Iron Mountain Incorporated, a global leader in storage and information management services, announced that its operations in Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have achieved the company’s stated goal of using 100% of their electricity consumption from renewable energy sources.
This milestone represents a significant achievement for the company following its joining of the RE100 initiative earlier this year in which Iron Mountain committed to using renewable energy sources for 100% of its worldwide electricity. In doing so, the company pledged to follow a rigorous standard for green power purchasing and achieving aggressive interim milestones on the way to a complete conversion by 2050.
“As a global organization, we recognize that continued dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation and usage has a negative effect on our worldwide carbon footprint,” said Kevin Hagen, vice president, Environmental Social and Governance Strategy, Iron Mountain. “We also recognize that by reducing or eliminating our dependence on that kind of energy we can run our business better, with more predictable costs for energy. Our global commitment to social and environmental responsibility encourages and enables us to look for ways to deliver a positive impact for our communities, for the environment and for our bottom line. We look forward to expanding our RE100 commitment to other countries and regions, working with others to help create a greener, more equitable, cost-effective grid for everyone.”
Like other global organizations, the primary source of electricity for Iron Mountain has been coal and natural gas, the biggest single factor driving the company’s greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint. In 2016, electricity use alone made up almost half of Iron Mountain’s GHG emissions. Data centers – like the Slough (UK) and Amsterdam locations acquired earlier this year – drive much of that, as they require continuous power to maintain the operation of servers and other technology and support.
The Slough location alone uses as much energy as all Iron Mountain’s UK records management facilities combined, while the Amsterdam facility doubled the company’s energy footprint in Europe. Removing that dependence on fossil fuel delivers both environmental benefits and better cost controls, as fossil fuel prices are often volatile, while the cost of using sustainable/renewable sources like wind and solar are predictable for organizations.
“With the growth in our footprint in the UK and Benelux, we knew there would be an increase in our electricity usage that would significantly affect our environmental impact,” said Steve Kowalkoski, senior vice president & general manager, UK and Ireland, Iron Mountain. “At the same time, we are aware we have an obligation to operate responsibly in the environments where we live and work, despite growth in our business. Looking across our operations, including the recent data center acquisitions, they saw an opportunity and solved this environmental challenge in a way that’s good for our business and our customers while also ensuring we are prepared for future business and footprint growth.”
Employing a combination of green power contracts, Iron Mountain was able to negotiate cost-effective wind and other renewable resources to supply all of the company’s electricity usage in these countries, including the data center operations in Slough and Amsterdam. These contracts in the UK and Europe further the company’s RE100 goals and build on last year’s achievement when wind and solar power totaled 30% of the company’s global electricity supply.
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