The global climate crisis is one of the most significant and urgent issues facing the planet today, threatening the ecosystems we depend upon. A collective effort is urgently required. One way to help protect the environment for future generations is for every business to begin moving towards carbon neutrality.

A carbon neutral business is one that has minimized its carbon footprint through a combination of measures including increased operating efficiency, switching to renewable energy, and investing in carbon offset projects that not only mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, but also create immense social impact by providing new jobs and opportunities for strengthening communities vulnerable to unsustainable practices.

At HP, the health of our planet, people, and communities has always been a core value. This is why we’re stepping up to meet this most critical challenge by offering HP customers a certified carbon neutral Managed Print Service offering. A simple and cost-effective way for businesses to make a genuine difference, without business disruption.

Make the right choice for the environment

HP Managed Print Service (MPS) is CarbonNeutral® certified in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol1 and covers the lifecycle emissions of HP printers, HP supplies, paper, manufacturing, transportation, use, and even end of service.

What does being CarbonNeutral® certified mean for HP Managed Print Service customers?

HP MPS customers can rest assured that their HP printing solution is CarbonNeutral® certified.1 Besides offsetting 100% of the greenhouse gas emissions related to printing, HP MPS helps organizations reduce and offset the environmental impact of printing by:

Optimizing your fleet to reduce carbon emissions

Estimating the total carbon emissions from your HP-branded printing solution using HP’s proprietary Sustainable Impact Reporting and Analytics (SIRA) tool

25% Reduction in paper waste

13% resource efficiency improvement

12% decrease in ecosystem impacts

Click here to read more.

Learn more about HP’s Managed Print Cloud Services here. And for more information about HP’s Sustainable Impact click here.

Green IT

One of four government data centers in the Netherlands, Overheidsdatacenter Noord (ODC-Noord), the northernmost facility of its kind in The Netherlands, is located in the picturesque city of Groningen. With nearly 140 employees, the high-performance data center provides government agencies with mission-critical compute, storage, and networking solutions needed to provide important services to citizens.

Offering Housing-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service featuring ODC-Noord currently serves around 40 customers. These include numerous government ministries and agencies that serve citizens of the Netherlands. One of the provided services is the high availability and performance of the VMware based vCloud platform.

“We provide scalable ICT services in accordance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cloud computing reference architecture for business applications,” says Jaap Jansma, manager at ODC-Noord. “This includes not only HaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, but also the supporting facilities for development of custom software, as well as solutions for DevOps teams—among them Kubernetes test and production environments and applications for specific use cases, including data science and deep analytics.”

ODC-Noord’s agile teams are comprised of skilled personnel. These experts not only develop, but also manage and maintain all of the organization’s services.

“Our teams are driven, enterprising and a bit headstrong,” adds Jansma. “These are qualities that serve us well in our dedicated work to provide high-quality and innovative services to our customers.”

Those services also reflect ODC-Noord’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and to serve as a partner who can help government agencies further their own sustainability goals. Jansma notes that’s why the decision to embrace the VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative was a natural one.

“As a public-sector organization, we are included in the Dutch government’s diligent efforts to create a carbon-free energy system, but at ODC-Noord, we also feel strongly that it is our responsibility as a service provider to do everything we can to reduce the impact of ICT on the environment,” says Jansma. “The migration to software-defined data centers was an important step in the right direction, but it’s just the beginning. The VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative builds on that momentum and is a natural next step.”

Notably, ODC-Noord already runs on 100% renewable energy sources, among them hydro, wind and solar power. Servers are also controlled with advanced power management solutions to maximize their efficiency. There are also plans to use residual heat to heat 10,000 homes and buildings in Groningen.

Outside air is also used to cool the data center—radically reducing the need for traditional air conditioning systems. Even the basic design of the facility uses natural airflows in which colder air sinks and warmer air rises to minimize the use of heating and cooling systems. In 2022, the average Energy Usage Effectiveness, or EUE, of ODC-Noord was an impressive 1.25.

Other steps, including ODC-Noord’s goal to transition to hydrogen are far reaching and ambitious, but Jansma notes that every step, large and small, is important.

