online.
  • Continuing evaluation of the use of fuel cell technology for one of our U.S. locations.
  • Finishing the acquisition of wind data from the meteorological tower we installed in 2011 at our headquarters in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and completion of the Wind Study Report. Thinking ahead to 2014, we’ll be reviewing the results of the Wind Study Report, and comparing it against other renewable energy scenarios to determine what, if any, options may exist for EMC to further pursue wind power at our Hopkinton headquarters.
  • Conducting additional research on solar energy projects, including preliminary discussions for the potential installation of solar photovoltaics in the U.S.
  • Initiating discussions for potential alternative energy purchasing in India for our Bangalore Centre of Excellence (COE).

During 2013, EMC purchased 113,000 MWh of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in support of renewable energy generated in the U.S. The RECs purchased supported renewable electricity delivered to the national power grid by alternative energy sources. The RECs are third-party verified by Green-e Energy to meet strict environmental and consumer protection standards. The 113,000 MWh represents 19 percent of the grid electricity consumed at all U.S. EMC facilities, including all divisions during 2013.

Reporting & Accountability

We are committed to reporting our progress transparently and disclosing our GHG emissions annually to CDP. In 2013, we expanded our carbon accounting to report on more Scope 3 categories. To learn more, see the link in the sidebar for our 2013 Investor CDP response.

Our Ireland COE continues to participate in the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which is a cap and trade Scope 1 emissions scheme that has now entered the third trading phase from 2013 to 2020. This COE has consistently remained within its operating allowance for the previous phases since 2005, but phase three will prove challenging as the free emission allowance allocated to participants has been reduced by 30 percent.

Scope 3 Emissions

At EMC, we strive to increase the breadth and depth of our GHG reporting each year. In our 2013 Investor CDP response, we reported estimated global corporate emissions for eight of the 15 categories of Scope 3 emissions based on the WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. The following five reported categories represent the greatest opportunity to drive improvement through our own actions and influence.

Business Travel
In 2013, the GHG emissions associated with business travel was 171,571 metric tons CO2e. We track global corporate business travel miles from commercial flight and rail via our corporate travel booking tool. Beginning in reporting year 2012, we also accounted for the GHG emissions associated with global business travel car rentals. In 2013, we incorporated the emissions associated with our global hotel stays into our Scope 3 business travel GHG emissions. The methodology for calculating the emissions associated with business travel is aligned with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard.

We are undertaking specific actions to reduce GHG emissions associated with employee business travel by implementing changes in technology, business processes, and resource management. We continue to expand technology to perform changes to customer technical environments that result in reduced emissions. To learn more, visit Employee Travel & Commuting.

Employee Commuting
As of the publication of this report, our 2013 global GHG emissions from employee commuting have not yet been estimated. Please refer to EMC’s 2014 CDP Climate Change response for updated information. EMC maintains a comprehensive employee commuter services program focused on minimizing single-occupancy vehicles and unnecessary local employee travel. To learn more about our employee commuting programs, visit Employee Travel & Commuting.

Direct Tier 1 Suppliers
In 2013, the GHG emissions associated with EMC’s direct Tier 1 suppliers was 90,000 metric tons CO2e. We collected Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions data from direct Tier 1 suppliers comprising 99 percent of annual spend. Using economic allocation, we then approximated our share of these emissions. To learn more, visit Supply Chain Social and Environmental Responsibility.

EMC’s Global Logistics Operations generated approximately 109,802 metric tons CO2e in 2013. This number is estimated using the GHG emissions reports from our logistics partners, cross-checked with standard emissions factors and calculation methodologies, and covers inbound, outbound, interplant, and customer service transportation and logistics. In 2013, we collected emissions footprint data related to carrier operations representing 89 percent of our logistics spend and extrapolated total emissions proportionately based on the reports we received. To learn more, visit Logistics.

Use of Sold Products
Environmental Lifecycle Analyses conducted prior to 2012 confirmed our expectations that more than 90 percent of lifecycle impacts are due to electricity consumed during the product use phase. EMC estimates that the lifetime GHG emissions from use of EMC products shipped to customers during 2013 will be approximately 4,095,306 MT metric tons CO2e. This value represents our customers’ Scope 2 GHG emissions from powering our equipment. To learn more about how we provide ongoing information to end-use customers about how to use our products more efficiently, visit Our Products.

Additional Information:

EMC is a signatory to The Climate Declaration, a project of Ceres that brings together companies and individuals to demonstrate support for national action on climate change.

EMC listed on leadership indices

CDP 2013 Global 500 Performance Leadership Index
EMC was included on the Performance Leadership Index for strategies committed to improving its impact on the environment.

CDP 2013 Global 500 Disclosure Leadership Index
EMC was included on the Disclosure Leadership Index for a strong approach to the disclosure of information regarding climate change.

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