Nov 10, 2015

What is a sustainability consultant?

Ansley Kilgore

Sustainability consultants develop and implement energy-efficient strategies to help reduce a company’s overall carbon footprint. But designing environmentally sustainable solutions isn’t their only purpose. Their implemented policies can improve a company’s performance while drastically reducing costs on utilities and additional resources.

With the increase of our dependency on technology, the data center industry – the backbone of the Digital Age – has seen substantial growth. As a result, data centers have become one of the fastest-growing consumers of electricity in the United States, creating a need for intelligent, sustainable architecture within the industry.


The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) projects that by 2020, the energy consumed by data centers will cost American businesses $13 billion in electric bills and will emit 150 million metric tons of carbon pollution on an annual basis. These numbers seem staggering, especially when you take into account that the data centers run by large cloud providers aren’t the culprit of this massive energy consumption. In fact, they only take up about 5% of consumed energy by the industry. The other 95% of energy usage comes from corporate and multi-tenant data centers that lack a sustainable design.

Another alarming stat presented by the NRDC is that the US data center industry is consuming enough electricity to power all the households in New York City for two years. This massive amount of energy and pollution output is equal to that of 34 coal-fired power plants. And by 2020, the output is projected to be equivalent to 50 power plants.

These statistics highlight that in the data center industry alone, sustainability consultants are a necessity in helping reduce the industry’s energy consumption by designing green data centers.

In the video below, Randy Ortiz, VP of Data Center Design and Engineering at Internap, and Dan Prows, Sustainability Consultant at Morrison Hershfield, discuss how Internap’s design team works with sustainability consultants to construct a highly energy-efficient and sustainable data center.


As the expected need for data center growth continues, it is economically and fiscally responsible for data center providers to design their facilities to be as energy efficient and sustainable as possible. And in working with sustainability consultants, data center engineers can ensure that their facility is designed to drive performance while reducing operational costs and environmental impact.

Learn more about Internap’s energy-efficient data centers.

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Ansley Kilgore

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