Green Data Centres
Corporate Social Responsibility for tech giants like Facebook, Google and Apple is a huge deal especially due to the global environment trend for a reduction in energy usage. Why would this affect them? Well a recent survey found 2% of the worlds electrical energy is used to power data centres and as Facebook, Google and Apple are some of the worlds largest users of these data centres it puts them in the spot light to do more with less.
Google has been the most innovative, testing floating data centres which are naturally cooled by the sea and powered by solar energy. However as we all know, water and electricity don’t mix which means these floating data centres have remained a test due to their practical limitations. And what about Facebook? They have taken a more logical approach, by locating their data centres in Sweden a sub-arctic location which provides natural cooling. In addition Facebook uses nearby renewable energy sources to ensure the data centres are carbon neutral. All of this effort is not just for saving the planet, it saves money too – a colossal amount in the case of Facebook who estimate a 50% reduction in their energy bills!
This brings us neatly to Apple, who are spending $2 billion on two green data centres which will, like Facebook run on 100% renewable energy. This investment has been strategically placed in Europe, specifically Ireland which has been at the centre of Apple’s recent corporate tax controversy. Cynics have argued the location was chosen to reduce government and public pressure on Apple to increase the rate of tax it pays, instead preferring to invest in the economy to better benefit themselves. smart move by Apple, especially as it’s hard to argue with that amount of investment!