Server Packaging as a Green Opportunity

During 2008 infrastructure specialist SoftLayer Technologies recycled more than six tons of foam packaging material used to protect equipment shipped to the company's data centers.

greendcAre you thinking green when you're unpacking servers at the data center shipping dock? If not, you could be missing an opportunity. During 2008 infrastructure specialist SoftLayer Technologies recycled more than six tons of foam packaging material used to protect equipment shipped to the company's data centers.

That's right -  six tons, or more than 12,000 pounds. The Plano, Texas company works with Metro Foam Recycling, which collects and recycles all of the foam packaging material from SoftLayer’s new server shipments, reducing the amount of waste that would otherwise go into a landfill.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that packaging for IT equipment shipments accounts for about 2 percent of municipal landfill waste, creating an opportunity for data centers to use loading dock practices to reduce their environmental impact.

“We are proud to have reached this milestone in our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment," said Roy Rushe, SoftLayer Facilities Manager. "We believe it’s our responsibility as global corporate citizens to do all we can. We will continue to actively seek partnerships and innovative ways to reduce our environmental footprint.”

SoftLayer currently has about 21,000 servers in its data centers. The company is working with Supermicro, the company’s exclusive server provider, to reduce server packaging material. The Supermicro program minimizes the amount of packaging used for shipping servers to SoftLayer, eliminating unnecessary components and user guides.

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