This case study was published in the 2022 REIT Industry ESG Report, which details the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and features 32 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.
Propelling Innovation in Clean Power Generation Efforts
Iron Mountain Inc. is dedicated to reducing its environmental impacts, and assisting its customers to do the same, through innovative decarbonization strategies.
Iron Mountain, a global leader for storage and information management services, recognizes the importance of pursuit of decarbonization strategies, given the energy intensive nature of the business. Although they account for a small number of sites compared to its global real estate portfolio, Iron Mountain data centers represent the majority of the portfolio’s global electricity demand. In early 2021, the company expanded its commitment to ESG initiatives by developing 20 new goals, two of which are critical in its decarbonization efforts—achieving net zero emissions and sourcing 100% clean electricity, all hours of the day by 2040.
Iron Mountain’s dedication to innovative decarbonization efforts is illustrated in its commitment to uninterrupted sourcing of clean energy. Since renewable energy is not continuously supplied to the electrical grid today, the company is working to develop solutions that ensure every kWh of energy it pulls off the grid is matched with a kWh of clean energy, in that same hour.
Achieving a goal of this magnitude will be an ongoing effort for Iron Mountain and requires an immense amount of preparation, data collection, and collaborative efforts. Initial steps included quantifying the total amount of energy used, on an hour-by-hour basis, and tracking the generation sources of each kWh of energy. Iron Mountain began by signing a first-of-its-kind contract with its energy providers to receive the necessary data for the analysis.
“Our clean energy commitments are just one opportunity for us to play a positive role in our communities. It is an important piece in our larger ESG efforts.”
-Chris Pennington, Director of Energy & Sustainability, Iron Mountain Inc.
The company’s clean energy ambition also examines the energy demand of its data centers. Iron Mountain established a comprehensive process to systematically assess its buildings by deconstructing total energy use within the site, and then modeling the impact of potential system upgrades with support of consulting engineers. This allows for the identification of costs and opportunities for system upgrades and illustrates the magnitude of impact that can be made.
Through a disciplined, comprehensive approach to energy efficiency, clean energy, and a series of ambitious commitments, Iron Mountain has recognized the necessity for measuring and quantifying impact to ensure improvements are made. The company looks forward to sharing the results of this program in 2022 and for paving the way forward for granular energy use monitoring.
Iron Mountain Inc. is the global leader for 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.