How Low Can you go with your CO2? By Tate Cantrell
The latest information from the Carbon Disclosure Project marks an encouraging change in the actions of big companies working to reduce their carbon emissions. The Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent non-profit organization that gathers voluntary information regarding carbon emissions from thousands of companies around the globe. According to their new Global 500 Report, companies are implementing standard practices for carbon planning more than ever before. Their banner quote in the Executive Summary says it all – “In 2009, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) received the highest response rate to date, the highest level of disclosed emissions and greater detail than ever before on the activities being undertaken by the largest corporations around climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
One of the interesting points in this report is the fact that only 36% of the responding companies are laying out their emission reduction goals beyond 2012. This is primarily due to the uncertainty these companies believe exists in the long-term regulatory landscape. Even though recent carbon reduction legislation has just been passed in the UK and is currently working its way through the US congress, companies appear to be taking a long-term wait and see approach, and who can blame them? In 2012, the Kyoto Protocol runs out and later this year, government representatives from over 170 countries will converge on Copenhagen with a mission to define life after Kyoto. Smart companies want to understand the financial bottom line impacts that a Copenhagen Protocol could create before committing to long-term emissions reductions.
One of the themes I have been discussing in this blog has been the benefit for companies to move their data center needs to Iceland and the impact it can have on their carbon emission reductions and their financial bottom line. For example, if one of the 409 CDP respondents transferred 10,000 servers to the Verne Global campus in Iceland, that company could reduce carbon emissions by as much as 20,000 metric tons a year while setting in motion a 10-year savings projection of $50 million or better in electricity bills alone.
Iceland provides an abundance of renewable energy resources through its natural hydroelectric and geothermal power sources. This, in combination with Iceland utilities pricing structure, allows a company to have visibility into their energy costs for 10 to 20 years down the road. As we see it, proactive companies can act today by reducing emissions while saving money for their investors. Wait and see is no longer the only option.