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5 ways Citrix is advancing sustainability

By Keith Littlejohns, senior sustainability and ESG manager at Citrix
5 ways Citrix is advancing sustainability

This article first appeared in our Sustainable IT special issue of of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 05 November 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Citrix is one of the most recognised brands when it comes to digital workspace technology.

With 100 million users in more than 100 countries, the leader in hybrid work platforms realised the pandemic was the greatest opportunity to redefine the future of work – a future that is not only hybrid, but also less carbon intensive.

With sustainability at the core of our business strategy and philosophy, we are on a mission to make the world a better place to live and work. Here are the top five green initiatives Citrix has implemented to drive its sustainability objectives.

1. Setting a carbon reduction target

In line with the 2015 Paris Agreement that advised global warming be limited to 2°C or below, Citrix announced a target of reducing total absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2030 from a 2019 base level.

We are currently aligning this target with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to ensure our efforts are rigorous and are helping to limit global warming.

This means that the business will invest its resources to discover new ways of using less energy in terms of both direct and indirect sources of emissions.

In 2020, Citrix reviewed outdated key infrastructure assets that consumed significant amounts of energy and replaced them with more efficient ones, such as energy-efficient chillers for cooling office spaces.

Citrix started an optimisation project at our Miami data centre that used sustainable design to reduce the physical footprint of servers by 70% (from 86 to 23 racks).

Speaking of data centres, 100% of electricity consumption (indirect sources) at data centre locations in Santa Clara and Doral are sourced from renewables, while 74% of energy consumption at India operations is managed through renewables. This helped reduce our CO2e emissions by 5,889 metric tonnes in 2020.

Our leadership team is fully committed to achieving these goals; executive compensation is linked to ESG metrics to ensure the company retains its focus.

2. Improving measurement of emissions data

For a business such as ours, sizeable sustainability goals cannot be attained by turning off the lights or improving data centre efficiency alone: we must dive into different emissions sources and find innovative opportunities to reduce them.

Indirect sources of emissions are some of the highest contributors to our overall carbon footprint. Indirect sources include procurement of goods and services, business travel, employee commuting and the energy usage of the products we sell.

To further advance the accuracy of our GHG inventory, Citrix is improving data collection methodologies with a special focus on indirect emissions sources. In 2020, we added five additional indirect categories to fine-tune our measurement and reduction strategy.

For example, new analysis is underway that takes our top sources of emissions into consideration, and explores the avenues available to addressing them.

3. Making supply chain and procurement more sustainable

Nearly every purchase is an opportunity to reduce carbon impact – either through reduced demand for unnecessary, carbon-intensive materials or by working more closely with suppliers that have dramatically reduced their own emissions.

To effectively manage carbon exposure within our supply chain, Citrix is analysing environmental data from its top-tier goods and services providers.

The process provides primary climate-related information and gives insight into lower carbon supply chain opportunities.

Citrix’s Real Estate and Facilities (REFS) and Travel teams also play a large role in ensuring our procurement practices align with our sustainability goals. For everyday purchases like office supplies and corporate travel, we have the opportunity to source lower-carbon alternatives.

4. Helping customers on a sustainability journey

Citrix products and solutions help enable business efficiency and allow customers to transition to a flexible work model, accelerating their own sustainability goals in tandem. There are a number of ways in which Citrix Workspace technology can help organisations to advance their sustainability programmes.

Citrix solutions are device agnostic and therefore customers can easily choose computing devices with low energy consumption and reduce their carbon footprint by up to 90%.

50 million metric tonnes of electronic waste is produced annually, yet only 20% is recycled sustainably. Citrix Workspace requires very low computing power and needs fewer asset refresh cycles. This lengthens the useful life and environmental impact of these devices from three to seven years.

Transportation accounts for 14% of global GHG emissions. By encouraging work-from-home practices, organisations can attract top talent and significantly reduce local commuting. This results in lower transportation sector pollution, better air quality, reduced dependency on fossil fuels, reduction in chronic health issues and healthier cities.

Power and cooling cost more than the IT equipment itself. Customers switching to a Citrix Cloud solution can rest assured they are buying into an effective, carbon-zero method to boost efficiency.

5. Responding to the climate crisis

Climate change is an existential threat and challenge that transcends national borders and industry sectors. Record-breaking heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, hurricanes and the threats of rising sea levels, food shortages, pestilence, war, depletion of natural resources and species extinctions all require organisations to work with world leaders in the move to a low-carbon, clean energy economy with advocacy for those most impacted.

Citrix discloses its climate information and aligns reporting strategy to global frameworks such as CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

Environmental stewardship can be compared with the digital revolution; it promises to change the game, can be a great source of competitive advantage and opens new opportunities while meeting current and near- future compliance mandates.

Investors, employees, business partners, regulators and other stakeholders are demanding to know more about companies’ ESG performance and their metrics. We know that taking baby steps is not enough to tackle a global issue that sincerely requires an overhaul of conventional thinking. It’s exciting to be part of Citrix’s sustainability journey, knowing we are passionate about tackling this problem head-on.

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