What do Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, and GoDaddy all have in common? The tech giants are all running on 50,000 servers or more. Google owns more than a million. Though, Apple has a reputation for its dirty centers.
While this seems like a rather small splash in the server space, Neutragena Naturals introduced its green server which uses a third of the power of a traditional server. We spoke to J&J’s Coleman Bigelow, global sustainability marketing director, about Neutrogena's new server that is powered by wind and solar. From their perspective they are doing a good thing, though off-grid servers could have benefits (and costs) if they are becoming a trend.
Smartplanet: Why do an off grid server?
CB: Our goal this year has been to raise the bar in everything we do for Neutrogena Naturals and sustainability. One of our Guiding Principles is “Do Good,” which tells us to act with the future in mind. This principle is primarily what led us to rethink the way our website worked.
Overall, we're committed to minimizing our impact on the environment – our products contain up to 90% natural ingredients, post-consumer recycled packaging, vegetable-based inks and a packaging process that uses 75% less water. An off-the-grid server powered 100% by nature was a natural next step.
Smartplanet: What is the business case for it?
CB: This is the first time a company has taken the eco-friendly step of investing in a green server which uses nearly 1/3 of the power of a traditional server. It’s important to show our commitment to sustainability in tangible ways – it goes beyond our products to the eco-friendly suppliers and manufacturers we work with, the packaging we use and now, the way we power our website.
The green server is just a small step, but it’s a statement that sums up everything the brand stands for- re-think natural skincare in every imaginable way. We hope our efforts can help educate and influence the future of low-impact solutions for our customers and help to leave a lasting positive impact on our natural environment.
Smartplanet: What impact will it have?
CB: On average, powering a single website requires more than 6,000 kwh per year. That’s the equivalent to running a vacuum cleaner for 262 days or using a hair dryer for more than 5,000 hours - a vast amount when you consider there are now more than 13 billion sites on the Internet.
The green server is a power-efficient server that uses very little energy. The fully loaded server is designed to use only 72 watts vs. a traditional server which would use 150-300 watts. Neutrogena Naturals is the first brand to go a step further and power this energy-efficient server with solar and wind power, saving additional energy.
Thanks to the green server, we’re creating over 2300 Kw/h per year (equal to powering a laptop for nearly 50,000 hours or the Empire State Building for 15 minutes) and releasing four tons less CO2 into the atmosphere compared to a non-renewably powered server.
Smartplanet: What problem is it fixing?
CB: Server farms are consuming massive amounts of energy. Certain companies and their servers are consuming the same amount of energy as some small U.S. States. We are hoping through our small action to set an example and inspire a change in the way servers are powered.
We believe if we could get even 1% of all websites followed our lead it could add up to a very big impact.