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This week, GreenBiz discussed data center efficiency, a hot topic across the tech industry as companies seek to reduce their carbon emissions and environmental impact. A global industry group called Green Grid, which is working to improve resource efficient IT and data centers, compiled a five-step list on energy efficiency best practices. Important best practices including calculating the power usage effectiveness (PUE), which provides information regarding how efficient the data center is at using and sending power to its servers, and using virtualization to make better use of IT resources. Finally, Green Grid recommends companies think ahead and begin measuring water usage effectiveness (WUE) and carbon usage effectiveness (CUE), two more recent measurements that track other key areas of data center environmental impact. Microsoft is an active member in Green Grid and has been key to the development of these three measures.
In other sustainability news, Triple Pundit reported on the Philippine city of Alaminos, a municipality that is pioneering a zero waste initiative. Under a new law, villages, local officials, and nonprofit partners are working together to manage waste by creating new composting systems and sorting facilities and have nearly eliminated open burning. Created in 2009, the Zero Waste Alaminos project was born and after only two years, the zero waste team had launched rapid-fire initiatives that created real results. While in 2009, almost no villages had implemented the initiative, in 2011, 25 had local ordinances on waste management that banned open burning and dumping and mandated household waste separation and composting. This dramatic change in only two years demonstrates the powerful impact community involvement and cooperation can have on changing societal behaviors. Microsoft is keenly interested in how to reduce waste at our facilities, too, and we will share more information about our efforts in a future post.