Today’s hyper-connected world and increased use of digital services place energy consumption high on the agenda for the IT industry. In addition to using energy for running office operations, energy is needed in the data centres managing the IT services used by enterprises and society. Energy efficiency has always been high up on our agenda. In 2015, our total indirect energy consumption decreased by 9%.
Our energy consumption is mainly related to indirect consumption of energy in offices and data centres. In addition, a small portion is related to the direct consumption of diesel in data centres. By actively managing our energy consumption we strive to fulfil greenhouse gas emission targets as well as increasing cost efficiency in operations. Our approach to energy consumption and the activities we drive to reduce our consumption, are outlined in our Environmental Rule. Naturally, we follow local environmental law and regulations.
On the group-level, our goal is to annually reduce indirect energy consumption by 3.5%. In 2015, our indirect energy consumption decreased by 9% compared to the previous year, reaching 110 335 MWh. In offices, continuous energy saving measures, such as control and adjustments of lighting and air-conditioning in premises, are a natural part of our environmental work. In addition, in 2015 heating consumption decreased significantly (-21%) due to office space reduction and the warm winter conditions in the Nordics. Energy efficiency in data centres has continued to improve due to consolidation and transformation as per the plan. Overall, the optimization of cooling systems has further lowered energy consumption and increased efficiency.
In general, energy consumption in data centres can be reduced by increasing the virtualization rate of servers or implementing efficient cooling solutions, for example free cooling. Shutting down electronic equipment that is not in use is another option. At Tieto, energy effectiveness has always played an important role in our data centre operations. Based on our data centre strategy, we are replacing old data centre facilities with new, more energy-efficient buildings.
During 2015, we continued one transformation project where old devices were ramped down, a big amount of servers were virtualized, and some systems were replaced with more energy efficient models. In 2016 we will be launching a new data centre in Norway, using Green Mountain’s location in Stavanger. In this data centre, the infrastructure is cooled by cold water from the adjacent fjord. Green Mountain offers the highest level of security for storage of sensitive data and information. Furthermore, Green Mountain’s data centres operate solely on renewable energy and are among the world's most energy-efficient data centres, thus supporting our goal of minimizing our environmental impact.
During the year, we continued the implementation of online energy and effectiveness measurement systems to all our data centres. These systems will be fully implemented in 2016. We also conducted a third-party energy audit in one of the Helsinki area data centres as part of ISO 14001 activities. During 2016, the results will be analyzed more deeply, enabling new saving initiatives going forward.
However, we believe the best way to enhance energy efficiency in data centres is by re-using excess heat from data centre servers. This solution has been implemented in our new-generation data centres in Espoo, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. Our Espoo data centre is connected to the local district heating network. In 2015, it was feeding back excess heat corresponding to 57% of the total energy use in the data centre. For the city of Espoo, this solution means reduced energy use as well as lowered CO2e emissions. In Stockholm, Sweden, we started to explore ways to reduce energy consumption of data centres already in 1978. In 2015, we managed to reuse 10% of total energy consumption.
On the group-level, our Facilities team strives to ensure that the office buildings where we reside are also environmentally efficient and utilized in an efficient way. Working actively with property owners and facilities management companies to improve environmental friendliness in our facilities is one part of this work.
The Tieto head office in Helsinki was connected to a remote Energy Wise controlling system for the building automation, so the heating, ventilation and air conditioning conditions and settings are systematically reviewed. As a result, and regardless of increased occupancy, the electricity consumption reduced by more than 10% due to various actions such as adjustments of air conditioning and lighting hours based on occupancy, enhancement of the efficiency rate of ventilation machines and other energy reduction activities.
Consolidation of office space and switching to green buildings is an important part of our facility strategy. Energy efficiency (Kwh/m2) is a key criteria in the site selection process. Our target is to renew office facilities so that by 2017 60% of our employees will work in green facilities, which have, for example, BREEAM or LEED certification.
In 2015, we initiated a project that aims to make work in our office premises more flexible and agile. We are aiming for an activity based way of working with a variety of areas and components allowing to do what you want, where you want, and on a workspace that supports the work. Apart from supporting employees, this new way of working requires less square meters and thereby less energy use. Our new head office in Helsinki, Finland, is the first pilot and will be taken into use in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The environmental efficiency of offices is also improved during ISO 14001 implementations. In 2015, ISO 14001 certification projects were conducted in Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic and the Baltic countries. By the end of January 2016 the coverage was 95%, thereby fulfilling our global target to have all offices with more than 50 employees certified by 2015.
Local site managers in operating countries are responsible for following up proper energy efficiency management, the collection of energy data, and implementing energy-saving actions in their respective facilities. Naturally, we also encourage employees to implement environmentally friendly routines, supporting energy efficiency in their daily work, such as turning off lights, computers and other electrical equipment that is not in use in order to reduce energy use.