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Keeping Forth on a 1.5 °C Path

HPE20181022029_800_0_72_RGB.jpgAt HPE, we know we bare a responsibility to provide solutions to pressing social issues like climate change. Our current climate strategy prioritizes a swift transition to a low-carbon economy, which earned us a spot on the CDP Climate A List for the seventh consecutive year. This recognizes HPE among the top 2% of more than 8,400 companies worldwide that filed reports in 2019.

While it’s important to celebrate such a prestigious honor, we know there is still more work ahead of us.

Less than two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report detailing the impacts of climate change. In the last year alone, we’ve felt these impacts. Take for example the ongoing bushfires in Australia, which have already destroyed over 10 million hectares of land.

Not all is grim just yet as the business world is coming together to race against the ticking climate change clock. In July 2019, HPE along with 27 other companies, committed to more ambitious climate targets aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 °C  above pre-industrial levels. For HPE, this translates into reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 55% by 2025 compared to 2016 levels.  More recently, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, vowed to exit investments with high sustainability-related risk in his annual letter to CEOs, citing that purpose and profits are directly linked and that climate risks are clearly investment risks.

The biggest positive impact HPE can have is to reduce the energy demand and inefficiencies of IT infrastructure. 

To keep in line with our plans to drastically curb emissions by the next five years, the biggest positive impact HPE can have is to reduce the energy demand and inefficiencies of IT infrastructure.  One way we are already doing this is by working with a consortium of government, academia and other industry representatives to pilot a first-of-its-kind Data Center Efficiency Label. This label aims to eliminate the net carbon footprint of data centers in Switzerland and reduce the country’s overall energy consumption by 30 percent. Data centers currently account for one percent of global electricity consumption. That may not seem like a lot, but when you consider the fact that the increase in data processing and storage is predicted to continue to grow at an exponential rate, this can add up quickly.

For HPE, reaching beyond our organizational boundaries and working with our industry peers to find swift climate solutions is a huge opportunity to create value not only for ourselves, but for the world. We will continue to seek these opportunities and keep forth on a 1.5 °C path. 

Christopher Wellise
Chief Sustainability Officer

@cwellis
Christopher-Wellise

About the Author

ChrisWellise

Christopher Wellise is Chief Sustainability Officer at HPE. Follow Christopher at http://www.twitter.com/CWellise

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