Adobe’s strategic environmental considerations for our data centres
Adobe owns and operates one major data centre in Hillsboro, Oregon (OR1). The site was selected in 2011 and completed in 2013. Among the many reasons for selecting this site, there are several elements that helped in making Hillsboro OR a good choice in carrying on Adobe’s long-held culture of sustainability:
- Tax "enterprise zone" incentives put in place at the time for access to low-cost, high percent large hydroelectric power content (among the highest in the US in 2011 when it was selected), with the potential for transitioning to 100% renewable energy over the life of the facility. This was the major reason for selection of the site, along with Oregon's mild climate conducive to energy efficiency, relative safety and security of the area (meaning it’s not in a flood zone nor prone to major annual temperature differentials) and for a reliable local power and communications grid that is a legacy of the Washington County chip industry.
- Other technology businesses also operate in the area, such as Intel, Genentech and Radisys, to name a few. All of these partners have renewable energy goals, so there is a higher opportunity to partner on electricity procurement. At the time it was for all energy, now the potential is for green tariffs or other products with the local utility, Portland General Electric.
- OR1 was designed configured for future photovoltaic generation installations. Adobe is presently looking at this option as the data centre is becoming 100% provisioned, there is historical data on consumption and onsite generation is more economically feasible now more than ever.
- When the site was selected, there was very high water security, which has not diminished over time. There is very low material risk from climate-related scenario analysis (low drought, low extreme temperature, not in or near high-fuel burn potential etc.).
Adobe’s OR1 data centre is built to the same standards as the best in class data centres and has served as a R&D and application development hub for consolidating major site server rooms to this facility for economies of scale. Adobe has partnered with data centre energy efficiency leaders, both in implementing the latest technologies for the facility, such as hot/cold aisles and heat re-use and also for technology refresh equipment such as servers, storage and networking in the building.
We also work very closely with our collocated data centres (COLOs) on our sustainability journey. To best mitigate the risks of climate change and create durable, resilient supply chains, we partner with our COLOs on sustainability goals. Since the start of BSR’s Future of Internet Power, of which Adobe is a founding member, we have worked diligently with our digital suppliers to help them to set renewable energy goals and find a means to achieving them on the grids where they operate. Whether it is through partnering on policy advocacy or working directly with our COLOs on RE projects, we at Adobe believe the days of “going it alone” are over and the way forward is through collaboration with local utilities, NGOs, peer companies, customers and our digital supply chain partners.