vXchange is one of the handful of data center providers on the EPA's latest list of tech and telco firms using renewable energy. The only other data center provider on the list who's not a global giant is Green House Data. The remaining providers listed are Equinix and Digital Realty Trust, two of the world's largest data center landlords.
This is the third time vXchnge is on the Top 30 Technology and Telecommunications Companies list, according to a press release. In a concerted effort to reduce its carbon footprint, two of vXchnge’s data centers in Pittsburgh, and Secaucus, New Jersey, procured 20 and 21 million kWh of wind power, respectively, in 2016 to offset their energy usage for the next three years. Plus, the company continues to implement free cooling systems in its 14 data centers to increase efficiency.
“We continue to improve our data center efficiencies with intelligent software-based infrastructures and improved designs,” said Keith Olsen, CEO of vXchnge, in a statement. “These investments optimize our data center power and cooling performance and improve environmental impacts that legacy technologies cannot afford. Our investment in these technologies and practices are improving our data center operations, increasing scale, improving power and cooling resiliencies and benefiting the environments where we operate.”
The top five companies on the EPA's list are Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, Google, and Apple.
Data center providers are discovering that recognition for greening efforts bode well for luring new customers.
A recent survey of consumers of retail colocation and wholesale data center services by Data Center Knowledge found that 70 percent of these users consider sustainability issues when selecting data center providers. About one-third of the ones that do said it was very important that their data center providers power their facilities with renewable energy, and 15 percent said it was critical.
Why? More and more of these customers have sustainability goals of their own, and companies that recognize data centers as a substantial part of their operation will look more favorably at a data center outsourcer that can offer them a renewable option.
EPA's recognition for vXchnge came just two months after Greenpeace handed out failing grades to four out of 14 data center and CDN service providers for their lack of effort to clean up how they power their facilities. Only one is based in the U.S.—DuPont Fabros Technology—the others are Korean companies. While Las Vegas-based Switch received the only A, colocation giant Equinix earned a B and Realty Trust, a C.
According to a recent report from the US Department of Energy, US data centers are projected to consume approximately 73 billion kWh in 2020. At this rate of consumption, it’s not enough for data centers to think about the here and now; they’re going to be charged with future-proofing their power needs--and do so under the proverbial microscope.