I rely on the Internet in so many ways and every month I get a bill for my energy consumption and it hadn’t really occurred to me what energy I consume to serve up my Google searches, Office 365, Twitter and everything else I do online.

Who’s counting?

Operators of data centres, and there are some whoppers out there, consume a lot of energy and they are highly motivated to reduce energy consumption as that is a big cost.

In the UK under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013, quoted companies are required to report their annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their directors’ report.

In the case of a quoted company the strategic report must, to the extent necessary for an understanding of the development, performance or position of the company’s business, include—

(b) information about—

(i) environmental matters (including the impact of the company’s business on the environment)

If a company uses public datacentres and many do then that is part of their carbon footprint.

The guardians of our environment Greenpeace are also counting. You can read their report and naming and shaming of dirty energy users and praise for exemplar companies like Apple heading up the list.

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Got one of these?

Have you seen this before?   Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 22.25.15

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 22.26.25It now lives on my Google toolbar and when I visit a website it tells me about the green credentials of that web site. Here I am on apple.com and this is what I see.

You can get the app with the Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 22.25.15 by going to the Google Chrome Web Store

I don’t know about you but I really like this. It does not have a scorecard for every website but it does for the big providers that are serving very large numbers of users e.g Google, Apple, Microsoft and IBM.

I wonder how much this might influence those businesses under reporting regimes when choosing their provider?

Public sector doing their bit

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The public sector need to demonstrate its green credentials and the EU has launched the EURECA survey (only Public Sector invited to participate) with the aim to ‘helping to improve the energy and environmental performance of data centres’ used by the public sector.

Risk

So having dealt with the green issue, what about risk? As a business becomes dependant on a third-party such as a datacentre provider to deliver business critical resources then that has an associated risk. Click here to read the Data Centre Risk Index 2016 published by Cushman Wakefield. I promise you it offers a few surprises!