This case study was published in the 2023 REIT Industry ESG Report, which details the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and features 20 case studies showcasing REIT leadership and ESG innovation from a variety of sectors. The report serves as a practical tool for shareholders and stakeholders to assess the scale and impact of the REIT industry's ESG commitments and initiatives. Applicable footnotes and/or citations for this case study are available in the full report.
Iron Mountain, Inc. continues to build on its reputation as an information management services leader with a strong commitment to mitigating its environmental impact. To reinforce this reputation, Iron Mountain is transparently moving toward decarbonization by seeking unique partners, certifications, and technologies that support this effort.
While the data center industry is known for providing secure and resilient space for information and equipment, these facilities require resources and are often energy intensive. Iron Mountain’s data centers account for the majority of the portfolio’s global electricity demand. To reduce its environmental impact, Iron Mountain has set ambitious public goals that require rigorous action. For instance, in 2021, Iron Mountain set a goal to use 100% clean electricity, 100% of the time in its data centers by 2040, becoming the second company in the world (in addition to Google) to adopt this aggressive strategy.
To achieve this goal, Iron Mountain is focused on making its facilities more energy efficient as well as assessing opportunities to decarbonize its energy sources. For its facilities, Iron Mountain is working to design and build to meet BREEAM standards. BREEAM is a science-based sustainability rating system for buildings that requires assessment of a wide array of criteria, including energy use efficiency. Iron Mountain conducted a BREEAM pilot program in 2021 to construct the first BREEAM certified data center in North America, and Iron Mountain plans to seek BREEAM certifications for all new co-location data center facilities starting in 2025.
Iron Mountain’s other key environmental strategy, clean energy sourcing, is one that is posing challenges across the real estate industry as a facility’s energy source is heavily dependent on utility providers. To address this challenge, Iron Mountain works directly with local utilities to increase clean energy production and procurement options. Recently, the company announced a deal where they procured 24/7 carbon-free energy for more than 100 of its facilities in the US, the largest transaction of its kind, in line with its 100% clean energy goal.
Iron Mountain hopes to collaborate with its tenants by aligning on environmental goals to overcome barriers to energy and carbon reduction to make the data center industry more environmentally friendly and continue its strategic efforts to operate and build responsibly for the benefit of its customers and the planet.
Iron Mountain Inc. is the global leader in storage and information management services. Iron Mountain’s portfolio includes records management, data management, document management, data centers, art storage and logistics, and secure shredding to help organizations to lower storage costs, comply with regulations, recover from disaster, and better use their information.