By working together, I believe Akamai is truly positioned to take a leadership role in minimizing the environmental impact of information technology systems."
At Akamai, we believe that the Internet represents boundless opportunity; it can bring the world closer together and facilitate greater understanding among people across the globe. We are proud to be a part of the essential fabric of the Internet creating a better future for all. We also believe that operating our business with integrity, a small environmental footprint, and respect for human rights is fundamental to unlocking the potential of the Internet and an essential value for our customers and the communities in which we operate.
Our environmental sustainability initiative is focused on addressing material environmental impacts of our energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and electronic waste generation. Environmental stewardship is of growing importance to our customers as well, and our success helps them achieve their supply chain sustainability goals. Looking through the lens of sustainability provides a fresh perspective that stimulates new ways of thinking about our operations, markets and supply chain, and inspires innovation.
To date, we’ve been very successful in decoupling our business growth from energy use and carbon-emission impacts through operational efficiency and productivity gains. Despite a twenty-fold increase in network traffic over the past seven years, our energy and carbon usage has grown at only 1/10th of that rate. These achievements have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in CAPEX and OPEX savings. But efficiency and productivity will never mean zero energy, and our carbon remains tightly coupled with energy. That’s why we set a goal to decarbonize our operations, reducing our absolute carbon emissions below 2015 levels by 2020 through sourcing renewable energy for 50 percent of our network operations. In May 2017 we completed our first investment in an 80 MW wind farm project near Dallas, Texas. The 20-year agreement will cover approximately 6 percent of Akamai’s global network load, and 100 percent of our Texas network operations.
We are also managing our large volume of decommissioned electronic equipment such as servers and laptops. Akamai has been an e-Stewards Enterprise since 2012, taking a leadership role in helping to address the growing worldwide electronic-waste crisis by implementing the most rigorous standards program for electronics recycling practices. Prioritizing resale and then recycling, we maximize the economic value of these assets while minimizing waste. Akamai has a goal to process 100% of our electronic waste through e-Stewards certified asset management vendors or their partners.
To ensure we achieve our goals, it is important that we approach sustainability not as a tactic or single objective, but as a way of thinking about systems and processes, uncovering more efficient and innovative ways of doing things, looking at the future landscape and markets for opportunities and risks. By working together, I believe Akamai is truly positioned to take a leadership role in minimizing the environmental impact of information technology systems.