Vinay Kanitkar, Chief Technology Officer for Global Carrier Strategy, Akamai and Mike Mattera, Director of Corporate Sustainability, Akamai

Show Notes:

One of the biggest challenges technology leaders have is balancing the need for constant innovation with sustainability goals. Is it possible to achieve both?

In this episode, we get an inside look at Akamai’s sustainability strategy from Vinay Kanitkar, chief technology officer for global carrier strategy, and Mike Mattera, director of corporate sustainability, at Akamai.

The episode starts by walking through Akamai’s sustainability vision. Akamai has set an ambitious goal of 100% renewable energy and a zero-carbon platform by 2030, says Mattera. “We have some pretty ambitious supply chain goals and e-waste goals, as well, that have significant impact on our total operation,” he explains. The firm has also committed to make the Akamai network 50% more efficient by 2030.

Why is Akamai so focused on sustainability? Customers are asking for it. Kanitkar says more companies are asking for more sustainability metrics and planning information in RFPs — from carbon emissions reporting to renewable energy use to sustainability information for lower-tier suppliers. In short, strong sustainability planning is becoming table stakes for winning business in the technology industry, says Kanitkar.

From there, the discussion delves into the connections between sustainability and innovation. Kanitkar emphasizes that making a product or system more efficient is, in fact, pure innovation. It’s not an “either/or,” choice and Akamai has been ahead of the curve in that thinking. “It’s been engrained in our mindset to make things more efficient,” he says. Specifically, as a content delivery network, that means reviewing hardware options to optimize energy efficiency while examining how much energy and power Akamai’s network uses. The discussion also covers which frameworks Akamai uses to measure and report its sustainability efforts.

To close out the episode, both Mattera and Kanitkar provide a valuable chance to benefit from their experience by reviewing their biggest “lessons learned” in the areas of innovation and sustainability.