Jolly Green Giant

Posted by Voipfone on February 1, 2020

Renewables powering servers Microsoft green-bombed the world last month by announcing that not only will it go carbon neutral by 2025, it will go carbon negative too – by 2050 -eventually removing all the carbon it’s put into the environment since it began in 1975.

This got the green lobby to announce that they were pleased. Almost happy. Very nearly smiled. ‘Pleased’ is not an emotion that the green lobby has much experience of and achieving this may be a bigger achievement than actually removing the carbon.

“It’s a hat trick of sustainability leadership,” gushed Elizabeth Sturcken from the Environmental Defence Fund.

And cynicism aside for a moment, this is a really positive development. Microsoft call it a “moonshot”. They’re investing £1 billion in designing clean technologies and devising schemes to remove carbon from the environment.

They’ve even made a graph.

All this has rather left Amazon’s pledge to go carbon neutral by 2040 looking a bit lame and the UK’s Church of England’s announcement that they’re going to be carbon neutral by 2045, just 5 years before the UK in total doesn’t look like much of an effort.

As a bit of a by-the-way, from my extensive research – by reading the first wiki article that came up on Google – did you know that data centres expend 98% of their energy input in heat? No, neither did I, but now that I do, I’d say that’s where I’d start work if I was Microsoft and Amazon.

Meanwhile, as I write, President Trump is on a carbon positive aeroplane on his way to Davos to explain to the world’s most privileged (ie wealthy) people that he’s right and the global scientific community is wrong to be worried about climate change. His heroic environmental leadership has today abolished Obama’s “Waters of the United States” regulation allowing farmers and industry to pollute rivers and wetlands unrestrained.

As another by-the-way, the BBC is now calling climate change “climate crisis” and other news media are beginning to call it the “climate emergency”, which, as Australia burns and as the Met Office and NASA tell us that the 10 years to the end of 2019 have been the warmest decade on record, seems increasingly appropriate.

So what am I doing about it? Well, I suppose, not much more than most – developing a recycling fetish, insulating my house and running a fuel efficient car seems to be the most I’ve actually managed so far. I can’t see me becoming vegan anytime soon.

As for Voipfone, well we use those 2% efficient data centres – although we’ve bought the most efficient servers we can find – and in the next few years our research and development effort will reduce our need for them by a factor of 20.

In other ways though we do do our bit. Our entire operation is paperless. With the exception of delivering hardware to customers, we never need to physically mail our customers or suppliers. As we do no advertising, we don’t send junk mail.

Most importantly, as we have no offices, we impact the environment far less than we would if we were a traditional business with employees travelled to and fro every day. Less commuting to and from work means a much reduced carbon footprint and far less personal stress.

“Personal travel accounts for around a quarter of all damage individuals do to the environment, including climate change effects.” Directgov

“Teleworkers reduce their mileage between 48- 77 per cent on teleworking days”. Department for Transport

Just a thought, why not use our technology to do more working from home days yourself?

Every little helps.

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