Western Digital commits to 100% renewable energy by 2030

    Hard drive and storage manufacturer Western Digital has announced an ambitious new corporate sustainability target, to run global operations on 100% renewable energy by 2030.

    To understand the scale of operations at WD, Western Digital has 11 factories in 9 countries, which employ over 50,000 employees worldwide.

    The company aims to achieve this through thoughtful planning and execution, the company has already set and achieved goals such as running certain facilities on renewable energy and reducing energy consumption per unit produced. Specifically, the company’s new target commitments include:

    • Running its global operations on 100% renewable energy by 2030
    • Achieving net zero emissions in the company’s operations (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) by 2032
    • Reducing water withdrawals by 20% by 2030
    • Diverting more than 95% of our operational waste from landfills by 2030

    The new targets focus on powering the company’s operations with 100% renewable energy, achieving net zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions across the company’s operations, as well as water and waste reduction targets.

    For those not familiar with what these categories means, Scope 1 and 2 emissions are two of the three categories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are reported by organizations. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the organization, while scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.

    Scope 3 emissions are the third category of GHG emissions, and they include all other indirect emissions that occur in the value chain of the organization, such as emissions from transportation, waste disposal, and upstream and downstream activities.

    Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between scope 1 and scope 2 emissions:

    CharacteristicScope 1Scope 2
    Direct or indirect emissionsDirectIndirect
    Sources of emissionsOwned or controlled by the organizationPurchased from another organization
    Examples of emissionsCombustion of fossil fuels, fugitive emissions, production of cementGeneration of electricity, steam, heat, and cooling
    Mandatory to reportYesYes (under some regulations)
    Voluntary to reportNoYes

    Committing to these new, aggressive sustainability targets furthers Western Digital’s priority to be a good environmental steward and put forth data-driven goals and metrics to hold our organisation accountable for mitigating the impacts of climate change.

    We have already made significant progress undertaking measures to reduce emissions, water and waste, to leverage renewable energy as well as low-carbon product design and packaging. These new targets reiterate our commitment to be an industry leader in sustainability.

    Irving Tan, Executive Vice President of Global Operations at Western Digital.

    Western Digital’s established sustainability program has already set aggressive goals and has been recognised by industry organisations.

    The company’s goals to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 42% by 2030 and reduce scope 3 use-phase emissions/Terabyte by 50% by 2030, both from an FY2020 base year, were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2021, and since then the company achieved nearly 15% absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction.

    Additionally, as a founding member of the First Movers Coalition, Western Digital has committed to at least 10% net-zero fuels by 2030 for ocean shipping. ​​

    Western Digital’s facilities in Shanghai, China and Penang, Malaysia have been recognised by the World Economic Forum’s Lighthouse Network as Sustainability Lighthouses.

    “As sustainability becomes a business priority for organisations, companies that commit to and show progress towards achieving actionable sustainability targets will be recognised as sustainability leaders in the industry,

    Western Digital’s new commitment in the areas of net zero emissions, water and waste reduction and renewable energy, exemplifies the company’s dedication to reducing the impact of its business operations on the planet and paving the way for other companies to follow suit.”

    Curtis Price, VP Sustainability Research at IDC.

    To learn more about Western Digital’s sustainability activities, please visit the Western Digital sustainability website.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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