Material & Resource Use
WATER USE & MANAGEMENT
Although EMC has a relatively small water footprint throughout our operations, we take a conscientious approach to conserving this important global resource today and for future generations. We are guided by our focus on minimizing water consumption and managing wastewater in our owned and operated facilities to help protect local water quality. Our owned global manufacturing facilities produce no industrial wastewater.
EMC’s approach includes the use of various water efficiency and conservation features in our facilities worldwide, such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, rainwater capture systems, and free air cooling. We also consider water conservation and efficiency elements when designing and constructing new facilities.
At our headquarters in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, wastewater is reclaimed at an onsite treatment plant which filters wastewater through three treatment and disinfection processes, resulting in treated “gray” water. In 2012, we reused more than 13,196 cubic meters of gray water for cooling, sanitation, and irrigation. Unused gray water is returned to the ground through infiltration systems to replenish local watersheds.
At our Massachusetts campus facilities, which account for more than 30 percent of our corporate physical footprint, we have implemented a stringent Stormwater Management System to help protect and maintain the integrity of the surrounding resources. At these facilities, we have also implemented an Integrated Pest Management program to minimize and eliminate the use of chemical herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides where possible. Through diligent management efforts, we ensure a high quality of storm water runoff from our facilities. This minimizes the impact of our operations on natural resources, including groundwater and surface water, and helps ensure that these resources are protected in the future.
Since 2007, we have tracked water consumption data for all of our owned facilities and most of the larger facilities that we lease. We use the World Business Council on Sustainable Development’s Global Water Tool to analyze our operations and calculate our water footprint in water-stressed areas.
Our total 2012 global water withdrawal was 796,610 cubic meters. 79 percent of the water withdrawal data were compiled from reliable water bills and water meter readings. The remaining annual corporate water consumption was estimated using a water intensity factor calculated by benchmarking consumption at metered EMC facilities.
We recognize that water, energy, and carbon emissions are interconnected. Water is required to generate and transmit the energy we consume, and energy is used to supply the water we use. Our suppliers also use water in their operations to produce the material components in our products. Thoughtful water conservation and efficiency practices help save energy and reduce the carbon emissions generated from these activities.
We also understand that there can be trade-offs between water and carbon emissions. Water and energy are needed to power and cool our own data centers as well as those of our customers, and our wastewater treatment plant consumes energy while reducing our water footprint.
We take a holistic view of energy and water use and the resulting carbon emissions, and thus focus on driving efficiencies in our products and operations. For example, applying free air cooling technology has allowed us to reduce the amount of energy and water consumed in our data centers and labs.
Looking forward, we have started to conduct a deeper analysis to further understand the links and trade-offs between water and carbon emissions. We plan to use the findings to develop strategies to help minimize our overall impact on the environment.