Iron Mountain Reaches Carbon Reduction Milestone in Europe

Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands and United Kingdom are the company’s first international regions to utilize 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources.

Boston-based Iron Mountain Inc., a company with a real estate network of more than 1,400 facilities in more than 50 countries, has achieved its stated goal of utilizing 100 percent of their electricity consumption from renewable energy sources at its operations in Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The company specializes in storage and protection of business information, highly sensitive data, and cultural and historical artifacts.

The milestone marks a significant achievement, especially since, earlier this year, Iron Mountain joined the RE100 initiative, committing to using renewable energy sources for 100 percent of its worldwide electricity by 2050. To come this far, the company followed a rigorous standard for green power purchasing. Employing a combination of green power contracts, Iron Mountain was able to negotiate cost-effective wind and other renewable resources to supply all of the company’s electricity usage in these countries, including the data center operations in Slough, U.K., and Amsterdam.

Greening the portfolio

Until recently, the primary source of electricity for Iron Mountain has been coal and natural gas. In 2016, electricity use alone made up almost half of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions. Data centers—such as the Slough, U.K., and Amsterdam locations, acquired earlier this year—drive the bulk of that. The Slough location uses as much energy as all Iron Mountain’s U.K. records management facilities combined, while the Amsterdam facility doubled the company’s energy footprint in Europe. However, last year, the company derived nearly 30 percent of its energy needs from renewables.

“With the growth in our footprint in the U.K. and Benelux, we knew there would be an increase in our electricity usage that would significantly affect our environmental impact,” Steve Kowalkoski, senior vice president & general manager, U.K. and Ireland, for Iron Mountain, said in a prepared statement. “At the same time, we are aware we have an obligation to operate responsibly in the environments where we live and work, despite growth in our business. Looking across our operations, including the recent data center acquisitions, they saw an opportunity and solved this environmental challenge in a way that’s good for our business and our customers while also ensuring we are prepared for future business and footprint growth.”