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Dimension Data aims for 1.8m ton cut in client's carbon

IT service provider will encourage virtualisation, cloud and video conferencing to help customer's cut emissions

Dimension Data aims for 1.8m ton cut in client's carbon
Dimension Data aims to help its customers cut carbon emissions and reduce landfill.

Dimension Data has announced that it intends to reduce its client's carbon emissions by 1.8 million tons by 2018.

The IT services provider said that it will encourage virtualization of servers to save energy, and the use of telepresence and video conferencing to cut travel among its customers as part of the target. The reduction will save clients up to $2bn, the company says, and the carbon tonnage is more than the company itself produces.

The company also aims to prevent 4,000 tons of electronic waste from going to landfill.

"The principle behind these targets is simple," explained Brett Dawson, Dimension Data's CEO. "We want to use technology to save more carbon while ensuring that we minimise electronic waste going to landfill. We believe that our new targets will help our clients achieve not only their economic, but also their environmental sustainability goals. At the same time, it encourages us to work together and find new ways to use technology to solve a vital issue in preventing dangerous climate change - the reduction of carbon."

Colin Curtis, Dimension Data's Director of Sustainability said the case for using technology to reduce carbon is extremely compelling. "Our research reveals that one server that's moved to the cloud typically saves 4,000 kWh of energy every year. Companies that move their computing resources from company-owned data centres to optimised managed cloud platforms can significantly reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions."

Another approach to reducing carbon emissions is using visual communications technology. "By allowing employees to have face-to-face communication using videoconferencing systems and immersive telepresence rooms reduces unnecessary travel. A typical unmanaged videoconferencing system will save almost 20,000 km in travelling distance per year."

According to Dimension Data's research, greater adoption rates of an immersive telepresence room could save nearly one million kilometres per year.

Curtis said many companies struggle to maximise the potential benefits of their videoconferencing equipment. Common reasons for this is difficulty using the equipment, lack of timely support when issues arise, and the complexity of booking conferences.

The company will also aim to help clients to reduce carbon emissions through data centre virtualisation, smart buildings, and network energy management.

Dimension Data worked closely with consultancies, Carbon Trust and Carbon Smart to define the targets and methodology for carbon reduction, while Cisco contributed significantly to the methodology for reducing landfill from electronic waste.

"Instead of simply reducing the environmental impact from our own operations, we've set ourselves the challenge of using technology more progressively, in order to help our clients with their own carbon reduction strategies. This is part of our commitment to responsible environmental stewardship and sustainable business practices," concluded Curtis.

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