“We’ve already stitched to a hydrogen-powered backup utility offered by one of our suppliers, NorthC, which is big step forward, and our innovations in power management enabled us to reduce the power usage of 40% of our assets, including servers, by 90%,” he says. “We’re also working with our suppliers to institute sustainability rating certifications and to reduce the amount of packaging—for example we recently eliminated the packaging of individual items with one of our cable vendors—and we are recycling hardware in-house to ensure it’s done right. And of course, there are myriad small steps we take each day, from recycling in our offices to promoting public transportation. It’s all important.”

Jansma believes the VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative is a powerful way not only to support these efforts, but to make them part of the conversation with customers. It’s a conversation he believes must occur.

“We are living in a world where it seems that the sky is the limit, but we are realizing that we have to be careful with everything our planet gives us,” he says. “For a sustainable future, and for the future of our children, it is our duty to invest in a zero carbon footprint.”

Learn more about ODC-Noord and its partnership with VMware here.

Cloud Computing, Green IT

With seven high-performance and high-security data centers located throughout the Netherlands and full array of cloud services and solutions, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) that enables customers to harness the strengths of the private, public and hybrid cloud with ease, Fundaments is trusted by enterprises in numerous industries. The company is equally well-known among independent software vendors for its cloud platform and mission-critical business and e-commerce applications.

Recently, Fundaments became the first provider of VMware Cloud Verified solutions and services to earn the VMware Sovereign Cloud distinction. Now the company has joined the elite rank of partners to join VMware’s Zero Carbon committed initiative. This effort is one that Fundaments’ Chief Technology Officer Larik-Jan Verschuren says is important to him personally.

“The changing climate is clearly visible in our day-to-day lives,” he says. “We must make a collective effort to get energy consumption down.” He stresses the need to view this effort not just as it relates to the impact of global warming on people and businesses today, but on future generations. For Verschuren, who has two young kids, that’s a significant motivator.

“I want them to have a promising future, to enjoy our beautiful world, and to enjoy the simple pleasure of skiing,” he says. “We must set the stage to lower emissions, set the right example and educate others. The more we do now, the more future generations can do to improve these kinds of initiatives.”

Verschuren is quick to note that being environmentally friendly and genuinely dedicated to efforts that minimize reliance on fossil fuels is also good business. Enterprises, he says, increasingly want to partner with organizations that make it easy for them to immediately decrease their carbon footprints.

It made good sense to partner with VMware in the effort to achieve net zero carbon emissions. Not only is the Fundaments IaaS based on VMware technologies, but the company’s wide array of cloud offerings such as Backup-as-a-Service, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service, and Security-as-a-Service draw on many VMware innovations, for example Kubernetes clusters based on VMware Tanzu.

“Fundaments’ own Carbon footprint is in the datacenters, so we make sure that everything we do within them is done in the most efficient way,” explains Verschuren. “Joining the VMware Zero Carbon Committed Initiative provides a clear statement about our commitment to the environment in a concrete format.”

Not only has Fundaments committed to run all of its data centers off of renewable sources of energy for a net Zero Carbon footprint by 2030, but it also has a number of initiatives on tap for 2023.

These include steering all of its data centers to an even great PUE level, completing the energy use labeling of its services, mapping the power used per gigabyte of RAM and decreasing it, reducing the percentage use of spinning disks in the terabytes of storage it sells, using only the most efficient hardware and creating more cold and hot corridors in data centers to decrease heating and cooling requirements.

Fundaments employees are also committed to dramatically decreasing the use of paper in the company’s offices, encouraging the use of electric vehicles, implementing car-free working days, decreasing the use of shipping and freight services, and minimizing corporate travel.

Learn more about Fundaments and its partnership with VMware here.

Cloud Management, Green IT, IT Leadership

“The barriers confronting organizations in South Africa that want to achieve carbon neutral status by 2030 are significant. Among them is the simple reality that most of the nation’s power production originates from coal-fired plants located in the northeastern part of the country while the greatest potential impact for sustainable approaches like solar and wind lie in the south. We can’t immediately upend the entire power grid structure, but together with a willing and enthusiastic government and strong partners like VMware, we can make a difference. We now have a framework in place to support Africa’s nascent efforts to achieve zero carbon emissions and support providers intent to achieve and apply the tenets of VMware Zero Carbon Committed program to their operations.” 

