Combating negative environmental impacts with sustainable data centres

Combating negative environmental impacts with sustainable data centres

The negative environmental effects of the internet world can be mitigated by the adoption of “green” cloud computing.

The Internet has had a profound effect on our lives – it has been an incredible tool for the past 30 or so years; new industries have been born while others have unfortunately perished. Further development of quantum computing provides us with new internet of things, better communication channels and industrial opportunities.   

However, for every coin, there are two sides; though it has greatly and positively changed our lives, the carbon impact of the internet world is a strange drawback to think about. Conventional estimates have it that close to four billion people use the internet, and as a result, tremendous amounts of energy are being consumed and given that a significant proportion of power comes from fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources. The carbon footprint that the internet leaves are higher than that generated by the whole air travel industry. To bring the picture home, the energy footprint in the whole IT sector is estimated to be seven per cent of the global consumption. And given the fact that this is one of the fastest-growing sectors, the proportion is expected to increase further.

Individuals and businesses around the world are more aware of this problem and they have started acting by embracing the concept of Green IT as part of sustainable tomorrow.

How is this being achieved?

Ironically, a process that was meant to reduce cost and the environmental impact of businesses is now turning to be a problem. Adoption of IT has its environmental benefits but on the flip side, it increases energy use which is detrimental to the achievement of a clean environment given the carbon footprint. Tech giants have responded by making pledges on taking their business operational systems, data centres and the whole of IT operations eco-friendly. Others have followed suit taking different steps to achieve a sustainable future.

The idea of eco-friendly data centres and their capability in helping companies reduce their footprint has been mooted and given its adoption, it seems most businesses are committed to sustainable computing.

Eco-friendly data centres

Among the elements that constitute “green” data centres is the use of energy which has a low carbon footprint. Reliance on power generated from fossil fuels erodes all the gains that would be made through the adoption of green systems. For example, it would not make much sense to use fossil fuels generated power and then combine it with a “green” cooling system. Changing the whole system would be ideal.

Instead of this combination, it would make some sense to adopt data centres technologies, like a liquid cooling immersion, that would not only reduce the energy cost of cooling equipment but also helped to reduce carbon footprint by making the equipment more reliable.  

Liquid immersion cooling systems have been hailed for their efficiency, environmentally friendliness, and improving productivity in a data centre. Adoption of such a system and combining it with other “green” data centre elements gives a business higher ESG points and also shows its capability to achieve green IT.

combating negative environmental impact with sustainable data centres