May 25 2012

Apple Makes a Green Data Center Pledge

The company that Steve Jobs built wants to make the computing world a greener place.

Green IT can be a huge plus for both the company and the environment. A reduction in power usage and an increase in energy efficiency means both natural resources and corporate dollars are conserved.

But going green gets more difficult when you’re a company the size of Apple. You know, the major hardware and software company that one analyst has predicted could hit a $1 trillion market capitalization.

Apple, however, recently made the bold promise that it would run its data center in Maiden, N.C., entirely on renewable energy sources.

The company outlined its plan in three components: Producing onsite renewable energy, procuring renewable energy and designing for energy efficiency.

Here are a few highlights from Apple’s green IT manifesto:

  • Apple’s data center in Maiden, N.C., will draw about 20 megawatts of power at full capacity. We’ll be producing an unprecedented 60 percent of this power onsite. To do that, we’re building what will be the nation’s largest private solar arrays and the largest non-utility fuel cell installation operating anywhere in the country. That’s a scale of onsite renewable energy production that no other company has matched.
  • Directly purchasing clean local energy gives us the flexibility to meet our needs over time, helps us to ensure that our sources are reputable and responsible and encourages local investment in renewable projects such as wind, solar and bio-gas power in locations best suited for these resources. Adding renewable energy sources like these displaces dirtier energy sources from the grid.
  • Our Maiden facility has earned the coveted LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. No other data center of this scale has achieved this high level of LEED certification.

If Apple is successful in meeting its green IT goals, we can likely expect to see other companies follow suit. What kind of green IT initiatives have you kicked off in your company?

For more on Apple’s green data-center plan, visit the company’s official environmental page.