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Catalyst Cloud attains Toitū net carbonzero certification

By Catherine Knowles
Thu 7 Jul 2022

Catalyst Cloud have attained Toitū net carbonzero certification, making them Aotearoa’s own carbon-zero cloud provider.

With New Zealand public cloud spend expected to grow year on year by more than 22%, hitting $2.6 billion this year, energy use to support cloud services is only going to increase over time.

The certification with Toitū Envirocare shows the commitment of the local company to reduce their carbon footprint and do their part to build a low emissions economy, according to Catalyst Cloud.

The Toitū net carbonzero certification involved working with Toitū Envirocare to measure carbon emissions, setting mitigation and reduction targets, and investing in carbon credit projects to compensate for their emissions.

It covers all the company’s cloud computing infrastructure and operations, from their two office spaces in Wellington and Auckland shared with sister company Catalyst.net, to their three data centres in Wellington, Porirua and Hamilton. Catalyst.net have attained the certification alongside Catalyst Cloud.

Catalyst Cloud’s net carbon zero certification means government agencies now have a local government approved, carbon-zero cloud provider to support them to reach their emission reduction targets as set out in the government’s recent Emissions Reduction Plan - as well as the assurance of data sovereignty that comes with being the only NZ-owned cloud provider available to government agencies.

The net carbonzero certification comes soon after Catalyst Cloud was awarded an All-of-Government contract for cloud services in March of this year. Until then, government agencies wanting to adopt the Government’s Cloud First policy under these agreements had to store their data offshore in foreign owned data centres.

The Catalyst Cloud Framework Agreement gives government agencies the opportunity to keep their applications and data in Aotearoa, protected by NZ laws and data privacy regulations.

Catalyst Cloud CEO, Doug Dixon commented, “Along with keeping cloud spend and data safely in Aotearoa on Kiwi owned cloud infrastructure, we want to support our government agencies and other business customers to reduce their climate impact through their procurement.

"I’m extremely proud of the Catalyst Cloud team who put in a lot of work over the last 18 months to measure our emissions and work with Toitū Envirocare to achieve the certification. While still in the early days of our carbon neutrality journey, we are committed to doing our part to keep global temperatures within a 1.5°C increase.

"The buck stops with us - taking care of our emissions is our responsibility, no-one else’s. It is important to us that we do what we can to promote a sustainable local economy.”

To achieve this certification, the company went through a rigorous process to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, which for both Catalyst Cloud and Catalyst.net combined was 160.47 tCOe for the year to March 2021.

Catalyst Cloud’s three data centres are the predominant creators of these greenhouse gas emissions as they host always-on services which require significant power and cooling. 

The company has invested in certified carbon credit projects to offset the impact of their emissions while they continue to measure their ongoing impact and set reduction targets. Catalyst Cloud states the company is committed to managing and reducing their emissions over time focusing on a range of projects to improve overall electricity consumption and minimise both employee air travel and office commute.

One example includes increasing the data density on storage nodes meaning fewer servers would be required to service the increasing storage needs, leading to less materials and energy usage. Another example is the company policy to support a work-from-home structure for employees.

Dixon says, “We acknowledge that data centres are, by nature, high energy users. But unlike the global cloud providers operating in Aotearoa, who use coal-generated electricity in Australia, Catalyst Cloud has always bought power from companies that only generate from local renewable sources.

"We are committed to using 100% renewable energy, with all direct energy used being sourced, and certified renewable and carbon neutral, through the Toitū scheme.”

He concludes, "Catalyst Cloud encourages the tech industry to take action to reduce their carbon footprint. It’s in all our interests to go zero-carbon as soon as we’re able."

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