Bryce Allan, head of sustainability at Teraco Data Environments

Sumeeth Singh, head of VMware’s Cloud Provider Business in sub-Saharan Africa, was not surprised when the region’s leading cloud solutions and services companies enthusiastically embraced the VMware Cloud Verified initiative. With an established track record of success and extensive experience with the full VMware stack, many were ideally prepared to complete the rigorous process to apply for and receive the distinction.

The VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative was, however, a different story. Singh knew that among providers the intent and desire to decrease their carbon footprints was strong. But the requirements, difficult in areas with an already mature sustainable energy infrastructure in place, were overwhelming in sub-Saharan Africa.

Specifically, partners would be required to commit that their data centers achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030, an effort that would require the use of 100% renewable energy. For partners in Europe where significant renewable energy sources exist in conjunction with a mature regulatory system of carbon offsets and credits, the process is still difficult.

“Like their counterparts in Europe, South African companies are increasingly mindful of resource constraints and the impact of fossil fuels on climate change,” said Singh. “They are also becoming more and more aware that their data center operations are a very large contributor to their overall carbon footprint. They also know that electricity in sub-Saharan Africa is primarily sourced from coal-fired plants. They want to do the right thing and minimize their emissions, but they are also seeing a dramatic increase in demand for hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and services – a reality that means they need more power, not less.”

Singh notes that for most partners, the resulting reality is that it would simply be unrealistic to pledge to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030 because there are not enough renewable sources of energy in place to make it feasible. When no partners signed up for the VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative, it was both a disappointment and a validation.

“Partners here didn’t sign up for this initiative not because they didn’t want to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030, but because they didn’t think it was a realistic goal,” he says. More to the point, they didn’t view VMware Zero Carbon Committed as a marketing effort, but rather as a genuine commitment that should only be made if they believed they could achieve what they signed up for.”

Singh had a choice. He could either accept that the requirements for VMware Zero Carbon Committed were too challenging for the region, or he could find an alternative.

“We don’t have the luxury to postpone taking action when it comes to climate change,” he adds. “We have to do something now. In our case, we could either wait to ramp up the Zero Carbon Committed initiative until South Africa’s sustainability efforts are more mature – in other words do nothing now – or we could modify the requirements to find a more manageable solution.”

That solution came in the form of Teraco, South Africa’s largest and most interconnected data center platform. With four ultra high-performance data centers in South Africa – including facilities in Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg – the company forms the core of the nation’s internet backbone, and serves as the interconnection for both local and global cloud services. Providing the connectivity for the Africa Cloud Exchange, Teraco’s carrier and cloud neutral platform is also Africa’s largest hub for AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

In addition, it serves as the direct access point for more than 300 network providers, including telecommunications, terrestrial fiber, satellite connectivity, and submarine cable carriers; as well as more than 130 IT service providers, leading enterprises and financial services companies, and innumerable Internet eXchange points. Recently acquired by Digital Reality – the world’s largest provider of cloud and carrier neutral data center, colocation, and interconnection solutions – the company’s role connecting Africa to the world’s IT infrastructure will only increase.

Teraco is also the co-location provider of choice for most VMware Cloud Verified partners. But perhaps most importantly for those organizations that want to embrace VMware Zero Carbon committed, it is also no stranger to efforts to reduce carbon emissions. In fact, it was already in the midst of Africa’s most ambitious effort to produce 100% sustainable power.

Singh saw an opportunity. If VMware Cloud Verified partners could engage Teraco for data center services that use the company’s renewable energy, they could offset their own power usage and realistically commit to significantly decrease their own carbon footprint.

It was an effort Bryce Allan, head of sustainability at Teraco Data Environments, immediately embraced.

“At Teraco we are aggressively pushing to increase our use of renewable energy sources,” he says. One of our two newest and most significant solar projects is already under construction and we’ve set aside nearly $250 million over the next five years for the development of renewable energy sources and facilities. We also entered into a development service agreement with an experienced renewable energy developer and are already working with them to build two 100 megawatt solar facilities in Cape Town.” 

Allan expects the first of those to go online early in 2023 and to produce 500 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Notably, this is in addition to the company’s extensive solar projects at its data centers, with the facility in Johannesburg already including a high-output solar system that is the first of its kind on the continent. Similar systems are being constructed for each of the company’s data centers, with those expected to be operational by the end of this year.

“We’re really excited to start building big solar plants that make a real impact on the region’s use of fossil fuels,” says Allan. “The fact that we can simultaneously provide motivated VMware Cloud Verified partners with the access to the power they need to make zero carbon emissions a realistic goal is another great benefit.”

