Data Center Sustainability and The Three R’s

Originally posted to Data Center Frontier by Voices of the Industry

It’s been said that “sustainability is most often defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. It has three main pillars: economic, environmental, and social. Informally these three pillars are referred to as people, planet, and profits.”  In the data center industry, leaders such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Equinix have all taken a visibly strong stance on sustainability, contributing positively to their reputation and public goodwill. A 2016 Voices of The Industry column by Adil Attlassy also addresses this topic.

How are Data Centers Addressing Sustainability?

To begin with, the companies have each appointed personnel dedicated to driving corporate sustainability and to reporting publicly on the sustainability efforts of the company. Second, they have taken to heart the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” (The Three R’s). This mantra first came to prominence during the 1970’s, sometime near the passage of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by the U.S. Congress. The data center industry adopted The Three R’s as guiding principles for meeting the economic, environmental, and social aspects of sustainability.

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