Australian software company Atlassian has committed to sourcing 100 per cent renewable electricity for its all of its domestic and international operations by 2025, after announcing on Wednesday that it had joined the RE100 global business initiative.
The young company says it will achieve this “super complex” goal through a combination of energy efficiency measures and innovation, buying renewable generation directly, and buying renewable energy certificates.
The move makes Atlassian the third Australian company – and the first from the Australian tech sector – to join RE100, a movement led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP that now counts more than 170 of the world’s most influential businesses in its ranks.
It follows Bank Australia, which signed up to RE100 just last week, and The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which became the country’s first member of the initiative back in late-2018.
For the up-and-coming Atlassian, the commitment to renewables is not altogether surprising. The company’s billionaire co-founder and CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes has been a vocal participant in Australia’s energy and climate debates; most famously issuing the Tweet that led to the world-leading installation of the Tesla Big Battery in South Australia.
Most recently the prolific Tweeter – with some 42,000 followers – has weighed in on the increasingly ludicrous political debate around electric vehicles in Australia, describing Labor’s target “not that ambitious” and expressing sheer confusion over the Coalition’s stance on the matter.
And last year, he commandeered Scott Morrison’s favourite Alan Jones-approved energy policy slogan, “fair dinkum power,” and turned it into a brand to promote local innovation in renewable energy, storage and other future-supporting technologies.
“(It will be a sort of) bat symbol for renewable energy generation, if you like, for people to rally behind,” he said at the time.
“We’ll use it to promote a lot of Aussie innovations, put it on the side of the (Tesla/Neoen big battery in South Australia). Show the world what we do.”
But Cannon-Brookes is not pretending his company’s shift to 100 per cent renewable energy within just over five years will be an easy one.
“This is a massive commitment,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. And it’s a super-complex goal to meet.
“We have 3000 Atlassians, across 10 locations, in seven countries around the world. In a company of this size, action like this is not easy. But we’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do.”
That said, the company already sources 100 per cent renewable power for its Mountain View office in California.
Where it is not possible to directly source renewable energy, Atlassian plans to purchase Energy Attribute Certificates or Renewable Energy Certificates equivalent to 100 per cent of energy consumption.
“Atlassian will also focus on cutting reducing energy use in its buildings, ensuring the renewable electricity it sources is as efficiently used as possible,” a statement said.
“This process involves both innovation and behavioral change, such as designing workspaces that reduce the need for artificial light and encourage employees to reduce waste.”