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It has been clear to us from the beginning that our biggest opportunity to improve sustainability is by increasing the productivity and energy efficiency of our content delivery network.

Akamai Sustainability Network Efficiency Graph

Maximizing Server Efficiency, Productivity and Utilization

Akamai's network operations currently represent more than 90% of our overall environmental footprint in terms of energy consumption, carbon emissions and electronic waste. Our initiatives are focused on maximizing network efficiency and productivity, and decarbonizing its energy. To hold ourselves accountable, we have a commitment to reduce our network energy and GHG intensity relative to traffic 30% year-over-year.

Akamai Network Sustainability Performance

As a result of our efforts to innovate around network productivity and efficiency, our absolute energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions have decoupled from our network traffic growth, flattening even as our traffic continues to grow exponentially, as shown in the graph below.

Decoupling Carbon and Energy Impacts from Business Growth

Total Energy
Total Carbon
Peak Traffic
Annual energy and carbon intensity reduction target:
# of Servers
# of Countries
# of Networks

Drag the grey marker across the map to view YoY energy and carbon intensity reduction by Akamai.

Network Carbon & Energy Efficiency

GHG Intensity
Energy Intensity
Normalized Peak Traffic

Drag the grey marker across the map to view YoY energy and carbon intensity reduction by Akamai.

Energy and Productivity Initiatives

We have energy and productivity initiatives in place that have the potential to achieve significant efficiency improvements, including:

Code Optimizations

  • Identifying and rewriting inefficient code to increase the capacity of our network without adding more servers
  • Implementing code enhancements and new infrastructure architecture to streamline intra-network data transfer
  • Minimizing CPU power consumption during idle periods

Hardware and Infrastructure Optimizations

  • Deploying less expensive, custom-designed servers that maximize performance per Watt
  • Redesigning server rack architecture to maximize utilization of power
  • Upgrading older servers with more efficient components

Process Optimizations

  • Improving server management, such as quickly identifying and decommissioning or repurposing disabled servers

Network Data Center Supply Chain Initiatives

Another major component of Akamai's carbon footprint is the energy consumption from our third-party data center collocation providers that house Akamai content delivery servers. Ancillary services provided by these vendors such as cooling and power redundancy adds significant power consumption on top of actual server power utilization, increasing total power consumption and carbon emissions. Furthermore, while energy efficiency is a key mechanism to decrease our carbon footprint, our network will always consume energy. Therefore, decarbonizing the electricity used by these collocation data centers is also an important focus. We are engaging with our collocation data center providers to pursue increased energy efficiency and decarbonization of their data center energy.

Akamai annually conducts a sustainability survey of our collocation data centers, tracking KPI's such as Power Usage Effectiveness, Carbon Usage Effectiveness, Water Usage Effectiveness, integration of renewable energy and environmental sustainability management practices. These metrics are used to more accurately quantify Akamai's network supply chain sustainability impacts, monitor the progress of these facilities and positively influence our collocation partners to adopt best practices.