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OTTAWA – September 20, 2021 – Today, CIRA announced its new environmental sustainability strategy to do its part to reduce the environmental impact of the organization’s operations and promote a greener internet in Canada. The initiative is a key element of CIRA’s current five-year strategic plan to work towards more sustainable operations and help Canada achieve its climate change goals. The environmental sustainability strategy encompasses three pillars: green workplace, green operations, and green internet.

CIRA is a member of the Ottawa Green Business Network, joining a community of Ottawa businesses that have made a commitment to reduce emissions. CIRA’s headquarters are also located in a LEED gold-certified building, advancing CIRA’s objectives to improve sustainability performance while fostering a thriving community. In the first year of its strategy, CIRA is prioritizing sustainability in its operations, which includes accurately measuring environmental impact across CIRA’s global data centres.

Key facts

    CIRA’s environmental sustainability strategy: three guiding pillars

    Green workplace

    How CIRA contributes towards creating an environmentally sustainable office. This encompasses elements including:

    • CIRA’s LEED gold-certified office building,
    • Waste reduction efforts in the workplace by enhancing waste data, resource efficiency and employee education
    • Encouraging sustainable commuting options for employees (CIRA is currently a remote workplace)

    Green operations

    According to a 2019 report by The Shift Project, a Paris, France-based carbon transition think tank, internet and IT technology usage create more greenhouse gas emissions than the aviation industry and is predicted to account for eight per cent of emissions by 2025. To do its part in curbing greenhouse gas emissions from its operations, CIRA will commit to:

    • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from data centres through data collection, energy consumption reduction protocols and prioritizing data centre locations with lower grid emissions intensity, where viable
    • Sustainable procurement as it relates to equipment suppliers
    • Reducing emissions from business travel

    Green internet

    This pillar relates to advancing efforts towards a greener internet in collaboration with external partners. This includes:

    • Funding climate-action related internet projects, including green data centre research
    • Collaborating with suppliers to provide a clear environmental policy and sustainability credentials
    • Reporting on CIRA’s progress towards its sustainability performance

    Executive quotes

    We have seen how the internet led to fundamental changes in our society during the pandemic. Changes that lessened our reliance on fossil fuels, such as fewer cars on the road and less air travel. The internet has proven to be a massive positive force for environmental sustainability. Now we must strive to make the Canadian internet itself green.

    Byron Holland, president and CEO, CIRA

    A green internet means efficient operations and a focus on procurement that considers sustainability at its core. From the data centres that power our global DNS infrastructure to our global business travel, we’re doing our part to reduce emissions by making the necessary changes in our operations to minimize our environmental impact.

    Jane Fulford, chief operating officer, CIRA

    About CIRA

    CIRA is the national not-for-profit best known for managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. The organization also offers enterprise-quality registry, DNS (Domain Name System), and cybersecurity services to organizations across Canada and around the world. As a member-based, mission-driven not-for-profit, CIRA also has a much broader goal to promote a trusted internet for Canadians.