Energy Use & Climate Change
Energy efficiency is an important component of EMC’s climate change and energy strategy. Since 1987, it has been a priority in our owned and operated facilities. Today, it continues to play a critical role in how we operate and is an important area of focus in our engagement with suppliers around the world.
EMC’s three-pronged approach to managing energy use and associated GHG emissions comprises:
- An aggressive pursuit of energy efficiency
- Collaboration with our engineering and information technology (IT) teams
- Exploring opportunities for the use of renewable energy
In 2011, we implemented energy-efficiency initiatives at our owned and operated facilities ranging from the Free Fresh Air Cooling project at the Ireland Center of Excellence (COE) to installation of energy-efficient lighting systems at multiple facilities in Massachusetts.
This year we also reduced energy use through our Environmental Stress Screening (ESS) optimization project. The project, now in its third year, focuses on increasing the capacity and efficiency of ESS chambers. It was further expanded to global EMC sites in 2011 and has led to an annual decrease of 1.4 million kWh of energy and 9,620 MT of CO2e. The project earned the Irish Independent Green Award in 2011.
Beyond our facilities, we realize the importance of accounting for suppliers’ GHG emissions in order to understand our full environmental impact. We began collecting emissions data from direct Tier 1 suppliers in 2009 and have expanded our program every year. In 2011, our Social and Environmental Responsibility (SER) initiative engaged suppliers once again – gathering greenhouse gas emissions data from suppliers representing 95% of our direct spend.
Efficiencies via Internal Collaboration
The facilities team works closely with engineering and IT to manage global energy consumption by monitoring power use and implementing energy efficiency initiatives. Our data centers are designed to automatically capture and report PUE, which is The Green Grid standard for measuring the energy efficiency of data center infrastructures. We use the PUE system across all facilities, including our Hopkinton, Massachusetts and Cork, Ireland locations, as well as our new facility in Durham, North Carolina. These systems allow data center managers to consistently monitor and measure the impact of changes they make.
In 2011, we saw the PUE of the Ireland COE data centers/labs fall from 1.4 to 1.11, a direct result of the initiatives we put in place. This decline means we have moved even closer to the “very efficient” end of the PUE scale.
Efficient Facilities around the Globe
Durham, North Carolina
In 2011, we completed construction on our new energy-efficient, 100-percent virtual data center in Durham, North Carolina. We officially opened on September 15, 2011.
Efficient technologies being utilized at this site include:
- Free air cooling for more than half of the year
- Flywheel technology that eliminates the need for batteries in uninterruptable power systems
- Cold aisle containment that increases temperature regulation control for high-density equipment
Read more about the energy efficient design and construction at Durham Cloud Data Center in our EMC Durham Cloud Data Center white paper.
In October 2011, our 650,000 square foot corporate headquarters located at 176 South Street, Hopkinton, Massachusetts earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold - Existing Buildings certification. The building, which was occupied by EMC in 2002, was awarded 61 points, just four points shy of Platinum certification. Certification highlights include:
- Energy efficiency projects totaling over 1.9 million annual kWh savings
- Enhanced recycling of more than 60 percent and composting with zero waste to landfill
- Environmentally friendly cleaning and pest management programs
- Organic landscaping and gray water irrigation
- Hybrid shuttle vehicles
- Wastewater treatment facility recycling 100 percent of sewage water with 5.8 million gallons of water recycled in 2010
In 2010, the Ireland COE undertook a project to assess the viability of using outside air, or “free fresh air”, to assist with cooling at this location. Taking advantage of a low local average air temperature, the team developed a plan to utilize new cooling units to maximize energy savings. The resulting Free Fresh Air program reduced total annual electricity consumption by 10 percent in 2011.
In 2011, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) awarded the Ireland COE with the Major User Energy Efficiency Award for this project.
Our India COE has continued to drive energy efficiencies throughout the facility. The process started in 2008, when the lab began a Weekend Shutdown Program initiative to reduce its carbon footprint by turning off unnecessary servers. The initiative has reduced power consumption by 10 to 15 percent since it was implemented.
The India COE has since focused on renovating the location to meet LEED certification requirements. In 2011, during the second phase of changes, the COE earned LEED Platinum certification.
In June 2011, the building CENTRO LEONI, where our Milan office is located, received the LEED “Core & Shell” SILVER Certification.
Purchasing Efficient Equipment
We purchase energy efficient servers, printers, photocopiers, and personal computers for our operations worldwide. The purchases are guided by explicit efficiency requirements (including ENERGY STAR certification) and help achieve efficiencies by replacing older equipment with more efficient equipment and by creating energy reductions through consolidation and virtualization.