Top 10 Tech Companies Using Green Energy
This article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of Energy Digital.
10. SAP America
SAP is a world leader in enterprise software and software related services. The company uses 86,000,000 kWh of green energy annually and is committed to sustainable practices in its operations. “As an exemplar of sustainable companies we have decided to purchase over 350 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy worldwide to power all of our data centers with renewable energy sources,” the company writes. “SAP's goal is to get our carbon footprint back to the level it was at in 2000.”
For a company whose operations are as broad as SAP’s, it’s a lofty goal—but absolutely possible with the talent available to them.
9. Sony Corporation of America
Sony is a major purchaser of green energy, utilizing more than 88 million kWh annually. This is enough power to meet roughly 37 percent of its annual energy usage. For such a large organization, this is quite impressive. The number one principle for Sony when it comes to green energy is reducing its negative environmental impact.
"The purchase of renewable energy credits is an important step in our company’s effort to reduce its environmental impact," Dave Rubenstein, President, Sony DADC Americas, said. “With this purchase, we are able to support Sony’s environmental goals and also promote the use and growth of renewable energy in the U.S.”
8. EMC Corporation
Telecom company EMC believes that making the world a greener place is part of its corporate responsibility. Energy efficiency and green solutions are major factors in its business and throughout its work in all things IT, they are always at the front of its mind. Every two years, the company seeks feedback from its various stakeholders in how they could become a more sustainable business. The company compiles this data and uses it to prioritize its sustainability efforts moving forward. They’ve also set sustainability targets for 2020, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and utilizing more green energy.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of Sprint’s usage of green power is its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2017, making them the first company to announce such a plan. This is only part of its goal, though, as Sprint aims to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent. The company’s CEO, Dan Hesse, is also a major advocate of green energy usage, speaking on the topic frequently. These are just two of the ways, however, that Spring is going green.
“Over the past decade,” the company writes, “Sprint's involvement with clean energy has included installation of on-site clean-energy facilities, partnering with energy-research institutions to research clean-energy alternatives for back-up power at sites, advocating in support of clean-energy opportunities, purchasing renewable energy through utility partnerships, and investing in Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).”
Dell believes that while technology can make the world a better place, it also needs to be in line with environmental standards. The company holds all of its products to high environmental standards and sources smart, sustainable materials.
“We hold ourselves to the world’s toughest environmental standards such as Europe’s RoHS and REACH,” the company writes. “And we go beyond these standards with our chemical use policy by reducing or eliminating other substances even if they are not restricted.”
Nearly half of energy used by Dell is green at 228,262,000 kWh annually.
5. Cisco Systems
With electricity accounting for 85 percent of Cisco’s greenhouse gas emissions, green energy usage is incredibly important for Cisco. Though it uses a large quantity of green energy, the company is looking to ramp up its efforts. It recently announced plans to reduce electricity emissions to 50 percent by 2017 and have its global energy usage be 25 percent renewable through the end of the 2017 fiscal year.
“Going forward,” the company writes, “Cisco will continue to communicate the meaningful role that green power plays in its sustainability strategy as well as within the IT industry at large.”
While it’s not the largest consumer of green energy, Apple is one of the most efficient. As it is, it utilizes 626,315,500 kWh of green power annually. Also, it aims to have a neutral carbon footprint very soon. It’s recently taken steps such as the purchase of several solar farms to make its data centers entirely sustainable. It’s also working to make all of its retail stores entirely sustainable, and is coming closer to that reality daily.
Google is one of the biggest proponents for green energy in the world, having been a carbon neutral company since 2007. It utilizes 737,364,727 kWh of green energy annually and its data centers use roughly half the energy than a typical data center. Where it really shines, though, is in its driving of renewable energy innovation, committing vast amounts time and money to finding better sources of energy.
Utilizing more than 1.3 billion kWh of green power annually, Microsoft is one of the greenest companies in the world. The company has ambitious goals for going green and is working toward them daily. The company is also working on solutions for greener business, such as its Dynamics AX, a tool for helping businesses manage their sustainability goals in a user friendly format.
“Microsoft’s commitment to carbon neutrality is another step in the company’s broader commitment to environmental leadership,” the company writes, “from reducing energy consumption in facilities and data centers, to working with partners in the supply chain, to improving the efficiency of its software products and services.”
Intel utilizes a massive amount of renewable energy at a whopping 3,102,050,000 kWh annually. It uses energy from a number of different sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, and biomass. It even operates 18 on site solar panels with a capacity of 7,000 kW. "Our renewable purchase is just one part of a multi-faceted approach to protect the environment,” Intel’s Director of Global Utilities and Infrastructure Marty Sedler said, “and one that we hope spurs additional development and demand for renewable energy."
Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management.
As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient.
In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared.
“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner.
Establish a preparedness framework
Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.
Monitor the situation
It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.
Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out.
Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.
Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols
It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.
Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.
In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences.
Establish a communication programme
People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.
Review the impact on the operation
Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.
Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?
IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.
In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications.
Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response
Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.
Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.