Efficient Facilities

We recognize and embrace our role in mitigating the impacts from the various energy sources we use and their contributions to climate change. We address this issue in our owned and operated facilities by evaluating, optimizing and adapting our operations – an important piece of the overall approach that drives and redefines our climate change and energy strategy.

Efficiencies via Internal Collaboration

Our global Energy Strategy Team seeks to maximize efficiencies across the business and create a consolidated approach to energy procurement, management and sustainability. This cross-functional team meets quarterly and is comprised of representatives from the four geographical regions in which EMC operates. The team is tasked with: reviewing and refining energy and water strategy; identifying and prioritizing goals; developing recommendations for management; establishing plan, task and cost models; and overseeing the implementation of programs.

Our facilities and manufacturing teams continue to work closely with engineering and IT to manage global energy consumption by monitoring power use and implementing energy efficiency initiatives in our labs, data centers and manufacturing floors. These energy efficiency initiatives were a significant factor in decreasing our electricity consumption in 2015 to 905,559 MWh from 913,126MWh in 2014. Our data centers are designed to automatically capture and report Power Usage Efficiency (PUE), The Green Grid metric for measuring the energy efficiency of data center infrastructures. We use PUE across all data center and lab facilities, including our locations in Hopkinton, Massachusetts; Durham, North Carolina; and Cork, Ireland. These systems allow data center managers to consistently monitor and measure the impact of changes they make.

Since the lab areas in the COE consume a significant percentage of overall electricity, much of the focus has been on efficiency gains in lab areas. In 2015, the Ireland Center of Excellence (COE) data center maintained a PUE of 1.6 while the environmental test labs showed an improvement in reducing PUE to 1.11 from 1.16.

Efficient Labs

EMC has undergone a holistic Lab Optimization process as a component of our pursuit of efficiency. This program consists of consolidating, transforming and operating labs used by engineering, services and sales teams to utilize resources more efficiently. The “transform” and “operate” teams look for opportunities to use software-defined workflows for future lab use, while the “consolidation” team looks to identify and assess labs for possible downsizing or closure based on key factors such as equipment utilization, power utilization, cooling requirements, and lab location. In 2015, approximately 30 labs across the globe were closed or consolidated, resulting in a savings of over 24,000 kWh.

To further emphasize corporate sustainability, the Lab Optimization effort is piloting the use of an internal carbon price as part of lab assessments and decision criteria. To determine the carbon price, the emissions from each lab first are estimated based on consumption and geography, then multiplied by the internal shadow price of carbon ($30 per metric ton).

(Power Usage) * (Emissions Factor)* (Carbon Price) = Expected Future Cost attributed to Carbon Emissions

As a result of these calculations, the expected long term savings associated with this shadow price are approximately $240,000/year. In 2016, the carbon price will be leveraged as part of the criteria for lab optimization business decisions, contributing to EMC’s overall goal of reducing carbon emissions 40% by 2020.

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.

Efficient Facilities Around the Globe


From 2012 to 2015, we reduced electricity usage by over 25 MWh and gas usage at our various Massachusetts facilities by 291,801 therms through energy efficiency projects. These projects included lighting upgrades, HVAC equipment upgrades and building management control optimizations.

Hopkinton, MA

Research and development labs can be a challenge due to the amount of energy required and the flexibility in product layouts needed for equipment testing. In 2015, we implemented an energy efficiency project at our Hopkinton headquarters to upgrade a research and development lab. By installing electrically commutated fan motor kits in the computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units and controls optimization, we extended the life and improved the operating efficiency of the CRACs and delivered immediate energy savings. The CRACs are now operating at reduced fan speeds, maintaining a consistent under-floor static pressure for maximized redundancy. We also installed energy management controls for load monitoring and alarming services, and new plenum returns to allow the server's hot air discharge to enter the plenum above the dropped ceiling for better air flow and reduced mixing of hot and cold air. The project reduced the lab's cooling energy use by approximately 25 percent to an estimated 346,424 kWh per year, and qualified for a sizable utility rebate yielding an approximate 3 year simple payback.

Franklin, MA

The utilization of the shipping floor operation at our manufacturing facility in Franklin has changed significantly throughout the years, making it difficult to balance the number and location of scheduled high bay Air Handling Units (AHUs) with actual occupancy and cooling load. The 44 AHUs that serve the first floor high bay manufacturing area ran at all times when manually scheduled in the building automation system. This scheduling was based on the estimated conditioning load in the space from equipment and occupants. The energy efficiency project retrofitted 16 AHUs with variable frequency drives (VFDs) and new motors to reduce fan and cooling energy consumption, and to evenly cover the maximum amount of floor area possible. Only these 16 AHUs will operate unless there is a need for additional cooling capacity in a certain zone. With this retrofit, the AHUs are able to control temperature and supply fan speed on a specific schedule to maximize energy savings while maintaining the required cooling load. This project reduced electrical usage by an estimated 1,106,528 kWh per year, qualified for a sizable utility rebate, and yielded an estimated payback of less than one year.

Cork, Ireland

The Ireland COE has seen a reduction of 35 percent in electricity consumption and a reduction of 29 percent in natural gas consumption since 2007. In 2015, we continued to look for new ways to make our operations and facilities more energy efficient. Our completed energy action programs included LED lighting upgrades, upgrade of the AHU controls and building management system time schedules, replacement of existing chiller and boiler plant with high efficiency equipment, and an upgrade of the uninterrupted power supply system that services the international data center.

The Cork facility is certified to the ISO 50001 energy management standard. This followed from previous management systems such as IS 393, implemented in 2008, and EN16001 in 2009.

EMC Building Certification through the Years


  • EMC’s Apex manufacturing facility was recognized by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now known as the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ)) as a North Carolina Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) Environmental Steward.


  • EMC’s corporate headquarters building at 176 South Street, Hopkinton was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
  • Our Milan, Italy office location received LEED “Core & Shell” Silver Certification.


  • EMC’s cloud data center in Durham, North Carolina received LEED Gold certification.
  • EMC’s COE facility in Bangalore, India received LEED Platinum certification.


  • EMC’s COE facility expansion space in Bangalore, India received LEED Gold certification.
  • EMC’s Apex manufacturing facility went through a 5 year reassessment for the NCDEQ ESI program and was granted a continuation at the Steward level for another 5 years.


  • EMC’s Brazil Research and Development Center received LEED Gold certification.
  • EMC’s Singapore facility received the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Gold Award 2015 – Office Interior