Written by Nicola Akot, Vice President, Environmental, Social and Governance Office for CTO at VMware
It is an issue for which companies have a responsibility, and therefore we must make ambitious commitments. We must challenge ourselves and each other to move forward and move faster on our climate commitments.”
– Brian Janos, Managing Director of Energy and Renewable Energy at Microsoft
It’s time to act! the most recent Assess From the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body to assess the science used to monitor climate change, is a sobering call to action: The world has less than a decade to halve carbon emissions to avoid the most catastrophic consequences.
From its initial efforts to help organizations virtualize their IT infrastructure, VMware has worked to not only enable innovation, but also reduce the environmental impact of data centers. It’s a sustainability legacy in line with the promise of cloud and the transition from costly local machines in every business to a global ecosystem of cloud provider partners that operate efficient, high-performance data centers that make public cloud a reality.
It is our sustainability legacy that has led us to create VMware Cloud Verified, a global community of highly skilled and fully accredited partners that enable organizations of all types to move to the cloud with confidence and, in the process, realize potential resource savings. More than 300 of our cloud-based partners have implemented a software-defined data center using VMware’s full suite of compute, storage, and network virtualization technologies to dramatically simplify their IT infrastructure — saving energy and reducing carbon emissions while providing customers with a technology platform they know and trust.
Our VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative builds on this success to unite the world’s leading cloud service providers – organizations at the forefront of global efforts to create an accessible, high-performance, carbon-neutral cloud infrastructure. Together, our goal is to help organizations radically reduce the emissions and carbon footprint associated with their digital and business processes that depend on them by choosing a software-defined approach that is empowered by partners whose data centers are powered by both carbon-neutral and renewable energy sources.
It is a successful effort. In the six months since the creation of the VMware Zero Carbon Committed Initiative, it has grown from five initial launch partners — sustainability stars ATEA, Equinix, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and OVHcloud — to a network of over 25 providers capable of enabling organizations to reduce carbon emissions immediately and help Addressing climate change.
Our vision and commitment is that by 2030, all VMware public clouds will be running with zero carbon data centers and using 100% renewable energy. Notably, there is no doubt that there is a demand for sustainable clouds. according to science-based goalsOver 2,100 leading companies have already committed to achieving proven net zero emissions for their own operations and supply chain operations. In addition to, Accenture It ranked sustainable cloud number one of 25 cloud trends in 2021 and beyond – and found that 80% of consumers view sustainability as the most important consideration when evaluating organizations.
At VMworld 2021, I had the privilege of hosting a panel with three partners committed to Zero Carbon, to learn more about their work to tackle climate change. Notable leaders in sustainability include Brian Janos, General Manager of Energy and Renewables at Microsoft; Jennifer Roach, Equinix Director of Sustainability; and Chris Talbot, Head of Cloud Sustainability at Google.
What follows are just a few of the many recommendations these superstars had to make for IT professionals, teams, and organizations committed to making a difference.
Start somewhere: There must be a beginning of the transition from ambition to action. Roach stresses that IT professionals should not make perfection the enemy of the good. Measuring your energy and carbon footprint is a good place to start, as the first step is to determine your organization’s impact.
Ensure sustainability leaders and technical engineering teams work together: Talbot notes that carbon-reduction goals should be incorporated into the core dialogue around traditional technology parameters such as flexibility, safety, cost, performance and price. The social cost of carbon associated with the creation and use of technology must also be considered.
Make sustainability a core value and go: Janus shares that teams at Microsoft are rarely disappointed when they make an ambitious commitment. Change is needed now, and it encourages all IT leaders to challenge themselves and each other to make greater progress and move forward faster as it relates to their climate commitments.
All three experts also agree that sustainability must be given a seat at the table, and that every effort must be made to make it easier for organizations to make climate-friendly decisions. For example, the Google Green Leaf logo makes it easy for IT leaders and developers to make a sustainable choice when choosing services and solutions.
Notably, they also confirm that the cloud is ideally suited to making a positive impact – with the inherent use of virtualization being one of the many ways it increases the value of existing resources and hardware. Cloud scalability and efficiency go hand in hand.
“There has been a significant shift in client expectations of the corporate role beyond maximizing shareholder value and beyond return on capital,” Janos says. “We all have a role to play. It is not just an individual action and it is not just institutional, federal, state or political actions. They are all necessary. I am very optimistic given where we are today that the next decade will be very important in terms of the progress that we can make in the technology industry. the information “.
For information on how to become a VMware Zero Carbon Committed Partner, or to find a Zero Carbon Committed Provider that can help your organization reduce its carbon footprint, visit the searchable VMware Provider portal at https://cloud.vmware.com/providers/zero-carbon
About the author
Nicola J. Acutt, Ph.D. Nicola C.. , is the Vice President of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer at VMware. A change maker, thought leader, and strategist with experience in business, government, academia and nonprofit organizations, Acutt treats ESG as a business imperative and is committed to creating a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient future.
Acutt joined VMware in 2010 to launch the VMware Foundation and lead the corporate social responsibility and sustainability functions at VMware. In December 2020, she was assigned to the company’s newly formed ESG office, where she formulates ESG strategy across operations, product portfolio, and customer engagement. Prior to joining VMware, Acutt was a faculty member at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. Earlier in her career, she worked as a consultant to the South African government on natural resource policy. She did research at the Center for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment as a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley.