Greening the Business and the Datacenter

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For some time, Sonic.net has been working to decrease our environmental impact and our utility costs. Our datacenter here houses a large number of servers and a lot of networking equipment in order to serve the needs of our customers. Reducing our impact and energy use is very important.

In addition to all of the standard practices such as recycling cardboard, paper, beverage containers and batteries, using recycled paper, etc, we’re working on some more aggressive changes. The largest of these is a change from our Liebert datacenter AC systems over to a new chiller plant from Bell Products of Napa. This project, a $600,000 investment, will result in large energy savings. Because of it’s efficiency, and the fact that we’re retiring the far less efficient Liebert equipment, this project has been approved by PG&E for a rebate of about $110,000. That’s great news for the environment!

We also met with city water department staff this week to audit our indoor and outdoor water usage, and we’re looking forward to their audit results and suggestions for cutting usage. The office drinking water is being switched from bottled to filtered chillers, and we’ll be changing some plumbing fixtures for lower usage. We’ve recently added two installation vans to our vehicle fleet, and fuel efficiency was obviously a goal for many reasons. These audits and practice changes are part of a business auditing and modification process that we are participating in called the Sonoma Green Business Program.

I attended the Sonoma County Business Environmental Alliance’s awards breakfast this last Friday, where they honored a number of businesses for environmental practices. It was great to see what other companies have been doing, and to get ideas about additional changes that we can make.