How one click less can help save the planet

rethink sustainability

How one click less can help save the planet

Have you ever considered the carbon footprint of your electronic-life? Well, it’s worth considering it as its impact is immense. Every day, we create heaps of data (e-mails, videos, posts on Facebook, Instagram, watching Netflix, using WhatsApp, etc). Put simply, every interaction we have on the web is really a piece of data and has to be stored somewhere, down on earth…on data servers.

In the beginning, a decision was taken to bring together data servers and store them in one place aka a data centre. The idea of stacking piles of computers together in a large space was considered convenient and economical. But there’s a downside.

It seems no one considered their tremendous carbon footprint. Data centres consume an enormous amount of energy. Servers overheat and the process of cooling them down requires an astonishing amount of water and energy. According to The Guardian, data servers are to blame for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the same as aviation.

But how exactly does data end up polluting the planet? Sending 65 emails is roughly equivalent to driving 1km in a car. Every day, there are about 280 billion emails sent. Which means that per year, the equivalent of the world’s email usage generates as much CO₂ as having an extra seven million cars on the roads.

Data centres consume an enormous amount of energy. Servers overheat and the process of cooling them down requires an astonishing amount of water and energy.

Today more than 2.5 billion data is managed in data centres every day. In 2016 alone, data centres consumed 5% of the world’s electricity production and more than 626 billion litres of water. With the earth’s population growing at an alarming rate, it’s looking highly unlikely that we will create and consume less data. The digital revolution is underway and with Artificial Intelligence developing faster that we can imagine, the data volume created will exceed every expectation. It’s too late for us to live in a world where data doesn’t exist - it’s at centre of our development and finding sustainable solutions to manage it is crucial.

In 2016 alone, data centres consumed 5% of the world’s electricity production and more than 626 billion litres of water.

“The solution isn’t to stop doing but to do differently, sustainably”

Many entrepreneurs are committed to finding sustainable solutions to answer this important question. This is the case of Serge Conesa, founder and CEO of Immersion4. Serge has come up with a zero emission solution for data servers. “We can’t keep up like this, polluting the world, we have to face these challenges and change the current paradigm. We have to ask ourselves, “is my Facebook profile worth the carbon emissions?” he said.

Immersion 4 are innovators. They have redefined how data servers are managed by enabling data to be 60% less polluting. How does it work? By immersing their servers in a dialectic fluid called ice coolant. This fluid collects the dissipated digital heat, transforms it into energy that can be used for other means. 

We can’t keep up like this, polluting the world, we have to face these challenges and change the current paradigm. We have to ask ourselves, is my Facebook profile worth the carbon emissions?

The incredible nature of this technology is that it only cools the server and can recycle the energy. So instead of businesses having to cool their entire data centres, they are being redefined and turned into renewable energy sources with zero water consumption and no CO₂ admissions.

Additionally, the data servers’ life extends radically as there is no dust, no humidity, no oxidation and no corrosion. Immersion 4, as a result, also participates in reducing electronic waste.
 

RethinkSustainability-Savetheplanet_ArticleLOcom.jpg


This redefinition goes beyond the data centre. Immersion 4 has created new opportunities for greener buildings. For instance, the expended energy from servers down in the basement could be used to warm whole buildings.

With Immersion 4, data servers are being redefined and turned into renewable energy sources with zero water consumption and no CO₂ admissions.

At Lombard Odier, we support entrepreneurs who challenge the status quo and invest in sustainable solutions. Immersion 4’s founder, Serge, believes in open technology and wants this to scale. Immersion 4 is just the first step in rethinking the IT (Information Technology) industry and his tech is available to all who wish to develop it. The company’s visibility has risen in recent years which will only serve to promote this technology. For instance, it won first place at last year’s “International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.”

Sustainability offers an array of investment opportunities. At Lombard Odier, sustainable investing is at the heart of what we do. And we take this seriously, even inside our business. In recent years, we’ve improved our cooling system technology in our data centers and shifted to more sustainable solutions. For example, the heat created from our servers is used to warm our buildings so it is not wasted, but reused. We constantly reassess our own energy consumption and invest in solutions to decrease our carbon emissions.

In recent years, at Lombard Odier, we’ve improved our cooling system technology in our data centers and shifted to more sustainable solutions.

What are the practical ways to reduce your e-pollution?

It would be fair to say that most of us are aware of the fact we need to recycle, should separate our glass waste and waste less in general. But when it comes to e-responsibility, we are not quite as adept. That might be partly due to the fact that data is not visible and not tangible. However, small actions count and just by deleting old emails you can save energy. For example, by deleting 30 e-mails you can save 222 Wh, pretty much the equivalent of a low energy light bulb left on for a day (216 Wh).

So, just with a simple click, within a few minutes, you can get rid of old emails, clean up your cloud, and you would be playing your part in saving the planet.

Important information

This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

Read more.