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GleSYS Is Taking Steps to Help Its Customers Become Carbon Neutral
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By Ken Phillips
“By selecting service providers and clouds with a trustworthy and genuine sustainability profile, enterprises can reduce their own carbon footprint for real. Reducing is always better than offsetting. It’s important that we look first and foremost at what we can do to reduce our emissions.”
— Andreas Bergman, head of business development at GleSYS
Andreas Bergman, head of business development at GleSYS, has a point of caution as the IT hosting and managed services industry embraces efforts to lower its carbon footprint.
“In the Nordics, running on renewable energy is the norm, which is a good thing! But at the moment there is a temptation to determine who is the most sustainable,” he says. “That in itself is not a sustainable behavior, and if taken to the extreme or out of context, can lead to greenwashing. No one benefits from an overly optimistic calculation. That’s why organizations need to look at the sustainability work of their IT services and solutions providers, make sure it is systematic, and see that it is verified through programs like VMware Zero Carbon Committed and certifications like ISO14001.”
GleSYS is no stranger to efforts to lower its carbon footprint. Serving more than 4,000 enterprises around the world with IaaS and a wide range of relevant services – including many that are VMware Cloud Verified like the GleSYS Cloud – the company operates five state-of-the-art data centers in Europe. These include two, one in Stockholm and one in Falkenberg, that are among the world’s most environmentally friendly and that route the heat they generate into the local community’s heating system.
”Basically we are a district heating provider where a part of the city’s heating needs comes from our own data centers, which of course runs on renewable energi,” adds Bergman. ”Our excess heat is sent to the central district heating system and is used to heat apartments.
It’s also important to note that it’s a viable commercial venture, so a portion of our revenue at GleSYS comes from selling our excess heat. So apart from being very cool technology, it’s also very efficient and one of the best ways to recover excess heat with a very circular process.”
Building and operating some of the world’s most advanced data centers is but one of the many ways GleSYS is working to achieve a zero carbon footprint. Not only do its data centers run on 100% renewable energy and reuse as much heat as possible, but the company has committed to achieving an ambitious goal of being carbon neutral by 2025.
“We feel that we need to be that ambitious to help our customers become carbon neutral as well,” says Bergman.
Repurposing hardware too
He also stresses that while energy use is by far GleSYS’s most significant source of emissions, the next biggest source can be found in the hardware that powers the company’s cloud services. To address this reality, GleSYS uses commodity hardware when possible and operates an in-house service organization.
“With hardware, if you can get an additional year out of any machine by repurposing it for a different service or utilizing the parts rather than retiring it completely, you dramatically lower the emissions impact associated with the unit’s life cycle,” says Bergman. “The waste generated by the disposal and obsolescence of electronic devices and hardware is also something we all need to be aware of both in business and as consumers.”
Notably, GleSYS’s strong environmental stance is equally applicable across the company’s growing global customer base, which includes e-commerce companies, IT service providers, and numerous enterprises in highly regulated industries like financial services, government and healthcare.
“Our customers usually have one of two things in common – either they don’t want to think about IT or it’s a fundamental need. We deliver everything from the ground up, from network connectivity to Kubernetes services based on VMware Tanzu,” says Bergman. “We see a lot of demand for our offerings in regulated industries thanks to our GDPR and ISO27001 services and a strong focus on sustainability. That’s why being on the right path with environmental work that is genuine and participating in programs like VMware’s Zero Carbon Committed aren’t just the right thing to do, they are also good for business.”
Learn more about GleSYS and its partnership with VMware here.