With the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses have experienced unparalleled levels of disruption this year. But despite the distractions, we are still committed to reducing the ecological impact of our operations and our customers This is why we have a solid reputation in providing sustainable IT.
We believe that we’re all responsible for our impact on the planet and the legacy that we leave for future generations.
When we built our Tier IV by design data centre in 2010, a major factor in its design was minimising the effect on the environment. To help achieve this, the infrastructure included cold aisle containment and installation of eco-coolers, as well as air flow strategy. The goal was to reach a Power Utilisation Effectiveness (PUE) as close to 1.1 as possible.
PUE = total data centre power use / computational power use.
We are currently operating with a PUE of 1.1. This equates to 100 kW of IT load being supported by only 4.2 kW of cooling. It’s the result of the design and initiatives which are currently in place within our data centres.
Substantial investment was made during 2020 to ensure we remain as efficient as possible through advances in technology. These included:
- Upgrade of existing UPS systems
- Upgrade of existing cooling fans
- LED lights installed in across all premises
These actions have allowed Blue Chip to save in excess of 100 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
We are currently utilising ScottishPower Renewables for the electricity that we do use. Taking these steps has made us a widely recognised provider of sustainable IT.
Achieving Climate Change Agreement (CCA) accreditation
As 2021 began, we gained CCA accreditation from the UK’s Environment Agency.
“Climate change agreements are voluntary agreements made between UK industry and the Environment Agency to reduce energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In return, operators receive a discount on the Climate Change Levy (CCL), a tax added to electricity and fuel bills. The Environment Agency administers the CCA scheme on behalf of the whole of the UK.” – UK Government.
”Being approved for the (Climate Change Agreement) CCA scheme by the Environment Agency is a great achievement”, says Eamonn Sheridan, Data Centre Facilities Lead at Blue Chip. “This demonstrates Blue Chip’s commitment to ensuring our data centres are as efficient as possible whilst providing a world-class product to our customers. As a company we are always looking for new ways to reduce our effect on the environment. This is something I am personally very passionate about and I’m excited to see what we can achieve in the future.”
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling
We take waste streams very seriously. This has resulted in a comprehensive recycling programme, which separates cardboard, scrap metal, electronic and general waste.
Company car policy focused on all-electric for new vehicles
Since October 2020, we have been operating an electric car policy for all new company vehicles.
“The board increased people’s car allowance so that they can afford the electric cars”, explains Eddy Conway, Blue Chip’s Chief Infrastructure and Data Centre Facilities Officer.
Partnering with Marston Vale for sustainable IT
The Forest of Marston Vale is a charity that facilitates the planting of trees across 61 square miles of Bedfordshire. We plant a number of trees for every rack that is produced and have almost reached the 100,000 mark.
“We’ve all enjoyed walking in forests in 2020,” says Eddy. “I think most of us appreciated the fresh air when the cars weren’t on the road too. Planting trees is valuable, and it doesn’t cost anything.”
Robina Ballard-Davis is a Fundraising Officer at The Forest of Marston Vale.
“Blue Chip has supported us in planting 96,000 trees and that’s only going to grow over the next few years,” explains Robina. “We work very closely with both Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough in terms of the planning process.”
“When developments take place, we help them to deliver tree cover as part of the development plan, ensuring that there’s woodland created to maintain a balance.”
“Our goal is to plant five million more trees to achieve 30% tree coverage within the Forest of Marston Vale. It’s a challenge, but we know how important it is for the planet. Trees are one of our best hopes for combating the climate crisis.”
“Having access to green spaces and wildlife has been so important for people physically and mentally recently. It is important to maintain and create those habitats, from an economic as well as a wellbeing perspective. We commissioned an independent study that sought to quantify the value of the forest and what we’ve achieved over the last 20+ years, and through every £1 that’s been invested in planting trees we’ve created £11 worth of benefits.”
Increasing our commitment to sustainable IT through chilled water and solar power
WUE = Water Usage Efficiency. We are currently installing water meters, to record site water usage which will help us to reduce our consumption.
Revising our secondary cooling system to increase our sustainable IT
Our secondary cooling system is a traditional Computer Room Air Condition (CRAC) system, currently using refrigerant gas, which is inefficient and harmful to the environment. A new system is currently being considered which uses chilled water and smart engineering to provide the necessary cooling while reducing our impact on the environment.
Going forward, we are looking into ways of providing power to our sites while reducing our carbon footprint, with the ultimate goal of being carbon neutral.
Meet your Corporate Social Responsibility statements
Environmental sustainability is at the core of most companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) statements. An ecologically minded strategy helps to increase efficiency, financial performance and strengthen your brand’s reputation.
We’re helping customers from many industries to be more sustainable. We are ready to place your business’s critical IT on the path to being carbon neutral and achieving your CSR statements. To get the advantages of our sustainable IT support and infrastructure services, get in touch today.