More and more businesses these days are taking steps to reduce their carbon emissions.  (Cisco is one of them, as the company met a 25% greenhouse gas reduction goal last year and subsequently upped it to 40%.)

There are several compelling reasons for doing so – some philosophical and others pragmatic.  Here are a few:

  • Energy efficiency makes two kinds of greenBusinesses who reduce energy usage help the environment and reduce their operational costs at the same time.
  • Governments worldwide are introducing carbon taxes or other environmental regulations.  At least 33 countries will have some form of carbon pricing in place this year, according to a 2012 report by the Australia’s Climate Commission.  The smaller a company’s carbon footprint, the less likely they will be penalized by future regulations.
  • Consumers prefer green companies, products and practices, as shown by countless opinion polls.  One of the largest has to be the massive survey of nearly 27,000 Europeans in 2011 that found 72% willing to pay more for products that are environmentally friendly.

Carbon emissions should be of particular concern to anyone who operates a Data Center or lab.  These environments often account for a super-sized portion of a company’s carbon footprint because their power density is greater than other building space.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Data Center industry has developed a metric aimed at determining the efficiency of a server environment relative to the carbon emissions associated with it.  Here’s a look at the Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) metric and how it’s calculated.

For a look at other Data Center metrics, please check out these Data Center Deconstructed posts on Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCIE).