Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Friday, August 12, 2022

Greenpeace Lauds Salesforce Energy Commitment 

Environmental advocacy organization Greenpeace has lauded cloud-sharing service Salesforce for sharing their energy information and committing to fuel a portion of their data center activity with renewable energy.

Sharing one’s data can be an important step in opening the energy efficiency computing conversation. At this week’s The Green Grid Forum, eBay delivered a keynote address introducing their essential efficiency data-sharing dashboard, which we will discuss in more detail on Friday.

In the meantime, environmental advocacy organization Greenpeace has lauded cloud-sharing service Salesforce for sharing their energy information and committing to fuel a portion of their data center activity with renewable energy.

Greenpeace recognizes that data center efficiency will become an increasing concern as the volume of data and the facilities built to house and process that data continues to grow. Reportedly, electricity used by those data centers grew 14 percent in 2012 and is projected to rise by another ten percent this year.

That the projected growth is at least slowing is an encouraging sign as new data centers increase their focus on improving metrics such as Power Usage Efficiency. From a usage standpoint, however, Salesforce is growing at even faster pace, with their emissions according to Greenpeace increasing by 50 percent in the last year. As such, their announcement to invest in using renewable energy to power their data centers is being met with enthusiasm from Greenpeace.

Specifically, Salesforce announced that in the coming year they plan to take four steps in promoting cleaner energy. Those four steps, according to Salesforce, include “adopting a data-center siting policy that states a preference for access to clean and renewable energy supply, researching energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for our future data centers, encouraging our data center energy providers to increase the supply of renewable energy, and convening peers, sustainability specialists and energy experts around data center energy issues.”

It is this fourth point that implies a sharing of information with other companies, the likes of which eBay is also doing this week. Creating a community similar to that of the open source developments that drive a significant amount of Hadoop advancements in the big data sector would be an important step to realizing energy efficient computing as a shared goal.

Greenpeace criticized other cloud sharing service companies such as Microsoft and Amazon for not yet revealing the environmental impact of their servers and facilities.

As the community grows, so too presumably will the amount of large scale cloud companies who invest in green computing ideals. Salesforce is taking a necessary step toward that and Greenpeace is going their job in promoting it.

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