Interactive joined RE100 and committed to source 100% of the electricity needed to deliver its services from renewable resources by 2030.
May 25, 2021
Taking climate change seriously
In working with a wide range of customers from multiple industry sectors, sustainability frequently arises in our discussions.
As a business that is entirely reliant on humans – the skills and dedication of our many diverse employees – it’s also a topic we’ve held top of mind for some time.
The world is getting warmer, and we must act soon. Science has proven that the generation of power from fossil fuels is the most significant factor in climate change and, the fact is, companies in the commercial and industrial sectors account for around two-thirds of the world’s end-of-use of electricity.
As a company, Interactive has made the decision to join RE100 and make the firm commitment to source 100% of the electricity needed to deliver its services from renewable resources by 2030.
It’s not just a ‘tick’ against a Corporate Social Responsibility box; it’s a fully trackable, reportable and credible demonstration of a commitment to counter and even remedy climate change in the 21st century – on our own behalf, and that of our customers.
What does it mean to be a member of RE100?
The Renewable Energy 100 (RE100) is a global corporate initiative bringing together businesses which have decided to stop talking about climate change – or waiting for governments to move – and just get on with doing something about it themselves. RE100 members include many of the world’s largest companies and brands including Apple, Accenture, Adobe, Atlassian, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, SAP, Coca Cola, Ikea, BMW and many others.
Joining RE100 involves meeting the requirements of the 2015 Paris Agreement to convert to 100% renewable electricity by 2050. For businesses, methods of doing so include generating electricity on your own facilities (such as solar or wind power) or sourcing renewable energy directly from generators or via their retailers. Electricity used by data centres account for 2-3% of global carbon emissions and is expected to rise to 13% by 2030, so switching to renewable power to drive them can make a significant impact.
Operating solely in Australia and New Zealand, where renewable energy sources and valid green offsets are more readily available, Interactive has decided to commit to sourcing 100% of the electricity needed to deliver its services from renewable resources by 2030 with an interim target of approximately 35% by 2025.
Not only do we believe it’s the right thing to do for our employees and existing customers. It also makes sound business sense; while it might cost us more in the short-to-medium term, it will position us as a data centre services provider of choice with businesses similarly concerned about their sustainability in the longer term.
How we’ll achieve RE100 by 2030
Over recent years, we’ve been actively looking at ways to measure and reduce our power consumption, and therefore our emissions of greenhouse gases. Our analysis is that 97% of our carbon footprint is based on electricity use – accounted for by our six data centres across the Australian eastern seaboard.
We have been advancing plans to harvest solar energy on our premises. However, we are aware that this will not entirely meet our needs for energy, so we will also need to purchase electricity from renewable sources. Our options are to enter into a renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) or to purchase large-scale generation certificates (LGCs). The difference is that the latter are tradeable units that act as on paper as ‘currency’ for renewable energy – rather than an actual renewably generated unit.
Our team has developed a sophisticated monitoring and forecasting model for our energy consumption based on customer contracts. With that knowledge we have been purchasing Large Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) that allow us to offset our emissions and invest in the emerging sustainable energy industry. Using this process, approximately 35% of our electricity related Co2 emissions will be offset by 2025 and 100% by 2030.
We are committed to delivering environmentally responsible services for a Better Planet. Other initiatives we have in progress include deploying Solar across various sites, investing in battery technology, reducing our soft plastics to landfill by more than 80% by the end of calendar year 2023 and our continued responsible disposal of both our, and our customer’s, e-waste via our partner, EraseIT.