Switch, a data center and technology solutions company, constructed two solar power stations in Las Vegas. By investing in renewable energy, the company claims to have eliminated 265,000 carbon tons of emission from the environment—the equivalent of taking 50,000 cars off the road.
“Technology is an entire sector that’s built on innovation and newness. That’s our problem. The solution to that problem can’t be, ‘Tech cannot exist, because we don’t think you’re good to the planet,’” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said in an interview with Harper's Bazaar.
“If it is, we are suffering from an incredible lack of imagination and innovation … and technology is known for innovation. So how can we take that strength and use it on behalf of the planet?”
In the mid-2000s, only 16% of Apple’s facilities were powered by renewable energy. By 2016, however, that number had skyrocketed to 100% thanks to a commitment by Apple to build, finance or locate near renewable energy sources.
Admittedly, building their own power sources isn’t an option for most IT teams. Fortunately, there are other, more viable green data center solutions, like investing in electronically commutated (EC) fans, purchasing environmental sensors and routinely checking systems for easy-to-fix issues. Updating compressions, waste recycling, shutting down dormant servers and transitioning to LED are all easy green data center solutions.
Cloud-Powered Data Center Sustainability
Cloud-powered solutions offer data centers a pathway to reducing their massive carbon footprint.
In the last few years, many IT leaders have vowed to make their data centers more sustainable. In May, for example, VMware announced its Carbon Committed Initiative, through which it has promised that all of its cloud partner data centers will be powered 100% by renewable energy by 2030.
“This initiative extends our reach and impact alongside our cloud partners,” VMware Global Channel Chief Sandy Hogan told CRN in a May 2021 interview.
“It enables us to connect customers who have sustainability goals and are looking for low-carbon solutions with a VMware cloud provider who is committed to achieving zero carbon clouds through renewable energy-powered operations and energy-efficient data centers.”