Akamai Technologies, the world’s most trusted solution to power and protect digital experiences, has announced the publication of its Sustainability Report for 2021. The report includes updates on the company’s five goals expected to be reached by 2030: 100% renewably sourced energy; 50% more energy-efficient platform; 100% platform emissions mitigation; responsible supply chain management; and global expansion of 100% e-waste recycling. Meaningful progress has been made towards each.
“In the past two years, the internet has become a critical lifeline for us all, powering the way we work, live, transact, learn, and play. However, this necessary tool accounts for a significant portion of global electricity demand,” said Nicole Fitzpatrick, deputy general counsel and chief ESG officer. “Akamai is dedicated to reducing the internet’s carbon footprint and last year, announced high reaching goals to do so. We are pleased to report that we have made meaningful progress over the past year and continue to move forward.”
1. 100% Renewably sourced Energy
To reduce the emissions impact from platform growth, Akamai focuses on adding renewable energy to the global grid. In 2021, over 50% of the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform was powered by renewable energy. Of that, 20% was created by Akamai’s three existing renewable energy projects: a wind farm in Texas, a solar array in Virginia, and a wind farm in Illinois. In 2021, to make further progress against this goal, Akamai entered into a fourth renewable energy project, the Enel Green Power Azure Sky wind project located in northern Texas. The new project is slated to come online in 2022.
2. 50% More Energy-Efficient Platform
A more efficient Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform is a critical step in using power effectively across Akamai’s operations. The company’s 2030 goal is to increase platform efficiency by 50%, as measured against its 2020 baseline. Since announcing its 2030 goals, during 2021, Akamai has made its network 28% more power efficient per unit of platform capacity, despite increases of 60%.
3. 100% Platform Emissions Mitigation
Akamai’s goal is to mitigate 100% of its platform greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This goal is especially challenging due to the company’s widely distributed operations in more than 830 cities globally and as power source availability is rarely under Akamai’s direct operational control. In its progress to meet this challenging goal, Akamai continues to work with data center partners on renewable energy procurement best practices. In addition, further reflecting its commitment to this important goal, in 2021 Akamai signed onto the Science Based Targets’ Business Ambition for 1.5°C initiative, joined the Race to Zero through the Global Citizen Live campaign and became a founding member of Greening of Streaming to address the growing concerns around the energy impact of the streaming sector.
4. Responsible Supply Chain Management
Akamai takes the notion of collective action seriously in its approach to supply chain, engaging and working closely with trusted suppliers. In 2021, Akamai evolved its supply chain program with the launch of a Responsible Supply Chain Program (RSCP) to realize supply chain goals, including with a focus on environmental sustainability.
5. Global Expansion of 100% Electronic Waste Recycling Program
Currently, Akamai ships all e-waste — including servers around the world — to e-Stewards certified facilities in the United States for appropriate processing. This allows for the highest standards for the security of customer data, the effective downstream management of all toxic materials, and legal and responsible exporting. In 2021, Akamai continued to recycle 100% of its e-waste in accordance with these standards and began the process of identifying certified recycling facilities located closer to the points of e-waste, in accordance with its stated public goals in this area.
“The 2030 goals we set last year are ambitious, and already we have made marked progress towards reaching them,” said Mike Mattera, director, corporate sustainability, Akamai Technologies. “Akamai is moving forward to build a more environmentally friendly internet, but we can not do it alone. The opportunity for real, sustainable progress is an industry-wide one. Only working together as a collective driving force can we truly help build a more sustainable internet for all.”