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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Mar/Apr 2004 : Special Section

Special Section



USING THE SUN TO BRING COMPANIES TO THE WEB

As the Internet increasingly becomes the foundation of the global economy, the use of traditional energy sources to power servers, Web sites and databases increases exponentially.

The power used to run Internet technology has become a tremendous drain on the nation’s power grids. According to Jeff Munroe, vice president of design and construction for AboveNet, a California Web hosting company, Internet hosting sites rank between the 95th to the 98th percentile of power usage during peak Internet traffic periods. In an effort to provide companies with a green technology alternative, veteran renewable energy executive Steve May founded Solar Data Centers, Inc. (SDC). May and his company are focused on providing customers with leading-edge Web-based technology, combined with a total commitment to environmental sustainability and responsibility.

“Unlike some communications and technology providers, we believe that companies have a responsibility to do their part to help the environment,” said May. “By using solar power, we reduce the spread of harmful contaminants that lead to global warming and irreversible pollution. Every customer that uses SDC’s services is taking an active role to support solar power and help environmental change by moving toward a green future.”

Solar Data Centers employs solar energy to run every aspect of an organization’s Internet operations. SDC utilizes 100-percent solar energy to power its servers, offering a broad range of technology services such as Web hosting, system administration, site design, network security, programming and database management.

SDC derives its power from solar panels installed throughout the southern United States. Using Green Certificates—vouchers or “tags” that organizations purchase to ensure that renewable energy enters the general power grid—each dollar spent with SDC is guaranteed to support renewable energy sources.

Over the next two years, SDC plans to build the world’s first entirely solar-powered Internet hosting facility based in the United States, with a mirror site in Eastern Europe. SDC will also continue to promote and support the use of Green Certificates in areas where potential solar energy is not being utilized.

“I founded Solar Data Centers with a passionate commitment to promoting positive environmental change,” said May. “We’ve created a business that supports renewable energy and utilizes untapped solar resources. We’re empowering individuals and organizations while protecting the environment at the same time.”

For more information, call 800-830-3415 or visit www.solardatacenters.com.


BP TAKES ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

In 1997 BP became the first major international energy company to acknowledge that although scientific understanding of climate change and the impact of greenhouse gas emissions was still emerging, precautionary action was justified. The company recognized that while uncertainty persists about the magnitude and timing of any climate impacts, this debate was too important to ignore.

Consequently, in 1998 BP set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its worldwide operations by 10 percent from 1990 baseline levels. Throughout, BP has been reducing emissions from its facilities, working on mitigating technologies, demonstrating global emissions trading, and actively involved in the policy debate.

In 2002, BP announced that by year-end 2001 it had reached its greenhouse gas reduction target. The achievement resulted from a number of projects and initiatives across BP’s business units and was delivered at no net cost to the business. The saving through greater energy efficiency outweighed the expenditures.

In delivering on its emission reduction promises, BP learned a great deal, including the fact that major GHG (greenhouse gas) reduction projects require a long-term sustained effort. The company’s major refineries carry out energy efficiency improvements timed to coincide with five-year planning cycles for major shutdowns.

BP has set a new target for the year 2012. While in some years BP’s GHG emissions may increase, the company’s objective is that its net emissions will show no increase by 2012. BP expects its continued work on energy efficiency and flaring reductions to eliminate around half of any emissions growth it would otherwise create; and the company intends to account for the other half by demonstrating how its actions are reducing emissions through the products it sells. The target is only one part of BP’s overall strategy, which includes promoting market-based solutions, participating in policy dialogues, working with others on new energy technologies and investing in research.

BP believes it is important to take action now if the world is to avoid serious damage to the environment. But BP is only one company. Industry worldwide needs to cooperate with governments and others in seeking economically sound and internationally agreed-upon solutions. If companies inside and outside the energy industry can commit to action, BP believes significant progress can continue to be made.

 

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