President Trump may have pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, but sustainability and ethical responsibility in the face of climate change are urgent topics U.S. enterprises — especially those doing business in the EU — must address and understand. This constant conversation is the new reality: It’s not going away.
In particular, U.S. data center operators do not seem to be lining up to abandon climate change initiatives. Data centers are among the largest industrial consumers of energy in the U.S. and abroad, and operational costs are driven by energy consumption - so good stewardship of energy use is good for business.
U.S. data centers may sometimes be driven by a corporate commitment to sustainable or green practices, but more often the motivation for going green is financial. They’ve discovered that many energy efficiency actions demonstrate reasonably short payback periods with a clear path to energy cost savings. The contribution of sustainably sourced energy to the grid, such as from wind and solar continues to increase. These technologies continue to demonstrate efficiency gains. An abundance of cost savings and carbon reduction opportunities are on the table and energy efficiency improvement will continue to be a goal, unaffected by the Paris Agreement withdrawal. U.S. data centers are seldom under regulatory pressures to “green-up,” but they clearly recognize that a reduced PUE equates to reduced operational expense.
Abroad (Europe in particular) there are regulatory pressures to ensure data centers practice responsible energy management, and this is driving investment in green practices that are ultimately good for companies’ bottom lines. Forward thinking U.S. data center managers know that investment in green technology and improved energy efficiency is necessary to keep pace with the global community. Businesses looking to expand abroad will find that an IT operations strategy built on sustainable practices will make the transition easier.