As a private company on a growth trajectory, as a pragmatic player in the economy, as a supporter of a sustainable society, Infomaniak supports the new CO2 law.

The new CO2 law: what’s it about?

Switzerland has pledged to cut its CO2 emissions by half by 2030 and totally by 2050. To achieve this, it must have an appropriate legal instrument: a new CO2 law. The problem is that the oil and automotive industries have joined forces to initiate a referendum aimed at blocking this urgently needed move. Switzerland’s voters are being asked to decide on 13 June 2021.

“For life as we know it to continue, we must collectively do our utmost to change course.” So says Boris Siegenthaler, Infomaniak’s co-founder and head of strategy. “Due to their agility, companies must be the first to exert a significant and rapid impact on the climate scorecard.”

As a result of the CO2 reduction targets set by this new law, more than CHF 1.5 billion will remain in Switzerland each year to create new jobs. This new legal basis is a good first step, although our view is that the CO2 emission caps for business are too low. Increases in the price of fossil fuels are not strong enough to be a deterrent, but they are a necessary first step.

Corporate emissions need regulation through a binding framework

This new law is about establishing a logic that we hope will become widespread: a binding device that favours the environment, the population and the local economy. All businesses ought now to operate under the same rules. Protecting the planet is everyone’s business; it shouldn’t be down to all-too rare individual initiatives.

As a Swiss and European Cloud player, we’re aware that we generate pollution. Since 2007, Infomaniak has committed itself to adopting strict measures to protect the environment. We’ve developed one of the sector’s most stringent charters featuring more than 17 commitments:

  • We offset the totality of our CO2 emissions by 200%
  • We extend the life of our servers up to 15 years
  • We use only certified local renewable energy
  • We donate 1% of our growth to climate organisations
  • We use only ambient air to cool our facilities
  • We incentivise our staff to use low-impact mobility to the tune of up to CHF 1500 per year
  • We’ve chosen a pension fund that’s ethical and sustainable
  • We employ a full-time specialist whose brief is to implement these objectives
  • Discover all our commitments

We’re aware that the positive impact of offsetting is often delayed in terms of time and not necessarily deployed in the regions where our activities emit CO2. That said, offsetting is something that’s available to all companies. It’s an easy first step to take; it promotes awareness and encourages businesses to reduce their ecological footprint. Infomaniak is also taking steps to obtain “B Corp” certification, which is awarded to companies with very high social and environmental standards.

Banking on sustainable, environmentally benign technologies

There are two ways of taking climate action: offsetting, and reducing CO2 emissions. Offsetting, even at 200% as we do, does not stop the CO2 being produced. That’s why we’re constantly striving to improve the energy efficiency of our infrastructure. The action we took in 2019 alone enabled us to reduce our electricity consumption by 14,7%.

On top of what we do to reduce our impact (waste management, low-impact mobility, purchasing policy, etc.), we’ve established the means to measure our emissions accurately. These measures are audited and dictate the priority actions we need to take to reduce our environmental footprint.

The challenge of finding an effective compromise

Since we use only renewable energy and our data centres are cooled with ambient air, the manufacture and shipping of our servers is our largest source of carbon emissions.

We’ve therefore decided to extend the life of our servers to 15 years. This implies choosing more expensive servers and upgrading them using low-cost components over time.

Performance and reliability are ensured by means of service redundancy and our Cloud infrastructure, which allows for on-demand allocation of resources.

The challenge? Finding the right compromise between managing the available space in the data centre, the power consumption of older servers and the CO2 emissions generated by the purchase of new ones.

The time for hesitation is over

Goodwill alone is not enough to make a significant change. Faced with the critical climate emergency, every sector of the economy must be obliged to reduce their CO2 emissions. Investment in ecology must be the new norm.

“Life is about making things that are sustainable, at least for a company.” Boris Siegenthaler, Infomaniak’s co-founder and head of strategy

Given the importance of this issue, we’ve decided to provide WWF Switzerland with financial support for its campaign in favour of the new CO2 law. This is in addition to the 1% of our growth that we donate each year to NGOs such as Public Eye and the Bruno Manser Fund.

It’s up to each and every one of us to consume according to our values and conscience.

More about our ecological approach