World Environment Day Spotlight: Rich Reyher on PayPal’s Data Centres Going Green

To celebrate UN World Environment Day 2020, we’re shining a spotlight on Rich Reyher, Senior Director of Global Data Centre Services. He believes transitioning to clean energy isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s a necessary investment in our future.

Rich oversees PayPal’s data centres worldwide and understands the high magnitude of energy these buildings consume and is determined to run these energy-hungry buildings with completely renewable resources.

Rich brought his passion for renewable energy to PayPal in 2015 and ensures PayPal’s data centres process and distribute a massive amount of customer data and company information at the speed of light.

Rich, tell us about PayPal’s data centres

We’ve established a global presence and continue to grow. We have 13 data centres and 22 points of presence (POPs) providing customer access to the PayPal network, wherever they are around the globe. Data centres are significant consumers of energy – that’s why we’re aggressively working to utilise renewable energy at PayPal to power each of our data centres around the world.

Why is going green a priority for your team?

It’s been a passion of mine for a long time. I understand the importance of offsetting high energy demand with renewable energy. It’s just the right thing to do; to be good stewards and give back to the community. That’s our mission here and what we’re all about.

Does your team have a renewable energy goal that you’re striving toward?

We want to be realistic and [understand] this takes a lot of time. We’re currently at 49% renewable energy in all data centres; our goal is to use 100% renewable energy in all data centres.

Are you confident your team will achieve that goal?

I feel confident because all the work we’ve done to date has really set the foundation to meet that goal. We also must connect with the right stakeholders to share our story and get them on board with our renewable energy perspective. It’s going to take a little while to get there, but we see a very bright light at the end of the tunnel.

How does the renewable energy goal fit into PayPal’s overarching environmental sustainability strategy?

PayPal is always working to take the next step on sustainable practices, and I believe we’ve set the standard for others to follow from a green energy perspective. One thing we’ve done as a company is join the Science-Based Targets initiative, which helps us develop a set of greenhouse gas reduction goals company-wide. In terms of data centres, with every watt or kilowatt our data centres consume, we are doing the right thing and making an overall positive impact.

Part of our strategy is staying true to who we are. We’re releasing our second annual Global Impact Report soon, which is our way of staying transparent with our customers and stakeholders about our progress. This report will help guide us to making sure we are 100% green.

As PayPal strives to make a global impact, what can people do in their daily lives to make a positive change?

I would inspire people to always think about what it takes to power or provide energy to things we take for granted every day and the impact it has on our planet. I would ask people to think about how we can be more efficient or use less energy and really encourage them to use renewable sources.

When you’re not working to implement clean energy, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love to travel with my wife in my spare time. I also enjoy being home — I’ve lived in the Phoenix area for 37 years, so this just feels like home to me. I have four boys, so I’m never bored when I’m home with my family. Whether it’s getting ready for my son’s graduation or taking my youngest to soccer practice, I just love spending time with my family.

More information on PayPal's commitment to the climate crisis can be read here.

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