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UKCloud is Helping the United Kingdom’s Government Agencies Modernize Their IT Infrastructure in the Most Sustainable Ways Possible
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By Ken Phillips
Having personally worked to understand and address carbon emissions from delivering cloud services, I welcome VMware’s Zero Carbon Committed initiative as a means of demonstrating what is possible, encouraging further innovation, and positively encouraging organizations to understand and reduce their own carbon footprints, before it is too late. — John Godwin, Director of Compliance and IA
Offering a unique, multi-cloud platform and a wide range of expert managed services, UKCloud provides the U.K.’s public sector and highly regulated industries with the sovereign, secure and resilient IT infrastructure they need. The company’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service offerings are widely used by a wide range of government agencies that require high performance and secure connectivity.
The company operates government-grade data centers in two locations and all employees are security cleared. UKCloud offers three different security domains, including one that is directly connected to the Internet, a domain that’s designed to connect behind agencies’ firewalls to private and secure community networks, and one designed for the most secure and sensitive data classified above official.
UKCloud also developed innovative technology that makes it possible to move data between security domains as needed to empower collaboration among various agencies. Notably, the company’s multi-cloud platform also works with Janet, the high-speed network for research and education, the UK’s Health and Social Care Network, the Public Services Network and the high security networks used by the UK’s defence community and its partners.
We recently connected with John Godwin, Director of Compliance and IA, to learn more about UKCloud’s efforts to further its sustainability goals. We also took the opportunity to explore the steps the company has taken to help its partners and government agencies reduce their use of fossil fuels.
“UKCloud has been a certified CarbonNeutral Company since its formation in 2011 and in 2014 we worked with Natural Capital Partners to develop a validated framework that would enable us to not only measure our own efforts to achieve more sustainable operations, but also to provide carbon neutral cloud services to our nation’s public sector agencies at no extra cost,” says Godwin. “Today we are proud to have progressed to the point where our operations and our investment in the Co-forest initiative in the U.K. actually put the company in a carbon-negative position. But that of course does not mean that our job is complete. There is much more work to be done.”
Godwin notes that UKCloud has always sought to identify and reduce its carbon emissions at their source. This includes choosing technology vendors and partners that are committed to sustainable practices, using renewable energy sources, the use of green office technology and recycling, and challenging all colleagues to minimize their carbon footprint associated with business travel and daily commuting.
“We understand that delivering end-to-end, carbon neutral, sustainable cloud services relies on synergies and shared values with upstream technology vendors and downstream customers,” he adds. “VMware’s Zero Carbon Committed initiative provides additional assurance, notably because a significant portion of UKCloud’s workload is provided using VMware technologies. Our strong relationship with VMware reflects the importance we place on selecting partners in our supply chain that are environmentally responsible. We seek to work with those who can demonstrate their own use of fossil fuels is being decreased through the use of renewable energy sources and the recycling of components which in turn support the use of cleaner technologies.”
Notably, UKCloud was the first cloud provider to offer validated CarbonNeutral Cloud Services and its methodologies have been widely accepted by government agencies in the U.K. It was also one of a small group of elite vendors invited to participate in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) e-Sustainability Alliance.
“UKCloud is widely recognized as a sustainability pioneer,” says Godwin. “Supporting collateral, audit assessments and carbon offset certificates are already available to our customers. In all of our proposals we highlight how we are already delivering on our environmental commitments and how we strive to identify additional opportunities to reduce carbon emissions and their measurable, and preventable, damage to the environment on our journey to net zero carbon.”
Learn more about UKCloud and its partnership with VMware here.