Dave Douglas, VP of eco-responsibility at Sun Microsystems asks "Why can't we have 15 huge data centers around the world covered in solar panels and when the sun's out go completely off the grid? We could virtualize our computing tasks and move them in real time around the world to wherever energy is cheapest." While that world is a ways off, Douglas has taken steps to make many eco-decisions within Sun.
Sun Microsystems deserves recognition for their environmentalism. In California, they recycle "99.7 percent of returned product materials" and Pacific Gas & Electric gives rebates to companies that switch to Sun servers since their UltraSPARC server processors are number one in energy efficiency. Also, the company is dedicated to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2012. By encouraging telecommuting and office restructuring, 55% of employees no longer have an office, saving 30,000 tons in emissions and $67.8 million dollars.
Along with these achievements come challenges. They are "working with architects and rethinking floors" to make the space they do have the as effective as possible when employees are there. When they aren't around, Sun hopes virtual conference rooms they are developing, a la Second Life, will improve productivity for employees outside the office.
Saving money, the environment and rebates for customers? The tech industry seems to be pushing for the environment more than any other right now. It is a good time to be an EcoGeek!
Via CNN Money
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