Energy Use & Climate Change
Energy & Climate Change Strategy
EMC’s primary GHG emissions arise from the electricity needed to run our business, including our supply chain, and power our products. Therefore, EMC's energy and climate change strategy focuses on the following key areas:I. Reducing emissions from our own operations by
- Decreasing the demand for energy
- Maintaining a highly efficient infrastructure
- Identifying opportunities to adopt renewable energy sources that are economically and environmentally sound
- Engaging suppliers in measuring and reporting
- Collaborating with suppliers to reduce their emissions
- Working with the IT industry to develop standards for reporting supply chain emissions
- Supplying energy-efficient products
- Developing innovative approaches to increase data center operation efficiencies
- Delivering services to help customers implement the most energy-efficient solutions for their business
- Supplying information solutions to optimize business functions, accelerate research, and enhance public infrastructure
We began measuring our GHG emissions in 2005. Since then, our energy intensity by revenue – the amount of GHG we emit per $1 million we earn – has declined by 37%, from 30.5 to 19.2 metric tonnes. While we are pleased to have met our 2011 goals, we recognize there is more we can do to reduce emissions on a global scale. Below is a snapshot of our goal setting and revision process during the past six years.
2006: As one of the first 40 companies to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Leaders Program, EMC set an initial goal to reduce our GHG emissions by 8 percent per 1,000 square feet at our operationally-controlled U.S. facilities by 2012.
2009: We realized that our Climate Leaders Goal was suboptimal since it penalized consolidation of office space that actually contributed to absolute emissions reductions. Nonetheless, we expect to meet and retire this goal in 2012 with the aid of purchased Renewable Energy Credits.
2010: EMC established new corporate GHG reduction targets:
- 30 percent reduction in GHG intensity below 2005 levels by 2012
- 40 percent reduction in GHG intensity below 2005 levels by 2015
- 80 percent absolute reduction in GHG emissions below 2005 levels by 2050
Supporting these emissions targets, we also established the following goals:
- Achieve a 40 percent reduction in energy consumption per employee by 2012
- Purchase 50 percent of all energy from non-fossil fuels sources by 2040
2011: EMC’s commitment includes a periodic review of targets by adjusting the model’s assumptions regarding actual business performance and developments in climate science. In 2011 we reviewed our targets and decided to retain them through 2012.
Determining Our Goals
To set our emissions targets, 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 to help us 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. It aligns business performance and emissions reductions performance, rather than forcing tradeoffs between them, and 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 leverages the learning curve for alternative fuels as they become more efficient and cost-effective. Please see figure below for more information about the trajectories studied.
Reporting and Accountability
We are committed to reporting our progress transparently and disclosing our GHG emissions annually to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). We have been listed on the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) since 2008, the first year the index was published. The CDLI is comprised of the top 10 percent of disclosing Standard and Poor’s 500 companies.
Our Ireland Center of Excellence (COE) also continues to participate in the European Emissions Trading Schemes, which is managed by the Ireland Environmental Protection Agency. While we have been significantly below our emissions allowances the past several years, the next period from 2013 to 2020 will be particularly challenging as it is expected that our allowance will be cut by an additional 30 percent.
EMC’s reduction targets cannot be achieved through operational energy efficiency alone. Our corporate goal is to obtain 50 percent of electrical needs from renewable sources by 2040 and we have continued working toward this goal by seeking renewable energy sources that are economically and environmentally sound. In 2011, we performed a feasibility study to determine the applicability of a combined heat and power plant for a large U.S. site. The findings showed that the system is feasible for the proposed application and location. The next step is to perform an internal benefit/cost analysis and, if the results are favorable, move forward with a more in-depth investigation of the proposed plant. We have also initiated a feasibility study on the use of fuel cell technology at another one of our U.S. locations. In addition, EMC constructed a meteorological tower in 2011 for the collection of wind data at our headquarters in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Data will be collected for one year and analyzed to determine if wind conditions favor installation of one or more wind turbines.
