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. Our success helps our customers achieve their 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.
With hundreds of thousands of servers humming away in more than 120 countries and thousands of locations, our network operations are responsible for 93 percent of our environmental footprint. Increasing the energy efficiency and productivity of our network is our biggest opportunity to improve the sustainability of our operations, and is also an example of alignment of sustainability with key business drivers: reducing costs, stimulating innovation, and aiding customers in meeting their sustainability goals. To demonstrate our commitment and inspire thinking big, our annual goal is to reduce our network energy and GHG intensity relative to traffic 30% year-over-year.
To date, we’ve been very successful in decoupling our business growth from energy use and carbon-emission impacts through 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 sourcing renewable energy for 50 percent of our network operations.
Beyond energy and GHG, Akamai has also taken steps to responsibly manage 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. Consistent with the most rigorous standards program for electronics recycling practices, we now use only e-Stewards certified partners. Prioritizing resale and then recycling, we maximize the economic value of these assets. Akamai has a goal to process 100% of our electronic waste through e-Stewards certified asset management vendors or their partners.
Transparency is a core tenant of our sustainability initiative. In addition to the information we provide on our website, Akamai publicly discloses to CDP since 2009 providing insights into our climate change management strategy, metrics and progress.
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.