Tech That Makes a Difference: Sustainability
As the Internet grows, so does energy usage.
As a result, all large tech organizations have a responsibility to monitor and improve their impact on the environment. At Akamai, we are well aware of the impact we can have, both positively and negatively. Now more than ever, we believe we must use energy, whether renewable or not, as responsibly as possible. Technology cannot connect and transform the world for the better if it is simultaneously overusing the resources of the world we inhabit.
Sustainability is not just a philosophy we aspire to.
Rather, it is a matter of urgency that we take as seriously as the future of technology. How can we not? We cannot continue to innovate in a world that has nothing left to give.
It is clear that the generations now entering the workplace, and those yet to enter it, are concerned with the future of their world. As a result, they are choosing to work with employers who put their needs first.
We care innately about the future for our employees and clients. As a result, we have set achievable goals to reduce our impact on the earth. Not only this, but we are making clear, concentrated efforts to implement projects that actively change the world for the better.
How are we doing this?
Wherever possible, we're committed to making positive environmental choices, as well as encouraging our data center and supply-chain partners to do the same. Our people are integral to this aim - our team of world-class engineers have put Akamai on course to reduce waste through on-going platform innovation.
These efforts can be seen in the materials we choose to build with, our electricity choices, our commitment to promoting recyclability, and the resources we use in our buildings, such as compostable plates and cutlery.
What are our goals?
In 2015, we established our 2020 goals for sustainability - you can take a look at these at www.akamai.com/sustainability.
Specifically, our area of focus has been around renewable energy, with the aim of off-setting 50% of Akamai's energy usage by investing in renewable projects and partnering with like-minded data center providers. Additionally, we are committed to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the amount of waste we put in landfills by 100%, and lowering our greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.
What are we doing to achieve these goals?
To reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and e-waste, we are working with verified partners to ensure that our servers are being reused and recycled correctly.
This year, we opened two wind farms in the US, which were part of our 2020 plan. We opened facilities in both Texas and Illinois. As well as this, we had a third project that we had planned to open in 2019. However, it's going to be delayed one year and will open in 2020.
As a result of our efforts, we are achieving our goals and continuing to implement strategies to further improve our impact on the environment. For example, we recently launched an engagement strategy with the Akamai Global Site Governance (GSG) to commit every Akamai office to an environmental project in Earth Month, April 2020.
This is the first time we will implement a program at this scale across all our offices, which motivates employees to make at least one new effort towards bettering the environment. Part of this project will include an element of education for our employees, empowering them not just to make a difference in their workplace, but also in their home life.
However, our efforts are not just about what we can do. We are committed to empowering our partners to do the same. For example, we've worked closely with one of our suppliers, Jabil Inc, to make changes to their sustainability program. As a result, they changed their packaging for our servers to use both recycled cardboard and recycled foam.
How do these changes affect Akamai?
As a result of these efforts, we're promoting a circular economy that implements the use of recycled materials in business. It is this circular economy that we're particularly excited about, as it gives us a renewed sense of purpose within the technology industry.
By committing our organization to positive environmental change, we have, in turn, benefitted our internal culture and provided our people with a greater sense of purpose. At Akamai, we understand that the technologists of the future don't want to work for corporations that do not value their world.
Rather, future generations and those currently entering the workplace are uniquely identified by their passion for the environment. We take our commitment to those generations and those that have gone before them, seriously.
So, as we look ahead to the goals we have set for next year, and the ones we will continue to make beyond 2020, we are thinking of the technologists we are yet to welcome to the tech industry, and those we currently work with.