As a company in an increasingly energy intensive business, we’re continuously looking for new ways to reduce our energy consumption and stabilize costs. Our ultimate goal is for our facilities to produce or offset as much energy as they consume, resulting in Net Zero energy usage.
We achieved carbon neutrality at our owned facilities in North America in 2012 and we aim to achieve Net Zero status at these facilities by 2015. We’ve identified four key strategies to reach our target:
Measure & manage energy use
We recognize we can’t manage what we can’t measure. Therefore, we’ve developed and implemented a monitoring system that captures energy and critical operations data based on thousands of data points, from electricity, water, and natural gas usage to the power usage effectiveness (PUE) of all Adobe data centers. In our San Jose, California, headquarters alone, we collect energy usage and critical operations information for more than 30,000 data points.
We measure and report Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions, as well as Scope 3 carbon emissions for purchased energy for our leased sites and for employee business travel. This information is calculated annually and is reported to Sustainable Silicon Valley, Carbon Disclosure Project, EIRIS, Quantum, and Trucost.
Reduce energy demand
Since 2002, in our nine owned North American facilities we’ve completed more than 160 energy efficiency projects that have reduced electricity usage by 50 percent, natural gas usage by 30 percent, domestic water usage by 79 percent, and irrigation water usage by 71 percent.
Recognizing that our 35 co-located data center facilities are a significant contributor to our carbon emissions, we recently announced plans to construct our own high-efficiency data center. In this facility we’ll incorporate evaporative cooling and other innovations to reduce our energy usage and subsequently reduce our carbon emissions.
Generate power on site
To meet our energy needs, we invest in alternative and renewable energy sources that generate on-site power at our facilities. In 2009 we installed 20 Windspire® wind turbines at our San Jose, California, headquarters, which capture the energy of the wind speeding up as it flows between our three office towers.
In 2010 we installed Bloom Energy Server™ fuel cells, also known as Bloom Boxes, to generate power on site at our offices in California, efficiently converting natural biogas into electricity with no loss in transmission. Bloom Boxes installed at our facilities in San Jose and San Francisco, California, account for 30 percent and 50 percent of the electricity supply, respectively, for these two locations.
Purchase renewable energy credits & verifiable emission reductions
We offset 100 percent of our Scope 1 and 2 emissions from our LEED certified facilities in North America through purchase of renewable energy credits and verifiable emission reduction credits, which support wind farm and landfill biogas plant projects.
Through these purchases we’re investing in emerging green technologies and helping them to mature. We hope to gradually reduce our purchase of offsets as we’re able to increase our direct use of clean, alternative energy generated on site.