Lara Birkes, CSO at HPE, talks about HPE's bold new goals:
Today Hewlett Packard Enterprise marked an important milestone on our Living Progress journey. We joined RE100 with a commitment to reach 100 percent renewable energy, while setting an interim goal to source 50 percent of our total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2025.
In making this commitment, we are taking a stand to further reduce the carbon intensity of our operations. To be clear, our operations constitute only 10-15 percent of our total global carbon footprint. Yet, in our resource-constrained world, even 10 percent is significant. We believe companies must look across their entire value chain and commit to lowering their total energy use and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. That includes looking at both the supply and demand side of powering their business.
Committing to renewable energy resources is a great place to start. RE100 estimates that if 1,000 companies were 100 percent powered by renewables, they would clean up almost a tenth of global electricity use. If all businesses were 100 percent powered by renewables, they could cut global CO2 by nearly 15 percent. Think of the magnitude of that: While global leaders are gathered at Climate Week NYC and the UN General Assembly in NYC this week discussing how we fight the dangerous effects of climate change by keep global warming to less than 2⁰ Celsius, businesses have the opportunity to cut global CO2 by nearly 15 percent simply by changing the way we consume energy.
HPE (and previously as Hewlett-Packard Company) has long been active in expanding renewable energy generation among businesses, such as partnering with WWF, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and other leading companies to issue the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles. We were also a cofounder of BSR’s Future of Internet Power, a collaborative initiative focused on increasing the renewable energy to power data centers. In our own operations, we power our entire Texas-based data center operations with renewable energy through a 12-year power purchase agreement for 112 megawatts of wind power. We also focus on adding more green energy to the grid where possible, through solar and wind-generated energy capacity. From a demand perspective, we are working to make our buildings and behaviors more efficient, through features like efficient lighting, smart monitoring, heating and cooling optimization.
But the greatest impact we can have on our own total global footprint is in drastically reducing the energy demand during product use. Product use accounts for more than half of our carbon footprint, which is why innovations like HPE Moonshot and Apollo are so essential. By transforming the way computing happens, our products require significantly less energy and that lowers not only our own footprint, but the footprints of our customers.
Yet even with product innovations driving significantly less energy consumption, how those products are powered remains an essential issue.
As a business community, we must collectively drive toward 100 percent renewable energy if we are going to advance a low-carbon economy. The good news is that as more companies commit to reaching 100 percent renewable, governments and the market will respond, increasing the supply of renewables, and further driving down costs. That will make renewables more accessible to all.
And that’s just good business.