Notably, Teraco committed to achieving the use of 50% renewable energy sources by 2027 and 100% renewable energy sources by 2035. Given the difficulty of achieving both goals in Africa, the decision was made to allow VMware Cloud Verified Partners who want to achieve the VMware Zero Carbon Committed distinction to pursue it in conjunction with Teraco and those metrics.

“We are years behind our partners in other areas of the world in our efforts to lower emissions,” adds Singh. “But if we can work together to achieve the use of 50% renewable sources of energy in five years, we will have accomplished something truly significant while simultaneously enabling Africa’s cloud solutions and services providers to pursue contracts that reward and encourage additional efforts to decrease emissions. That is a win for all involved.”

Within days of the partnership with Teraco being announced, five companies in South Africa joined the VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative.

The inaugural partners in Africa’s VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative

The first five VMware Cloud Verified partners to embrace the tenets of the VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative – and to make the transition to renewable sources of energy a key focus with the goal of using only renewable sources of energy by 2035 –  include Network Platforms, Routed, Saicom, Silicon Sky, and Strategix. We recently asked senior leaders at each company to share why they believe it’s crucial to radically decrease carbon emissions.

Network Platforms – Servicing businesses since 2003, Network Platforms provides a host of solutions to create effective ICT business environments. Its services are tailored to help businesses grow through increased productivity, profitability, and peace of mind. Its range of world-class, innovative products and services enables businesses to connect, communicate, and collaborate.

“It is imperative for all companies in Africa to look at the big picture and how we can collectively transition to renewable sources of energy. By transitioning to the cloud and software-defined data centers enterprises are taking a positive step for the environment. If we can run the hardware required for those endeavors with renewable sources of energy, we can collectively make a huge difference.”

– Bradley Love, founder and CEO of Network Platforms.

Routed – Routed is an experienced South African specialist VMware Cloud Operator offering scalable – full or hybrid cloud – vendor neutral hosting solutions. As a VMware Principal Partner, Routed proudly boast many “firsts”: first VMware Cloud Verified provider in Africa; first Validated VMware DRaaS provider in Africa; and now also a VMware Zero Carbon Committed partner, backed by the highest levels of sales, service, and support for its partners and customers.

“Routed empowers its partners and its customers to prosper and grow, grounded by solid and secure cloud infrastructure foundations. In much the same way, the baobob tree, our company symbol, provides for people in Africa’s savannah regions – serving as the tree of life and giving them the materials they need for shelter, clothing, food, and water – all while providing the roots that serve as a strong foundation. We like to think of ourselves as the baobob of cloud infrastructure providers. That means we must safeguard our environment here in Africa and that starts with a commitment to decrease emissions.”

– Andrew Cruise, managing director of Routed

Saicom – Saicom is a leading service provider in the local market delivering a host of solutions designed to help organizations move to the cloud, improve their collaboration and deliver an unsurpassed customer experience. Saicom understands that what businesses need most, as they navigate the move to the cloud, is choice, support, and flexible solution architecture.

“The environment in Africa is one of the world’s richest and most beautiful. We must take action to ensure that we can pass it on to future generations. Climate change is a horrific danger, but it’s also a wakeup call that we cannot continue to build our businesses and our lives around sources of energy that are finite and that once used cannot be replaced. As an ICT leader, we have an opportunity to help our customers do more with less impact on the environment by embracing a software-defined approach that simultaneously delivers unprecedented computing power and potential.”

– Kyle Woolf, CEO of Saicom

Silicon Sky – Silicon Sky is a specialist IT infrastructure service provider. Silicon Sky specializes in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Silicon Sky has a vast IaaS portfolio including compute, network, storage, security, backup, recovery and disaster recovery. Silicon Sky has enterprise grade managed cloud platforms co-located in multiple carrier natural data centers in South Africa and the USA.

“ICT has transformed how companies do business and so many aspects of how we live our lives. As a cloud services and solutions leaders, we have an opportunity, and an obligation, to demonstrate in our words and more importantly in our actions, how technology can combat climate change and make a difference. VMware Zero Carbon Committed presents us with an exceptional opportunity to do just that.”

