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Colo Customers Expected to Demand Green Power Going Forward

May 22, 2017  |  Written by Aaron Binkley, Director, Sustainability

Renewable energy is one of the most important trends in the cloud and colocation world today. As data center energy use continues to grow around the world, many data center operators are looking to minimize the impact of rising electricity use. We have committed to make sustainability and renewable energy a key part of our approach to serving our customers. And colocation customers are becoming more vocal in demanding that their providers take green initiatives seriously. 

An article from Data Center Frontier discusses an initiative put forth by 14 tech companies who are concerned with improving energy consumption, in conjunction with non-profit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). The goal of the Future of Internet Power (FOIP) group is to challenge colocation players to adopt more sustainable initiatives for the sake of their business competitiveness, their own customer expectations, and for the environment. We support this initiative and its core principles align with our sustainability work.

Let’s take a look at the 6 principles the FOIP is addressing through its initiative. 

Options for Cost-Competitive Renewables: Whether in the form of green tariffs, direct access programs or power purchase agreements (PPAs), these measures could help aggregate the buying power of multiple customers within a multi-tenant facility.

Better Consumption Data: You know what they say: what gets measured gets managed. That’s why customers want to see data behind the energy use and sustainability measures at their colocation data centers. Utilizing this kind of information is also beneficial for corporate reporting. 

Efficiency Incentives: Both customer and data center provider should be aligned in their motivation to conserve energy. There should be transparency as to how tenant and provider are affected. Have a look at some our key initiatives

Collaboration: A running theme in all manner of industry discussions of late, collaboration between customers and their data center providers can lead to cost and business efficiencies. We’re seeing closer collaboration can lead to better shared outcomes, and this can expand the pie for both parties to create business and environmental value. 

Detailed Disclosure: It’s important for providers to be able to detail the energy consumption and sustainability initiatives in place at a specific site, not just their overall company’s usage and footprint.

Public Advocacy: It is important for colocation providers to go beyond simply reducing their power usage effectiveness (PUE) or enhancing cooling efficiency. They have an opportunity to advocate for increased and widespread adoption of clean energy and sustainability initiatives. 

BSR is currently in the beginning stages of its initiative, seeking to socialize the principles, recruit new customers to join, and seek statements of support from cloud and colo providers. Learn more about the initiative. To learn more about Digital Realty’s commitment to sustainability, click here

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