The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals are popular benchmarks for creating a sustainable path for our world. Released in 2015, the 17 SDGs saw marked progress until the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, after a few years of COVID-19 setbacks, goals for reducing world hunger and climate change are no longer on track for 2030. A major concern is the expected 14% increase of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is severely off the target of 43% reduction by 2030.
It’s no secret that data centers contribute greatly to greenhouse emissions. The industry uses approximately 150 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which is about 3% of the world’s electricity usage. For organizations that want to impact change and adopt sustainability values, greening the data center or choosing a cloud service partner that operates green data centers can make a serious difference.
Here are eight green techniques that create more efficient, sustainable data centers.
- Green certificates. Many companies are purchasing green certificates as a path to reach sustainability goals around renewable energy. These certificates indicate that the electricity is generated using renewable energy sources, which you or your cloud provider may be buying—not using—renewable energy. You can get the details on how this exchange works here.
- Renewable energy usage. Find out the alternative fuel sources that your cloud provider or data center is using or moving to soon. Solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric plants are all examples of renewable energy that can replace traditional fossil fuels and lower a data center’s carbon footprint.
- Water immersion for cooling. Where air cooling worked well in the past, water immersion is a new technology worth considering now. In water immersion all internal server components are submerged in a nonconductive dielectric fluid. This method significantly reduces energy consumption, and it uses less water than many air cooling systems, resulting in lower OpEx and a more sustainable data center.
- Net zero goals. Many Fortune 100 companies and leading service providers have clear net zero goals. Ask your cloud provider what its net zero goals are and how it plans to achieve them.
- New equipment. The older the equipment is, the less energy efficient it is. Ask the provider about recent purchases and find out the percentage of equipment that is nearing end of life (EOL).
- Server virtualization. Virtual machines are a proven game changer. This is one of the most effective ways to increase server utilization, consolidate space and equipment, and reduce energy consumption as it decreases the number of physical servers needed within the data center.
- Recycle/reuse plans for equipment. Many vendors are offering recycle and reuse programs so find out what your vendor or cloud partners do with the hardware when it is phased out or reaches EOL.
- Green building certificates. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is the most notable green building certificate program. LEED rates the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, and attributes levels of certifications of Silver, Gold, and Platinum, based on environmentally responsible construction and efficient use of resources.
At Hitachi Vantara we start with eco-friendly infrastructure, systems, and solutions that require less energy, thereby reducing the carbon footprint with each new model which leads to greener data centers at lower costs. We are dedicated to meeting and surpassing our set SDGs. Find out about our Green Strategy and commitment to being a climate change innovator.
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