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Symantec CR Report: Emissions up 4%

Symantec’s global CO2 emissions has increased 4 percent (in CO2 pounds per square foot) in fiscal year (FY) 2010, compared to the previous fscal year, according to the company’s 2010 corporate responsibility report. The company attributes the increase to the expansion of its enterprise data center, which increased energy consumption.

Symantec says it had made progress towards its FY2012 goal to cut CO2 emissions (from a FY2008 baseline measured in pounds per square foot of real estate) until the expansion of its main enterprise data center, along with organic growth within the data center. The data center came online in FY2009, resulting in a 92 percent increase in electricity consumption, according to the report.

Excluding the enterprise data center, Symantec’s global emissions (outside of the data center) decreased 11 percent in FY2010 over the FY2008 base year, according to the report.

Since the enterprise data center was only partially occupied at the end of FY10, Symantec expects to see an increase in electricity consumption at this site into FY2011 and beyond.

The company plans to restate its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal in FY2011.

Over FY2010, Symantec has received LEED certification for nine buildings globally and Energy Star ratings for ten buildings globally, joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Leaders program, which the EPA recently announced it would phase out, and started measuring and reporting on all three scopes of global GHG emissions.

Symantec also has applied for five new LEED certifications and recertification for eight Energy Star building ratings globally. The company also plans to evaluate the potential for tracking energy consumption at a sub-meter level in its labs and data centers

Some of the steps Symantec has taken to achieve energy savings include installing compact fluorescent lamps and motion sensor economizers for lighting systems, using natural daylight when possible, analyzing and managing its electrical and gas bills to identify spikes and inefficient equipment, and sealing off unused areas and adding insulation in other areas to reduce heating and cooling needs.

The company also is using air monitors and programmable thermostats to reduce the energy used by the HVAC systems in office spaces, labs, and data centers.

Several other energy efficiency projects implemented over the past several years include installing energy efficient lighting and appliances, adding motion sensors to lighting and vending machines, adding tinting to windows, installing energy efficient building systems, increasing the HVAC temperature set points of its data centers, and installing sub meters to help manage energy usage in labs and data centers.

A few ways Symantec is significantly reducing energy use in its data centers is by using virtualization technologies and consolidating data centers worldwide.

Case in point: The decommissioning of hardware from Symantec’s Sunnyvale, California data center closure reduced overall device power utilization from approximately 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) to 168 kWh, a 67 percent reduction in energy consumption. This prevented the production of about 15.5 million kilograms of CO2 from 2007 through 2010, according to the report.

In addition to applying green building standards  and making energy-efficient changes to its data centers and operations, Symantec is also helping its customers minimize their energy use and related GHG emissions through the development of software and services aimed at optimizing the efficiency of data center operations.

In addition, a majority of Symantec’s software products are now downloaded electronically by customers, requiring no packaging at all. In FY2010, approximately 65 percent of consumer products were delivered electronically.

Consumer products are packaged in smaller boxes than in previous years, and in North America, Symantec is using ten percent recycled/seven percent post-consumer waste-paper stock and soy-based inks for cards.

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