Running on 100% renewable energy: Powering Telstra’s move to sustainability

February 22, 2021

2 min read

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While 2020 was dominated by the pandemic, there was some positive news on the environmental front. Last year was the first time that Europe generated more electricity from renewable sources than from fossil fuels – that’s alternative power sources such as wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy.

At Telstra, we’re committed to operating as a responsible and sustainable business. We understand that how we do business is just as important as why we do it. As technology becomes tightly integrated into the way we operate, we aim to take greater accountability for the impact it has on individuals, on society and on the world around us.

Following our achievement of becoming carbon neutral in our Australian operations last year and receiving Climate Active’s largest certification in the country, we continue to strive towards reducing energy consumption across every aspect of our business around the world.

And we’re on our way to meeting that commitment in Europe – Telstra is part of the Climate Change Agreement in the UK, and complies with the 2018 Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting scheme and the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.

We’ve also taken major strides with our business operations at Telstra’s London Hosting Centre (LHC) in Canary Wharf, London. Data centres operate like the brains of the internet, storing the data we access each time we connect. The volume of such data is growing rapidly as digital transformation shapes the future of our consumption and communication.

As a result, each data centre requires significant energy to power servers, storage, network connections and infrastructure such as cooling, back-up power and the building’s operational needs (such as lighting). To put this into context, a typical data centre such as  LHC requires the equivalent energy consumed by more than 9,000 British households per annum.

We recognise the need to change the future of our business, to bring it more in line with the goals we’ve set for ourselves in environmental sustainability. We’re therefore pleased to announce since November last year, LHC has been running on 100% renewable energy sources. In addition, all fixtures and fittings now include motion detector LED lighting to improve energy efficiency, and a water osmosis system has been implemented to improve the building’s water efficiency and cooling. These important steps follow changes we made in 2018, when we installed new chiller units that have improved energy efficiency to LHC by more than 40 per cent.

In an increasingly dynamic and interconnected world, technology has an enormous capacity to create and support positive change. At Telstra, we are constantly assessing new ways in which we can improve our business to benefit our customers and the environment. That not only means we're investing in a greener future, but that our customers' supply chains and networks are cleaner and more sustainable too.

Technologies that drive business efficiency and deliver better environmental outcomes, such as the changes we are making at LHC, are an investment into a cleaner and more innovative future for all of us.