EMC purchased 65,000 Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in support of renewable energy generated in the U.S. during 2011. Each of these RECs represents one megawatt-hour of renewable electricity delivered to the power grid by alternative energy sources. The RECs are third-party verified to meet strict environmental and consumer protection standards. The 65,000 megawatt-hours purchase represents approximately 10% of the grid electricity consumed at all U.S. EMC facilities including VMware® and all divisions during 2011.
In our Ireland COE, we have conducted feasibility studies on various solar and wind energy options. Though they are not viable options currently, this may change as we continue to improve our energy requirements and see improvements in the technology. In addition to renewable energy, we are starting to explore geo-thermal heating.
Scope 3 Emissions
At EMC, we strive to increase the breadth and depth of our GHG reporting. In 2011, we started to report on 5 of the 15 categories of scope 3 emissions based on the WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. (Scope 3 emissions are all the indirect emissions occur from sources owned or controlled by other entities in the reporting company’s value chain.)
We track corporate business travel miles from commercial flight and rail via our corporate American Express accounts. 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 have expanded technology to perform changes to customer technical environments from remote support centers in lieu of sending an engineer to the customer’s site resulting in reduced travel emissions. A substantial amount of work that previously required travel to a customer location is now being performed remotely. We have implemented other initiatives that will impact Scope 3 business travel emissions over time including increased use of high-definition video conferencing and job role/skill redesign to reduce the number of different individuals required to perform common services.
To learn more, visit Employee Travel & Commuting.
EMC maintains a comprehensive employee commuter services program focused on minimizing single-occupancy vehicles and unnecessary local employee travel. In 2011, EMC was bestowed the Massachusetts Excellence in Commuter Options (ECO) award including designation at the highest Pinnacle level. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation recognized EMC with this award for our exemplary commuter benefits program. EMC has also been recognized as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters by the U.S. EPA.
To learn more about our employee commuting programs, visit Employee Travel & Commuting.
Purchased Goods & Services
In 2011, we collected Scope 1 & 2 emissions data from direct Tier I suppliers comprising 95 percent of annual spend. Using economic allocation, we then approximated our share of these emissions. This involves determining the ratio of our spend to each company’s revenue, and applying that ratio to their reported emissions. While approximate at best, this methodology follows the WRI GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard and is currently the best available option given the level of data reported. Because this allocation approach requires access to supplier revenues, a small number of private companies were excluded from the analysis.
To learn more, visit Supply Chain Environmental Impacts.
Transportation & Logistics
In 2011, we collected GHG emissions reports from logistics partners totalling 89 percent of spend. These reports included only the GHG emissions from the freight that our logistics partners carried for EMC. We projected our total emissions based on this percentage of reporting. These emissions include inbound and outbound, interplant, and customer service logistics.
To learn more, visit Transportation & Logistics.
Use of sold products
EMC estimates that the lifetime GHG emissions from use of EMC products shipped to customers during 2011 will be approximately 3,512,000 metric tonnes CO2e—this figure does not include Iomega, RSA, Data Domain, Greenplum or Isilon products. This value represents our customers’ Scope 2 emissions from powering our equipment. It is based on an estimated product lifespan of five years, and includes overhead for power distribution and cooling with an average Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) of 1.8. EMC used GHG Protocol methodology and a global average emissions factor of 504.33 g CO2e per kWh. The IEA 2009 World CO2 emissions factor and IEA 1999-2002 CH4 and N2O emissions factors were applied. The global warming potentials, which were obtained from the IPCC SAR-100, are 1 for carbon dioxide, 21 for methane, and 310 for nitrous oxide. We believe the total is conservative (i.e., that the directly measured value, if feasible, would be lower) as our calculation takes into consideration neither the reduction over time in carbon-intensity of fuel used by our customers, nor improvements in data center power and cooling efficiency.
In late 2010 and 2011, EMC collaborated with an external third-party to complete two Environmental Lifecycle Analyses using industry-recognized tools. The results confirmed our expectations that more than 90 percent of lifecycle impacts were due to electricity consumed during the product use phase.
To learn more, visit Efficient Products.