The smartphone and technology industry is responsible for around 10 percent of all the electricity used worldwide. While this fact remains a huge issue for tech companies to overcome, the industry as a whole is taking major strides to cut that percentage. Apple, Microsoft, Intel, and countless other companies have invested heavily in solar and wind power to fuel their facilities, and scrutinizing their own manufacturing processes to determine the best method to create the most environmentally friendly products and services.
There are currently 27 leading tech companies across the globe that are participating in a study by the European Commission to measure the carbon footprint created by the tech industry's products, networks, and services. The commission aims to paint a clear picture of the ways in which this industry is impacting the environment and to develop an industry-wide set of standard practices that would reduce or eliminate it.
With so much effort by tech companies going into utilizing wind and solar power, it may come as a surprise that a very small percentage of consumers notice or really care about it. Here are several reasons marketing these immense efforts to consumers are crucial for the industry.
It Would Promote Energy Consciousness in Other Industries
Microsoft recently announced that its new data center is to be built in Cheyenne, Wyo. and it will be completely 100 percent powered by the nearby Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility. The tech giant will use the methane gas produced by the facility to run its 200-kilowatt data plant without any help whatsoever from the local power grid.
And Microsoft isn't alone in its quest to secure renewable power options for its facilities. Google recently purchased 114 megawatts of clean energy from a wind farm in rural Iowa. Part of a 20-year contract agreement, the company plans to power several data centers using the energy harnessed through the venture. It also powers its Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif, entirely with solar panels.
If the efforts made by these mega companies were more widely known and the news spread to all corners of the Earth, more companies would likely follow suit. It could even affect energy rates and change the way we use energy entirely.
To Appeal to Energy Conscious Consumers and Strengthen PR Efforts
With global warming, climate change, and ozone depletion at the top of many discussions these days, companies with major renewable energy plans could really reach energy conscious consumers. Not only would it impress current loyal customers, but could also capture the attention of would-be skeptics, prompting them to take a second look at the company as a whole.
But why aren't they doing that already? So many companies are making major strides toward clean energy sources that it's astonishing that more people haven't taken note. In fact, the general population remains resoundingly disinterested.
By representing themselves as energy conscious advocates for the environment, corporations like Google, Apple, and Microsoft could really establish themselves as people-conscious, caring companies, with a real intent to make the world a better place. People love that kind of stuff, but you have to sell them on the idea first.
To Inspire Change
In Sept. 2013, Dell received the 2013 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company was selected primarily due to its extensive efforts to use green power. Currently Dell is purchasing almost 218 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power on an annual basis. To that into perspective, that's enough energy to power nearly half of the energy used by the company's U.S. facilities.
If more people knew about the efforts their favorite tech companies are making to reduce their burden on the environment, maybe they would stop and think about their own impact and take action to invoke change in their own lives and in their communities. Planting the seed and getting the ball rolling is the best way to get people talking, and taking action too.
The fact that awards like the EPA's Green Power Leadership Award exist in the first place points toward a national effort to promote change in energy sources. But sadly, this award didn't exactly make breaking news. A very small percentage of Americans are even aware of it.
Incorporating recognition like this along with marketing the continued efforts made by tech companies will surely inspire change by creating a snowball effect of companies worldwide doing the same thing, capturing the attention of the public, and making a real difference. Before you know it, green renewable energy sources will be the norm, and we can more easily further our efforts to slow the effects of decades of neglect of the environment.