post

I see Google have published an article o…

I see Google have published an article on their ambitions to achieve carbon neutrailty . It is not a bad piece (if you ignore the strong emphasis on offsets).

However, what is supremely disappointing is Google’s complete lack of any attempt at Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting. Most significant IT companies have a CSR site with downloadable CSR reports. Most conform to the Global Reporting Initiative standards.

The only significant IT player I found who doesn’t do any sustainability reporting whatsoever is Amazon! Obviously Amazon doesn’t believe in sustainability.

post

How to make a hosting company carbon neutral РRen̩ Wienholtz of Strato

CO2
Photo Credit <

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Episode 4 of the GreenMonk Podcasts – 36 mins 28 secs

My guest on this podcast is Strato’s Executive Director for Information Technology and Innovation Rene Wienholtz.

Strato are Europe’s second largest hosting company and Strato are also carbon neutral! Amazingly they achieved this without buying any offsets. How did they do it?

Listen to René explain it.

Here are the questions I asked René and the approx. times I asked them:

Can you tell us something about your own background first and who are Strato? – 00:34

If I heard you correctly you are now the largest hosting company in Europe? – 02:28

You guys are a bit like RackSpace in the sense that you don’t do co-location, you rent space on your servers, id that right? – 02:38

You mentioned that you decided to re-architect the setup in Strato and reduce your carbon footprint, was this for environmental reasons or business reasons? – 03:34

Questions from readers:

Jiri Ludvik
what percentage in carbon reduction they achieved by each of the step you mention? – 05:48

Do you use underfloor plenums as well to direct the air to the cold aisles? – 21:47

Can you talk to us too about the energy savings you are getting from buying CO2 free energy? – 25:44

Have you negotiated a set price from your clean energy supplier for a set period? – 29:36

Can you tell me how long this price is guaranteed for? – 30:15

Have you had any independent 3rd party certify that you are carbon neutral? – 30:27

More questions from readers:

Jim Hughes
Has the carbon saving had a real cost benefit? Or have the lower power costs been exceeded by the premium for carbon neutral electricity? – 31:42

Would you recommend other hosting providers take the same route? – 32:53

Do you think environmental awareness is an area where European hosting companies have a head start over the US? – 34:47

Download the entire interview here
(33.4mb mp3)

post

Any questions for Strato Director Rene Wienholtz?

Sevici
Photo Credit Rock Alien

Despite being Europe’s second largest hosting company, Strato are also carbon neutral!

They didn’t achieve this by purchasing offsets either. Strato did it by:
1) purchasing energy efficient hardware
2) using very precise cooling methodologies
3) using customised software to run its facilities and finally
4) by buying CO2 free energy from NaturEnergie.

Strato’s Executive Director for Information Technology and Innovation is Rene Wienholtz and I will be chatting to him tomorrow morning asking him how a hosting company, typically a massive power sink, can go carbon neutral.

If you have any questions you’d like me to put to Rene in the podcast, either leave them in a comment on this post, or email them to me (tom@redmonk.com).

post

What are your top tips for helping RedMonk/GreenMonk become carbon neutral?

Global Warming
Photo Credit azrainman

My colleague in RedMonk, Stephen O’Grady wrote a great post a few weeks back on his blog titled RedMonk: We’re Not Perfect, But We Try.

The post was about how we realised in RedMonk that there was a flaw in the way we licence our content as Open Source, something we had criticised other companies for. We addressed this flaw by hiring another company to write an Open Source WordPress plugin called Progressive Licence so that our content is now truly Open Source.

In a similar vein, we here in GreenMonk have criticised other companies efforts to be carbon neutral without having any concerted effort to become carbon neutral ourselves.

So we have decided to try to make RedMonk a carbon neutral company

This won’t be easy, we are a company of 5 people split across 3 countries (US, UK and Spain) with varying office set-ups and all doing crazy amounts of travel. I know that in my own case, my travel footprint will likely far exceed all my other activities and unfortunately, this is not travel which can be avoided.

It will be further complicated by the lack of standards in this area. Still we are determined to do it and we will post progress updates on this site.

As a first step, I’d like to enrol the help of the readers of this blog – what are your top tips for helping us become carbon neutral?

post

Dell claims carbon neutrality 5 months ahead of schedule

In June of this year, Dell re-asserted its aim of becoming the Greenest Technology company on the planet with a post which included nuggets like:

  1. recycled 102 million pounds of IT equipment from customers during 2007, a 20 percent increase over 2006
  2. became the first major computer manufacturer to offer desktop customers Silver 80 PLUS-certified power supplies
  3. the company’s laptops and desktops, already among the industry’s most energy-efficient, are being designed to consume up to 25 percent less energy by 2010 relative to systems offered today and
  4. The company’s carbon intensity (CO2 emissions/revenue) is among the lowest of the Fortune 50 and less than half that of its closest competitor

Then just last week Dell announced that it had met its aim of becoming a carbon neutral company five months ahead of schedule. It did so using a combination of “an aggressive program to improve efficiencies in the company, purchasing green energy directly as well as renewable energy credits and verified emissions reductions” according to Dane Parker, Dell’s Director of Environment, Health, & Safety.

Some have sounded a note of skepticism saying things like:

You have to question whether they have taken all their workers’ commuting into consideration, and the materials (involved) in making a computer, going all the way back to zinc mining

and

Carbon neutrality is a large amount of greenwash. Computer companies should be focusing on the developments made in recent years in the reduction of harmful material inside the computers, and reduction in the power that computers use. With these high claims, companies are setting themselves up to be knocked back down again

And while there is some validity to this, in fairness to Dell, they have implemented a policy that requires their suppliers to report their emissions during quarterly business reviews, so they are pushing this back down the supply chain and it is hard to argue with the fact that Dell’s carbon intensity (CO2 emissions/revenue) is less than half that of its closest competitor.

We need to see a lot more companies following Dell’s lead in this. Having said that, independent verification of the carbon neutral claim by a trusted third party would do away with any lingering doubts about Dell’s commitment to Green once and for all.

[Disclosure – Dell are a GreenMonk client]