- Shamsh Hadi
By Shamsh Hadi, CEO & Co-Founder of ZorroSign, Inc.
Organizations with large information technology (IT) requirements and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies—like ZorroSign—have much to gain by considering green data centers for hosting their solutions in 2024.
I have spent my career committed to improving sustainability while advancing technology, and I am eager to promote the benefits of green data center hosting for other SaaS providers.
Why? Because “although data infrastructure such as data centers and cloud solutions are essential for storing and processing data, they are highly energy intensive and consume refrigerants and often large amounts of water for cooling,” notes the World Bank in their recent publication Green data centers: towards a sustainable digital transformation. A practioner’s guide, composed in collaboration with the United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). “As such, they leave a large environmental footprint and contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”
From the World Bank’s and United Nation’s guidance on climate-resilient data centers, there are several key characteristics and practices that set green data centers apart from traditional data centers, including:
- Prioritizing renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydro power to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and carbon footprint
- Pursuing climate-resiliency with certifications like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) to ensure the data center is built with sustainable materials and practices; and employing Energy Star certified servers, cooling systems, and other equipment that is used to meet strict energy efficiency standards set by the EPA’s Energy Star program
- Lowering Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), created by members of the Green Grid to measure the total energy used by the facility divided by the energy used by the IT equipment—a lower PUE value indicates better efficiency and a PUE below 2.0 is considered a green data center benchmark
- Virtualization and consolidation, such as optimizing server utilization by virtualizing workloads and consolidating physical servers, serve to reduce the overall number of machines needed and their energy consumption
- Conserving water and implementing water-efficient landscaping, rainwater harvesting, and greywater reuse systems
- E-waste recycling to properly dispose of or recycle IT equipment at the end of its life cycle
With such clear benefits, choosing a green data center for your organization or SaaS hosting is a win-win proposition in 2024!
Not only does such hosting benefit our shared environment, but it can enhance your brand, potentially save your company money, and provides a path to future proofing your business.
Specifically, your business can reap environmental and operating advantages such as:
- Reducing your carbon footprint — where traditional “data centers are responsible for 2% of overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions,” choosing a green data center powered by renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydro can significantly reduce your company’s carbon footprint and align you with sustainability goals
- Cost savings — green data centers use energy-efficient technologies and cooling systems which ultimately lead to lower operational costs and potentially cheaper hosting fees: “Green data centers can achieve up to 30% energy savings compared to traditional centers, resulting in substantial cost reductions” (plus many locales offer tax incentives and rebates for companies using green data centers!)
- Enhancing your brand image — in today’s climate-conscious market, consumers increasingly value brands that prioritize environmental responsibility, so choosing a green data center can be a way to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and elevate your brand with investors and consumers
- Better community engagement — partnering with a local green data center can create new opportunities for community engagement and collaboration, fostering positive relationships with local stakeholders and enhancing your company’s social impact
- Attracting talent — similarly, sustainability and green initiatives can be a major draw for environmentally-conscious employees, so hosting with a green data center could enhance your brand and help attract top talent
- Futureproofing your business — finally, as concerns about climate change and natural resource depletion grow, regulations targeting energy-intensive industries like data centers are likely to become stricter . . . hosting with a green data center in 2024 puts your business ahead of the curve and may protect you from future regulatory risks
With such benefits within reach, I hope you will consider hosting your SaaS solution with a green data center.
Remember, the green data center landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s important to research and compare different options before making a hosting decision. Other International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and World Bank Group resources available for assessing data centers include:
- Government Migration to Cloud Ecosystems: Multiple Options, Significant Benefits, Manageable Risks. World Bank. 2022
- Circular and Sustainable ICT Public Procurement Guide. International Telecommunication Union. 2023
- Greening Digital Companies: Monitoring Emissions and Climate Commitments. International Telecommunication Union and World Benchmarking Alliance. 2022
- Internet Waste. International Telecommunication Union, and the Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment Forum. 2020
- ITU-T Green ICT Standards and Supplements
I am eager to start a conversation about hosting with green data centers in 2024—let’s connect on LinkedIn!