Checking your account balance on your app. Watching the latest viral video. Uploading a selfie to social media. We take these actions for granted, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Very little of what we do on our devices actually happens in them; data centers are the nerve centers of our connected world.

In a society that grows more connected every day, data centers are sources of enormous power consumption. This presents a formidable challenge for colocation providers like DigiPlex in Norway, which seeks to grow in a competitive business environment while being a responsible corporate citizen.

“Sharing a short video seems like it doesn’t do anything to the environment. But when a popular video gets shared over a year it could easily use tens to hundreds of terawatt-hours,” explained Pål Rune Viken, Site Manager at DigiPlex’s Oslo Ulven facility.

Sustainable data centers will have a huge strategic advantage when consumers realize the environmental impact of growing connectivity. DigiPlex wants to be in a competitive position when that happens.

“The key change will come when the end users start to explore how their digital usage affects the environment around them,” said Viken. “I don’t think they are fully aware yet, but they will be, and that will drive a revolution.”

Operating green data centers goes beyond idealism. DigiPlex views it as a crucial to business growth and survival.“We will simply not produce enough power to continue the digital revolution unless we find better ways to utilize all the data from our systems, and better ways to operate our data centers,“ cautioned Viken. “Ten years from now, if you don’t operate a completely renewable, sustainable data center, you won’t be here.”