Kelly Gallo, manager of BSR, says that data centers can do good in ways that are logical to their business needs

The non-profit Business for Social Responsibility aims to encourage corporations to contribute to sustainability, through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.

Among those it targets are data centers, with Kelly Gallo, manager of BSR, explaining to DCD how data centers can reduce their carbon footprint

First tech companies, now tech users

At the recent Energy Smart Summit, held at DCD’s Webscale event in San Francisco, Gallo explained that BSR had already seen success with big tech companies, but now had its eyes on 

“We’re trying to reach a broader audience. We have the tech companies’ attention, but we see financial services [coming on board] - Goldman Sachs just came out and announced a new wind deal looking at their operations, looking at their data centers,” Gallo said.

“We want to look at healthcare industries as well - all of our medical files are now digital, healthcare providers now have a glowing cloud footprint; e-commerce, retail - we all shop online. These are all different industries that we want to help further engage in helping them understand that they have a responsibility to look at their digital carbon footprint as it grows in the cloud, and that they have an opportunity to procure renewables if they just start with these six principles to be their guiding light for procurement.”

Those six principles are:

  1. Options: Provide options for cost-competitive services powered by renewable resources that reduce emissions beyond business as usual.
  2. Data: Deliver monthly data on the colo customer’s direct and indirect energy consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental data.
  3. Incentives: Align the partnership between customer and service provider so both parties have an incentive to reduce energy consumption..
  4. Collaboration: Provide options for colo customer collaboration on efficiency and renewable energy enhancements.
  5. Disclosure: Disclose individual sites and total global corporate footprint, as well as site-specific energy sources.
  6. Advocacy: Engage in policy advocacy efforts that support the use of renewable energy.

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