Energy Use & Climate Change


Energy use is among EMC’s most material issues, and we recognize and embrace our role in mitigating these impacts and our 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 our holistic approach to drive climate change and energy strategy.

EMC’s three-pronged approach to managing energy use and associated GHG emissions comprises:

  • An aggressive pursuit of energy efficiency
  • Constant collaboration among our facilities, engineering, and information technology (IT) teams
  • Exploring opportunities for the use of renewable energy


In 2012, we implemented energy-efficiency initiatives at our owned and operated facilities. These initiatives range from hot and cold aisle containment in our data centers to expanded energy monitoring systems that capture more data about the impact of mechanical systems on overall building performance. We also strengthened relationships with electricity utility companies in the U.S.—National Grid, Duke Energy, and NSTAR—who play an important role in building evaluation, rebate programs, and other opportunities to gain energy efficiencies.

This year we also reduced energy use through our Environmental Stress Screening (ESS) optimization project. The project, now in its fourth year, focuses on increasing the capacity and efficiency of ESS chambers. In 2012, the project focused on minimizing liquid nitrogen use to realize new efficiencies with implications for CO2e emissions and water savings. It should be noted that while this project actually increases EMC’s energy use (Scope 2 emissions increased 3.60M (Ibs) CO2e), it is resulting in a much greater reduction of emissions within the supply chain (Scope 3 emissions decreased 26.19M (Ibs) CO2e). The program will continue into 2013. To learn more, please review the Hybrid ESS case study.

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 2012, our Social and Environmental Responsibility (SER) initiative engaged supply chain partners to gather greenhouse gas emissions data from suppliers representing 98 percent of our direct spend, up from 95 percent in 2011.

To learn more about supplier emissions and engagement, visit Supply Chain Social and Environmental Responsibility and Energy & Climate Change Strategy.


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 PUE 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 2012, we saw the PUE of the Ireland COE data centers/labs fall from 1.64 to 1.61, 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.


Durham, North Carolina

In 2012, EMC’s new energy-efficient, 100-percent virtual data center in Durham, North Carolina, earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

Efficient technologies 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
  • Hot and cold aisle containment that increases temperature regulation control for high-density equipment

Hopkinton, Massachusetts

EMC’s 650,000 square foot corporate headquarters in Hopkinton earned the 2012 Corenet Global “Best in Sustainable Practices” Award. We were recognized for collaborating with the U.S. Green Building Council and Symmes Maini & McKee Associates to share industry best practices and create new performance metrics for how R&D organizations can develop and apply protocols to conserve energy and reduce waste.

Other improvements to the Hopkinton campus include more efficient lighting systems, upgrades to water pumping and chillers via variable frequency drives, and new kitchen ventilation controls used for the onsite cafeteria. These upgrades will save more than 2.75 million kWh annually.

Franklin, Massachusetts

In 2012, a variety of upgrades and retrofit projects were completed at this facility, including installation of more-efficient lighting systems, new kitchen ventilation controls used for the onsite cafeteria, and updating cooling towers and pumping systems to varying frequencies. In total, these improvements will save more than 3.10 million kWh annually.

Cork, Ireland

In 2012, the Ireland COE continued to optimize the Free Fresh Air Cooling Project. The program, which takes advantage of low local average air temperature to help cool the facility, reduced total annual electricity consumption by 4.329 million kWh in 2012.

In addition, the Cork COE was certified to ISO 50001, the international standard for energy management, and continued the roll out of a hot aisle containment project and orchestrated a variety of lighting improvement projects to achieve further efficiencies.

Bangalore, India

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 when not in use.


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.