\u201cFor UKFast, being sustainable is a priority, not because of optics or commercial pressure \u2013 but because it\u2019s the right thing to do. Of course, our clients care that we\u2019re carbon neutral. But if they didn\u2019t, we still would be carbon zero. There\u2019s a perception that data center providers are environmentally unfriendly, but that can and should be a misconception. That\u2019s why it\u2019s so important for us to do whatever we can to reduce the effects of our carbon footprint.\u201d \u2014 Dr Chris Folkerd, director of enterprise technologies at UKFast\nUKFast is known for providing managed IT services to more than 5,000 organizations throughout the United Kingdom. These include the country\u2019s Cabinet Office, Ministry of Defense, and National Health Service, as well as private-sector businesses across industries.\nWe spoke recently with Dr. Chris Folkerd, director of enterprise technologies, to learn more about UKFast\u2019s track record of sustainability, why he believes it\u2019s important for providers of cloud solutions and services to minimize their carbon footprints, and what it means to be part of the VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative.\n\u201cSustainability has always been a big part of what we do,\u201d says Folkerd. \u201cAs the UK\u2019s first carbon-neutral data center provider, we set an example of what climate-friendly hosting services look like, and we want to continue to serve as the absolute best example of sustainability in action. A significant percentage of our platforms run on VMware based technologies, and zero carbon is an objective we\u2019ve had in common for many years. It was only natural for us to embrace an effort as important as VMware Zero Carbon Committed.\u201d\nUKFast offers an expansive portfolio of cloud solutions and services. These include managed services for deployments with the largest hyperscalers, hosting and collation services from the company\u2019s data center facilities, cyber security (including penetration testing, security audits, threat monitoring, and security products), and eCloud, UKFast\u2019s private cloud based on the VMware stack.\n\u201cOur customers rely on us for our technology acumen and our radical focus on reliability and customer service,\u201d adds Folkerd. \u201cWe guarantee 100% network uptime and operate on what we call a pod system that ensures our customers always work with the same engineers so that no matter how large we get, we still provide individualized attention and bring a deep knowledge of each customer\u2019s bespoke solutions to our work. We also ensure that if a customer needs assistance, their call will be answered by a person able to help in six rings or less. Our approach to sustainability reflects that same dedication to do what\u2019s right, even if doing what\u2019s right requires a different approach or being the first to do it.\u201d\nIn addition to being the first provider in the U.K. to operate its data centers in a carbon-neutral manner \u2013 all energy is provided by green providers \u2013 the company follows a stringent carbon-offset plan to address any use of fossil fuels, such as for employees\u2019 commutes. Because of this, and the fact that the company has embraced a work-from-home policy, UKFast is now not just a carbon-neutral data center operator, but also a carbon-negative company.\nThe cloud\u2019s advantages\n\u201cCloud technology has vast potential to help companies become carbon neutral because of the economies of scale it enables,\u201d Folkerd says. \u201cThe data centers the cloud runs on are typically much more efficient and denser than the on-premises facilities most organizations can create. Just as importantly, you don\u2019t have numerous servers running 24\/7 even if they aren\u2019t being used. There is also rightfully much greater commercial pressure on providers to invest in green equipment and practices.\u201d\nFolkerd notes that it\u2019s common for new clients to ask about UKFast\u2019s sustainability credentials because carbon neutrality is becoming fundamental for most companies\u2019 strategies. It\u2019s a conversation UKFast welcomes and encourages.\n\u201cFor UKFast, being sustainable is a priority, not because of optics or commercial pressure \u2013 but because it\u2019s the right thing to do. Of course, our clients care that we\u2019re carbon neutral. But if they didn\u2019t, we still would be carbon zero. There\u2019s a perception that data center providers are environmentally unfriendly, but that can and should be a misconception. That\u2019s why it\u2019s so important for us to do whatever we can to reduce the effects of our carbon footprint. It\u2019s possible to be carbon neutral now, never mind by 2050.\u201d\nLearn more about UKFast and its partnership with VMware here.