As Google opens another "green" data centre, this time in the UK, many companies are looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
If you're running an "ethical" business, or simply want to make your business “greener”, you need to consider every part of your supply chain. That includes your IT partners: running servers, networks and user devices can have a huge but largely hidden impact on your environmental footprint.
Here are 3 questions to ask IT suppliers to find out if they can help your business become "greener":
1. How much of the electricity powering your services comes from renewable sources?
By the end of 2017, 100% of the energy used in Google's data centres and offices will be bought from renewable suppliers. That's the equivalent of taking 1.2 million cars off the road and makes Google the world's largest corporate buyer of renewable energy. Google was also one of only a handful of companies this year to receive an A rating in Greenpeace's annual renewable-energy rankings.
2. How do you minimise the amount of energy needed to provide your services?
Google's data centres use 50% less energy than the average data centre. That's the result of careful monitoring of every aspect of its operations, together with smart and innovative design choices for the hardware it installs, how it installs it, and how it cools it. Google is now experimenting with using Machine Learning to automatically manage tasks such as data centre cooling to reduce its overall energy demand still further.
3. How do you minimise the impact of your operations on local communities?
As well as being carbon neutral since 2007 and moving to 100% renewable energy, Google aims to be a “good neighbour” in the communities where it sites its data centres. One way it does this is by making sure its data centres don't affect the local drinking water supply, whether that's by processing municipal waste water or harvesting rainwater. Google also places a strong emphasis on worker safety, and is working towards obtaining OHSAS 18001 certification for managing and improving health and safety in all its data centres.
For cosmetics company and Ancoris client Lush, Google's green credentials are vital to achieving its own “ethical” mission. “Everything we do inside our technology arm we want to make sure is powered by 100% renewable energy and the alignment for that is great with Google,” says Lush’s head of engineering, Ryan Kerry.
Learn more about how Google Cloud Platform can help your organisation "go green".