At our head offices, 100% of our office power needs are provided by Energy Australia’s Pure Energy Premium product. This ensures that for 100% of our power use, an equal amount of power has been created by new green power generation facilities using renewable energy sources, including hydroelectricity, solar, biomass and wind energy.
More information about the Australian Government’s Green Power program can be found on the GreenPower web site.
In 2006 we conceived new initiatives for “green” colocation and carbon neutral colocation.
One of the results of this program is that for colocation information on our 100+ global sites we now list the primary source of electricity in each country. We hope this information will allow our end-users to make decisions that take the environment into consideration, even where it is not a primary decision making factor.
For example, we frequently have colocation clients seeking colo services in a particular region but often broadly indifferent to the specific country or city within the region. In cases like this, we may suggest environmental reasons for a particular location over another. For example, in Oceania, over 90% of Australia’s power is sourced from fossil fuels (specifically the burning of coal). By comparison, neighbouring New Zealand generates only about 35% of power from fossil fuels, with the majority coming from hydro and geothermal energy.
Similarly in Scandinavia: Norway has excellent Internet connectivity and relatively affordable bandwidth but is also a good example of a green energy country, with over 99% of electricity generated by hydro power.
Regardless of the overall per-country picture, where possible we try to source data centers that source their energy from green sources or provide the best-available alternative, such as audited carbon neutral status.
Reducing energy use
We have an ongoing commitment to reducing the amount of power we use and have often reduced the total energy use in our offices relative to the corresponding periods in earlier years, even allowing for generally having more staff working in the later periods.
We choose office facilities with excellent natural light, and have enough light most days of most seasons to work without any natural lights.
Similarly, we minimise the use of heating and air conditioning and make use of natural breezes and either shade or sunlight depending on the season.
Carbon offset program
Since October 2006 we have purchased carbon credits to neutralise the effect of our electricity use, travel and use of couriers worldwide. We recognise that while we purchase 100% green power from wholly renewable sources where possible, some of our suppliers do not so. In particular, data center operators are major consumers of power and Sublime IP operates from over 70 data center locations worldwide. We purchase carbon credits to offset the carbon dioxide output of all our equipment globally.
We encourage our end-users of colocation services to pay a little extra to neutralise the effect of the greenhouse emissions generated by the power used by their servers and other equipment, which is running 24 x 7 every day of the year and often not built with power efficiency in mind as a high priority.
We make every attempt to minimise paper and distribute the vast majority of our service contracts, faxes, invoices and general correspondence electronically.
When we do use paper, we do so sparingly and consciously. By way of example, our letterheads (headed paper) use Beckett Expression uncoated paper. Expression paper is partially recycled and carries the Green Seal mark of environmental responsibility. Mowhawk Fine Papers, the paper mill, source over a third of their electricity from non-polluting, wind-generated electricity and were the first US paper manufacturer to do so.
Our plain paper is exclusively highly environmentally friendly Evolve Business paper, arguably the highest standard recycled paper available. In addition to using 100% recycled post-consumer waste paper, Evolve uses energy efficient power sources and has a very efficient manufacturing process. The paper is oxygen bleached and detergents used in production are all biodegradable. Waste water is recycled back into the process.
Sublime IP is a member of SCRAP Ltd, an Australian non-profit organisation raising awareness of environmental issues and supplying eco-friendly products.
Our office waste paper is often re-used by staff for note-taking and similar activities. Any confidential information is securely cross-shredded and ultimately all of our paper is recycled.
We endeavour to re-use all received cardboard boxes and other shipping materials for outward shipments.
Staff transport and shipping
Our offices are located nearby places that are generally agreeable to live in. As a consequence, the majority of our staff live close to our offices. Most of our staff, most days, travel to and from work on foot or by bicycle, helping to reduce our overall environmental impact and dependence on cars. Our locations are situated on or very close to public transport routes, including in the case of our head office the scenic Manly ferry, regular gas-powered public bus routes and a free bio-diesel powered minibus service provided by Manly Council.
We aim to minimise the need for our staff to travel frequently over long distances but where flights are required as part of our business we purchase carbon credits to offset the greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the flights. Over shorter distances such as movements within a city we encourage the use of public transport where practical.
We take a similar approach with international shipping, particularly relating to computer equipment that we frequently need to use in many diverse locations worldwide. By careful choice of local partners near our many global data center locations we aim to source hardware locally where possible. While components often still originate from South East Asia, we at least buy goods that have been transported by sea in most cases and reduce our reliance on long haul air freight.