How tech companies can lead the shift toward renewable energy

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Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a journey that more and more companies are undertaking in an attempt to save precious resources and avert climate change. Thanks to their progressive nature, tech companies are leading the charge toward renewable energy. Here’s how your business can become a part of this historic shift.

Outsource Energy Hogs

Consider that tech staple: the file server. Adding a single server to your business doesn’t sound like much, but when a thousand businesses all add one server, the energy consumed can really add up. Most of those servers run 24 hours a day and generally achieve minimal utilization – often idling, wasting power. You not only cut your business’s power use by outsourcing data storage, you also reduce energy consumption on a macro scale. Because server farms can use virtualization technology to maximize utilization of each piece of hardware, each server can potentially power multiple businesses, letting each outsourced, green virtual server do the work of a dozen in-house ones.

Choose Partners Responsibly

Just as you can power your business with sustainable energy, so can the partners you choose to work with. Consider your web host. Rows and rows of servers consume a lot of power. Even if you’re doing your part by minimizing server usage, you can still consider how those servers are powered. Do they run on renewable resources? Do your partners undertake environmental initiatives, like building with sustainable materials and phasing out toxic chemicals in the production process?

Reconsider Your Utility Provider

As renewable energy becomes more widely available, businesses and consumers are being granted the option of choosing which kind of energy they want to use. You can bring electrical service into the building through a pollution-belching power plant or you can utilize sustainable power from an alternative energy source. Utility providers all operate on the same grid, so switching from one provider to another is usually just a matter of making a phone call – a phone call that can have a dramatic impact on the size of your business’s carbon footprint. The availability and cost of renewable energy varies depending on your location; check with your local providers to find out what sources of energy they use.

Make Conservation a Core Value

Being green starts at the top. If executive management makes sustainability issues, including recycling, sustainable building and furnishing, and renewable energy a core value, it will cascade down to the rest of the organization. Management can lead by example with simple actions, like eschewing that fancy leather executive chair for one made with recyclable materials or volunteering for environmental causes - and encouraging employees to do the same with incentives like additional vacation time.

Another great way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint is to employ remote workers and encourage current staff to work from home. OrangeWebsite is one green web hosting provider who makes that part of the business model and mantra. Green dedicated servers are part of the package, and the company runs on 100% geothermal energy. They back up their mission statement even further by planting hundreds of trees every month. To really push sustainable business practices, make it part of your corporate values, and follow through any way you can.

Open a Dialogue with Stakeholders

The final step in becoming a renewable energy leader is to talk about it. A lot. Progressive companies are transparent with everybody – including employees, customers, investors, and the community at large – about their sustainability efforts. Acknowledge areas where you’re working to improve just as much as you brag about your victories, and call attention to the long-term benefits if immediate costs become a concern. By sharing this information on your corporate website, at employee meetings, and in your annual report, you turn sustainability into a team effort. You turn stakeholders into green advocates, and give them a sense of pride for partnering with your company.

This story, "How tech companies can lead the shift toward renewable energy" was originally published by BrandPost.