We were one of the first companies to adopt the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards. This commitment is helping us to operate efficiently, reduce our impact on the planet and stabilise costs. We obtain LEED certifications for new construction and remodels as well as ongoing operations and maintenance of our buildings to ensure that our workspaces are among the most environmentally sound in the world. We also drive energy efficiency at our data centres through practices like server-room consolidation and virtualisation. Over 70% of our employees work in LEED-certified facilities where they breathe clean air, drink safe water, work under natural light and enjoy the benefits of innovative design.
Designing environmentally conscious data centres.
We chose Hillsboro, Oregon, for the site of our major data centre for several reasons. Tax “enterprise zone” incentives allow us to access low-cost, high-percent, large hydroelectric power content, with the potential for transitioning to 100% renewable energy over time. Oregon’s mild climate is conducive to energy efficiency, the area is not in a flood zone or prone to major annual temperature differentials and Hillsboro has a reliable local power and communications grid that is a legacy of the Washington County chip industry. Other tech businesses with renewable energy goals operate in the area, so we have opportunities to partner on electricity procurement. The site was designed for future photovoltaic generation installations and it offers high water security and very low material risk from climate-related scenario analysis (e.g., low drought, low extreme temperature, not in or near high-fuel burn potential etc.).
The data centre has served as an R&D hub for consolidating major site server rooms for economies of scale. And we’ve partnered with energy efficiency leaders to implement technologies like hot/cold aisles and heat re-use as well as to refresh equipment such as servers, storage and networking.
We also work closely with our collocated data centres (COLOs) on our sustainability journey. We partner with them on policy advocacy and help them to set renewable energy goals and find ways to achieve them on the grids where they operate.
With our transition from a physical supply chain to a fully digital one, we’ve reduced the environmental impact of our products, including waste, by more than 95%. For the waste we do generate, we work with our employees as well as local partners like SIMS Recycling and Green Standards to responsibly divert it to compost or recycling. As a result, our diversion rate is over 90% each year.