By Leopoldo Boado, Senior VP Applications Western Europe and EECIS Region and Country Leader, Oracle Spain
The Madrid Climate Summit has a catharsis effect on society as a whole, particularly in the host country. Regardless of the agreements that can be reached on carbon emissions and the logical difficulties that countries and industries face to bring them to a successful conclusion, what is certain is that there is an effect of social awareness. And it is also a good time to remember that, both individually and collectively, individuals and businesses have much to contribute to achieving the ultimate goal: to build and maintain a sustainable planet.
At Oracle, we are committed to sustainability. It is a far-reaching commitment, which aims to we being an active agent in the fight against climate change. It has four main areas of action.
The first of these areas is called Clean Cloud, and consists of developing a technology that facilitates energy saving and emissions reduction, while prioritizing the use of renewable energy in our data centers.
In 2018, Oracle's energy consumption increased by 4% (due to the increase in the number and capacity of our data centers) to 404 GWh. But, at the same time, we have managed to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by approximately 70%. The Oracle Cloud carbon footprint was reduced by 68,878 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT CO2e). This decline can be attributed both to our direct activity and to working with our suppliers to adopt sustainable practices. Oracle currently has 94 leased data centers that use 100% renewable energy. And, in fact, all data centers in Europe meet this criterion.
Operational excellence is the second group of initiatives. This area of action sets a number of objectives, both for the Oracle Cloud and for our offices and other dependencies. The box on the right shows our 2020 goals. We have already achieved two of them (percentage of renewable energy and reduction of emissions) and are close to achieving the others.
The third area of action is the work we do with our customers, and in particular the peculiarities of the technological solutions we make available to them. Oracle solutions allow organizations to make intelligent decisions thattake into account environmental impact considerations that never before could be considered (due to the impossibility of valuing all the data). But now, with the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies, Oracle solutions help optimize resource management, value chain management, and many other areas including in the cost-benefit analysis the environmental impact of their actions. In fact, we have a portfolio of solutions specifically designed for sustainability.
In addition, the cloud model allows customers to leverage a highly efficient infrastructure with elastic capacity and optimized use of energy. Finally, as a strong supporter of the circular economy, Oracle reuses and recycles hardware at the end of its useful life, which helps us maximize the usefulness of resources and minimize waste.
The fourth leg of our sustainability policy is based on our employees, including intense volunteer activity. Every day, Oracle employees make a difference by creating cutting-edge technologies to help our customers drive sustainability, finding green ways to manage the business, and supporting environmental causes in their local communities. In addition, we know that the vast majority of Oracle employees are firmly committed to protecting the planet. To this end, we regularly inform and involve our employees in sustainability initiatives at work and in the environment and promote their participation in activities of environmental interest.
There are many other practices that make a difference, details of which can be found on Oracle's sustainability blog, initiatives such as using as much recycled plastics as possible in server manufacturing, and many others. Oracle has been recognized with international awards and, in early 2019, the company was rated "A" by the non-profit organization CPD (that means Oracle is in the top 2% of the more than 7,000 companies that provided information).
All these actions make us feel proud of the company we work for. But we know that this project, that of building a more sustainable and habitable planet for all, is an endless project. Let's continue working together every day to leave the Earth, our home, a little better than we found it.