You might not think that data and data usage could have an impact upon our company’s carbon footprint, but it does. It requires significant energy expenditure each year for data storage and retrieval—approximate 1.6 million kilowatt hours per year, on par with total electrical draw at our main corporate office in the Flatiron Building in New York. This generates 600 to 800 metric tons of CO2.
With the move to more digitally-based products, we expect that data support needs will grow. Although digitization may require additional data capacity, the electricity used and the related carbon emissions are still significantly less than those same emissions used to create a paper book. Consequently, although there will be increased emissions from data, the overall impact equates to a significant decline.
Understanding how we can efficiently address these increasing data requirements in the most sustainable way is a primary concern. At this point, we are evaluating different alternatives to address the increasing needs surrounding our data usage, including expanding to outside, highly-efficient third party facilities and cloud-based computing. We’ll continue to investigate the possibilities in this area until we’re satisfied we’ve found the solution that both supports our sustainability efforts and continues to create the best and most reliable products at affordable prices for our customers.