Thursday, June 24, 2021
Connecting Innovation

Booting Up a Green Data-Centre

This month, Australian data-centre operator NEXTDC received government certification as a carbon neutral business. With projected energy usage in 2019…

By Anthony Bell , in Disruption and Innovation Strategy and Culture , at March 8, 2019

This month, Australian data-centre operator NEXTDC received government certification as a carbon neutral business. With projected energy usage in 2019 to be over 500 tera-watt hours per centre, and an estimated worldwide carbon production rate of 1.9 gigatonnes by 2025, the fact this organisation has managed to successfully flip their carbon footprint is astonishing. That’s a lot of emissions dealt with, whilst maintaining computing power.

Moving forward, NEXTDC has shown its dedication to standing out amongst the digital pack of the world’s data-centre providers. So what can similarly innovative and ethically minded businesses stand to gain by going carbon neutral too?



What if you didn’t have to worry about a carbon tax, or levies and penalties designed to halt the production of waste?

In one of our webinars on data-centres, John Duffin noted that, in the future, “if you’re going into the data centre business, you’re going to be entering the energy business too”. His logic stems from the mammoth appetites data-centres have for electricity, and how scaling the utilities you use to power them might invariably lead you to become an expert in sourcing electricity.

Green energy is lauded as a cost-efficient strategy because it taps into comparably limitless sources to power machines – solar, wind, water, and other natural systems that are clean and will last longer than any of us. But some Governments, like Canada for example, have found that the demand for green energy services is growing wildly. It even generates jobs, thereby strengthening the nation’s overall economy.

Understanding your data-centre’s electricity needs could translate into understanding the energy business as a whole. And once you obtain that knowledge… Who doesn’t want to be the next Tesla?




We cheekily mention Tesla, but it’s not a joke. Going carbon neutral can be an excellent marketing strategy and means of networking between other companies. Mercedes Benz is in current mingling with the likes of Tesla. Indeed, NEXTDC partnered with Qantas Future Planet – the world’s largest airline carbon offset program – as they moved forward with their own carbon neutrality scheme. So we can safely say that going carbon neutral and investing in green technologies is a business practice that lends itself to innovating your products and services, and even giving them an edge in the industry.

But making eco-friendly friends isn’t the only endgame to carbon neutral’s marketing advantage. At the beginning of this article, we listed only ONE of the world’s carbon neutral “awards” that your organisation could be awarded. The UN has its Climate Action Awards. There’s the Goldman Environment Prize too. And what about the Nobel Peace Prize? Ring a bell?

Take it from a writer, being recognised by the community at large that you are a stellar practitioner of your craft or an innovator in any given profession is hugely beneficial to your future success. Doubly so when partnered with the rise of a culture of inclusivity. Influencers and PR teams alike understand this, as well as the importance of making close business connections. By entering into sustainable business plans, you can not only increase your profile in the public space, but you can enter into long-lasting and profitable relationships with like-minded people.




Carl Sagan once said of Earth that it was “a very small stage in a vast, cosmic arena”. His words went on to explain just how isolated, and thus intimately connected, we are as a species on Earth – like it or not, we must do more than coexist, we must look after one another. A CEO or board member reading this might scoff at this idea – if you give and give and give, there’ll be nothing left for you when you need it! This is a necessary way of thinking, let alone healthy.

Speaking of health, a 2017 report found that 9 million people, from poor backgrounds in developing nations, died as a result of the effects of pollution.

Going carbon neutral, and investing in sustainable systems of operation, isn’t just an ethical choice; It’s a test of social worth as a leader, and thus as a protector and provider for one’s community.

Leaders know the direction they must take their following – thus they can read the trends in carbon emissions, let alone the expansion of the sustainable energy market. They understand that personal benefit alone will lead to ruin – ergo they are capable of providing worthwhile products and services that are so efficient they even aid the people who don’t directly consume it. Ignoring the boons of carbon neutrality is a misstep in one’s journey to becoming a masterful leader in enterprise.



We have the ability to make a huge difference in the world, be it culturally, economically, or physically. What agitates people surrounding carbon neutrality, green energy practices, and environmental issues concerning energy consumption, is the inability to understand that these changes won’t impact you, as an individual, negatively.

You can benefit from going carbon neutral in a myriad of ways, even when you’re helping others by opting into this green solution.