Atos has invested in a wind farm in Tamil Nadu, south India, to help offset the carbon emissions of its data centres.
The investment is one component of a new bid by the company to halve its carbon footprint – compared to its 2008 baseline – by 2015. Atos’s data centres currently produce 170,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
Working with green consultancy EcoAct and carbon offsetting company South Pole Carbon, Atos has invested in a project to install 22 new wind turbine generators in Tamil Nadu. In return, Atos will receive verified carbon credits.
Other measures include cutting the power-usage effectiveness of its data centres by increasing the use of virtualisation, and auditing the carbon emissions of its data centre facilities.
Atos is also building a new data in Helsinki, Finland, that uses renewable energy. The company describes the new facility as the "world’s greenest high-availability cloud centre".
The company’s green push is one prong of an overall strategy to "a best-in-class company in terms of sustainability", said corporate social responsibility executive Phillipe Mareine.
"To become a zero carbon company, Atos strives to improve carbon performance in all areas of its activities," Mareine said in a statement. "In this respect, we have launched many initiatives including remote working, zero email, building energy management, and carbon audits.
"In addition, we have developed sustainable solutions to help our clients improving their sustainable performance like ambition zero carbon, cloud computing, Smart Grid and zero email and social collaboration.”
In the UK, however, Atos’s reputation for corporate social responsibility has been gravely impacted by coverage of its healthcare division’s disability assessment contract with the Department of Work and Pensions. Earlier this year, a BBC documentary alleged that people with severe health conditions were given the all clear to work.
Atos was a sponsor of the London Paralympic games, which became a focus for protests against the company. According to PR firm Chatsworth Communication’s reputation index, "the company appears to be waiting for the situation to blow over and be forgotten, rather than making an effort to address the concerns raised,
"Atos has handed the initiative to the protestors, who have mobilised enough support to significantly damage the reputation of the company."