Paris: French IT services consultancy Atos is to offer carbon neutral hosting services across its worldwide datacenters to support clients on increasing their sustainable operations — and hopes to halve its own carbon footprint by 2015.
The firm says that growing demand for energy-efficient data centre services in Europe has encouraged it to build a new cloud data centre project in Finland. In 2009 Atos implemented a drastic carbon abatement program and realized a 34% Carbon Footprint reduction in all its worldwide activities. On its journey to become a "Zero Carbon" Company, Atos has now set a new objective to reduce its Carbon Footprint by 50% by 2015 (2008 baseline).
The new data centre in Viikinmäki, Helsinki — being constructed with Academica and Helsingin Energia — offers a well-functioning model for the decentralized production of district heating that utilizes renewable energy. For Atos, the project means the completion of the world's greenest high-availability cloud centre in Helsinki expected to start operating in March 2013. The company already operates from the Suvilahti data centre which was the first phase of its global cloud service centre in Finland.
Atos carbon neutral hosting services are based on three key activities. Firstly, an energy efficiency program to reduce its Power Usage Efficiency (PUE), reinforce the virtualization, develop green innovations; secondly a global Carbon Audit program applied to all its main data centers; thirdly a renewable energy sourcing strategy; and finally the carbon offset emission produced by its datacenters (127 000 t CO2) through the financing of a windmill turbine project in Tamil Nadu (India) thanks to a partnership with South Pole Carbon and EcoAct.
Eric Grall, Executive VP Global Managed Services, in charge of the Datacenter strategy at Atos, said, "Our datacenters represent a significant share of our Carbon footprint. To dramatically abate our carbon emissions, we have implemented several initiatives like virtualization, consolidation of our datacenters, and improvement of our energy efficiency ratios. We are proud to continue to be the first European IT provider to offer fully integrated carbon neutral hosting services to help our clients decarbonize their activities. With an increased focus on reducing their carbon footprint, our clients are looking for ways to innovate and to improve their environmental performance while reducing their costs. Our investment in the windmill turbine project in India clearly shows this commitment to help our clients to address the environmental impact".
Windmill turbine project in India — first tangible outcome
Atos has funded and developed a windmill turbine project which is producing renewable energy for the southern electricity grid of India. The project installed 22 new grid-connected Wind Energy Generators with an individual capacity of 1.5 MW in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.
- The windmill project has greatly increased the power available to the grid from emission-free and renewable resources, reducing the use of fossil fuels and its associated waste.
- The project has contributed greatly to the local community. It has increased the availability of power to households, replaced pollutant producing energy sources with renewable energy, provided more employment in the region, is planting more than 1000 trees per year and is providing a clean water supply to local villages.
The project meets the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) requirements and the credits have been verified and registered on the Voluntary Carbon Standard registry, hosted by APX.
Philippe Mareine, EVP General Secretary at Atos, in charge of Corporate and Social Responsibility at Atos said, "This initiative is a concrete demonstration of our commitment to become a best in Class Company in term of Sustainability. To become a zero carbon company, Atos strives to improve Carbon performance in all areas of its activities. In this respect, we have launched many initiatives including remote working, Zero Email TM, building energy management, and carbon audits. In addition, we have developed sustainable solutions to help our clients improving their sustainable performance like Ambition Zero Carbon, Cloud Computing, Smart Grid and Zero Email and social collaboration."