Storage and information management services company Iron Mountain has announced that its operations in Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands and United Kingdom have become first in international regions to utilise 100 percent of electricity from renewable/sustainable sources.
Courtesy of Iron Mountain
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 percent 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.
Like other global organisations, 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 centres – 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 organisations.
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 centre 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 totalled 30 percent of the company’s global electricity supply.
“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.”
Kevin Hagen, vice president, Environmental Social and Governance Strategy, Iron Mountain, added that, as a global organisation, Iron Mountain recognises that continued dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation and usage has a negative effect on the company’s worldwide carbon footprint. It also recognises that by reducing or eliminating its dependence on fossil fuels it can run its 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 positive impact for our communities, for the environment and for our bottom line” Mr Hagen said. “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.”