Akamai is an e-Stewards Enterprise committed to processing our electronic waste responsibly.
Akamai is committed to addressing the growing worldwide crisis of electronic waste. In addition to our office electronic waste such as laptops, desktops and monitors supporting our employees, Akamai’s global Intelligent Platform consists of more than 175,000 servers in over 100 countries and more than 1,300 networks around the world, a fraction of which are decommissioned annually. Equipment that cannot be re-purposed or resold needs to be processed for end-of-life. While there are laws regulating how e-waste is processed, these laws do not completely ensure the socially and environmentally responsible processing of e-waste. To fill this gap, the Basel Action Network (BAN) developed a rigorous voluntary certification program called the e-Stewards Initiative.
As a demonstration of our commitment and leadership in this area Akamai became an e-Stewards Enterprise using only e-Stewards-certified partners wherever possible. These partnerships ensure that our electronic assets are processed in a socially- and environmentally-responsible manner, and that we are recovering their full economic value through resale and recycling.
We have a target to process 100% of our electronic equipment through an e-Stewards facility. In 2016 we achieved a rate of 91% due to continued expansion of our global operations. Where e-Steward certified facilities are not available outside the U.S., Akamai ensures that the facilities are ISO 14001 certified and have required permitting.
We are also committed to addressing the digital divide. Akamai partners with Revivn, a Benefit Corporation, to repurpose our decommissioned corporate IT equipment that still has remaining life, providing it to people who lack computer access.
Beyond responsible processing of our decommissioned electronic equipment, we are also working to dematerialize our network infrastructure by improving server efficiency and productivity while decreasing server mass. By doing this we can decrease the total amount of materials needed per unit of network traffic, resulting in less electronic equipment to decommission as our business grows. The graph below shows our success over the past five years, reducing the network material intensity 70%, from 330 to 100 kilograms per gigabit per second.