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Acer U.S. Operation Goes 100 Percent Green Power

Andrew Burger headshotWords by Andrew Burger
Leadership & Transparency

Acer Americas is joining the growing ranks of U.S. businesses meeting 100 percent of their electricity needs from renewable energy resources. The U.S. subsidiary of the Taiwanese multinational consumer electronics manufacturer on Oct. 28 announced it is joining the EPA Green Power Partnership and has purchased enough green power to offset all of its carbon emissions from electricity in the U.S.

To get there, Acer Americas recently purchased more than 27 million kilowatt-hours of green power in the form of renewable energy credits (RECs). That puts Acer among the ranks of U.S. businesses on the EPA's 100 Percent Green Power Users list, as well as the Top 30 Tech & Telecom partner rankings, Acer highlights in a company press release.

Acer also reported that it is ahead of schedule to meet its 2015 global carbon emissions reduction target. Reducing carbon emissions, environmental pollution and natural resource use, as well as reducing waste and promoting recycling, all factor into the strategic goals Acer has set out in its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, company management points out.

Acer: CSR, GHGs and the Product Lifecycle

Listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Acer conducts annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories and initiatives to improve efficiency in its products, operations and data centers. Aiming to meet, if not exceed, its CSR obligations as they relate to energy usage and GHG emissions, Acer “supports the two absolute GHG reduction targets proposed by the EU,” management explains: Firstly to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, and secondly to cut industrialized nation emissions by 30 percent by 2020 with 1990 as the baseline year.

For its part, Acer intends to reduce its GHG emissions 30 percent by 2015 as compared to 2009 baseline levels. It plans further reductions: to 60 percent below 2009 levels by 2020.

“Acer has steadily reduced its energy consumption since 2009 through investments in more energy efficient air conditioning and lighting equipment, among other efforts, in our offices around the world,” Acer Corporate President and CEO Jason Chen was quoted as saying.

The RECs purchased by Acer Americas are made up of a mix of electricity produced from renewable energy resources including wind energy and biomass. “The latest initiative by our U.S. operations to use 100 percent green energy demonstrates our commitment as a corporate citizen to work with our stakeholders to build a sustainable corporation and environment.”

Acer's sustainability strategy

Acer's sustainability strategy extend across the supply chain partners through its participation in the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) Supply Chain Program. Besides providing training and helping supply chain partners establish energy-saving and carbon reduction goals, Acer is working towards lowering the overall carbon emissions of its products’ entire life cycle through innovative product design.
According to Acer, “Our products embody the concepts of the precautionary principle and individual producer responsibility (IPR) as we endeavor to reduce our environmental impact throughout each stage of the product lifecycle and provide appropriate recycling channels to help consumers do their part for the environment.”

As management explains on Acer's website, “We understand that the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is not limited to our own bases of operations, and there are an increasing number of carbon reduction projects worldwide with strict monitoring mechanisms that provide sound commitments to making substantial reductions. We are now planning to assess the feasibility of investing in projects to generate or purchase renewable energy and related certification to offset our emissions in the future.”

Acer's e-Enabling Data Center (eDC) in Taiwan was the first of its operations to install renewable energy generation assets. Operations in Germany and Italy followed in 2011 when they began to procure green power. Its U.S. operations followed in 2013, which management estimates will push the ratio of green power usage across its global footprint to over 30 percent by the end of 2014.

Images courtesy of Acer

Andrew Burger headshotAndrew Burger

An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.

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