How Data Centers Can Be Models for Energy Efficiency

Data centers are at the forefront of many fields, but can they also be a model on how other businesses can become more energy efficient? Recent evidence suggests so.

Data centers require a great deal of power; after all their industry is built around the storage and exchange of electronic information. One would naturally assume that growth in this market would directly impact and correlate with a rise in the energy market, however that isn’t the case – in fact, consumption of energy has slowed.

Sustainable, environmentally friendly business models are popular among Fortune 500 companies, many of which are tech companies. In fact, 60 percent of Fortune 500 tech companies expressed their concern about climate change, with Hewlett Packard leading the way in 2008. Since then, other companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Intel, and Google have all followed suit. Their concerns were directed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and outlined how climate change may lead to natural disasters which could damage data centers.  The tech companies then led by example, becoming more sustainable in their facilities and practices.

One of the ways they did this is by streamlining servers, making them more efficient. Their servers hold huge capacity, and don’t need to run fully at all times (in fact, it is rare they ever do). Data consolidation was put into practice so servers turn off when they’re not needed, saving a great amount of energy overall.

Many technology companies also readily invest in renewable energy and are committed to running fully on clean energy in the future. One of the reasons for this is their targeted workforce are perceived as being greatly concerned with the environment, and are therefore more likely to want to work for an organization which reflects the same values.

In late 2016, 365 companies signed a letter that urged the current administration to rethink its attitude on climate change and stick to the Paris agreement, detailing their commitment to greener practices irrespective of the government. To date, over one thousand companies and investors have signed the statement in support of low-carbon business. This stand shows the measures and importance businesses are now placing on environmentally-sound systems; something hopefully all companies will adopt for themselves.