– Brenton Halsted, CEO of Silicon Sky

Strategix – Strategix Cloud Services provides flexible, scalable, secure, simplified costings easy to scale. Strategix is the only certified cloud provider as well as VMware PSO certified (Professional Services Organization), thereby offering assurances to assist customers in their digital evolution including, application modernization and digital workspace in public, private, or hybrid Clouds.

“We strive to always make an impact in a positive manner in our work with customers and our interactions with each other. That same philosophy applies to imperatives like sustainability and efforts to address climate change. Action and positive impact begin with making a commitment. For Strategix, that begins with pursuing the VMware Zero Carbon Committed distinction.”

– Jaco Stoltz, CEO of Strategix

For more information on VMware’s partnership with Teraco, view VMware’s “Feature Friday” video podcast here.                                                                                                                                                               

Green IT, IT Leadership, VMware

As the threat of climate change looms, organizations across every sector are focused on driving sustainable progress and innovation. Most of these organizations are measuring success based on their stated goals in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives and results. 

Now there is a way to quantify and verify those achievements. It’s called Project Alvarium and its mission is to create a framework and open APIs that help organizations reliably and securely quantify trust in data collected and analyzed near the point of conception. This secure data can deliver near real-time insights into an operations’ carbon footprint, thus increasing transparency and accuracy in reporting. 

Why Valid Sustainability Measurement Matters

As part of the imperative to slow or reverse global warming, some governments are regulating emission levels over time. Public pressure on companies and industries to reduce their carbon footprints is also having a major impact, especially among investors who want to align their hopes for environmental repair and renewal with where they invest their money.

Many companies claim that they pursue environmentally sustainable best practices when it comes to energy usage and pollution, yet few regularly report their results. In June, Bloomberg reported that a financial institution was fined by the U.S. Security and  Exchange Commission for falsely stating that some of the firm’s mutual funds had undergone ESG quality reviews. These regulatory efforts are an attempt to combat “greenwashing,” or incorrect reporting and reimbursements related to fraudulent or unsubstantiated claims about the environmentally responsible practices of companies. 

This begs the question: How can the carbon footprint of companies ― from employees to devices, materials, and processes ― be measured and quantified?

Project Alvarium

Available for use by any industry, Project Alvarium includes tools for monitoring, reporting, and verifying metrics in data confidence fabrics (DCFs) that quantify trust in data delivered from devices to applications. This open-source trust framework and software development kit (SDK), hosted by the Linux Foundation and announced in 2021, is the culmination a four-year collaboration among Dell, Intel, Arm, VMware, ZEDEDA, the IOTA Foundation, and ClimateCHECK. Trust in data, the applications and infrastructure used are quantified in a confidence score. The dashboard can be customized to include specific algorithms and indices related to different industries. Trust fabrics also make it easier to scale data and network security compliance requirements and to monetize data.

The project represents a collaborative effort to unify open source and commercial trust insertion technologies in a standardized environment. There is no single data confidence fabric. Instead, each organization can build their own with preferred technologies using the Alvarium framework. 

In a home environment, for example, there are many different Internet of Things (IoT) devices, from TVs and laptops to smartphones, cars, digital assistants, security cameras, and kitchen appliances. All are supported by intersecting trust fabrics from different vendors. Project Alvarium’s data confidence fabric can be adapted to a home environment to facilitate scalable, trusted, secure collaboration across heterogenous ecosystems of applications and services connected to an open, interoperable edge. Most recently, Alvarium has been put to work in helping to define what data confidence looks like in the climate industry.

Measuring and Quantifying Environmental Impacts

Recently the Project Alvarium framework was used to adapt an automated measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) solution at a biodigestion energy and composting facility at a winery in Chile. It processes data from sensors measuring water, solids, gasses, and anaerobic digestion processes to provide real-time insights into the facility’s carbon footprint. 

Deployed at the edge, it is available as a blockchain solution with high levels of trust, transparency, and security. The solution at the facility has enabled the local utility in Chile, Bio Energía, to replace manual process reviews with continuous, real-time, trustworthy monitoring and reporting that provides a much more accurate understanding of how different innovations impact carbon emissions. 

This type of trustworthy sustainability reporting provides the public with validated information on company practices. It can lower barriers to carbon credit issuance and lure more investors to fund businesses that are introducing new innovations to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Learn more about Project Alvarium and edge computing solutions at Dell Technologies.


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IT Leadership