“As the parent of two young boys, I want them to live in a world that is the best that it can be. It’s my hope that, as a result of our company becoming carbon neutral, we can help our customers have the least impact on the environment possible.”
— Matthew Burden, CEO of BlackBox Hosting
With its headquarters on the Thames River in London, BlackBox Hosting is already well on the way to achieving its goal of being carbon neutral by the end of 2022. Today the company’s tier-3 data center in the city’s Docklands neighborhood, as well as its network of data center partners, are all powered by renewable energy sources, including hydro, solar, and wind power.
We recently caught up with BlackBox’s CEO Matthew Burden to learn more about the thinking behind the company’s efforts to lower emissions. We also asked what it means to be in the vanguard of the VMware Zero Carbon Committed program and what motivates not only the company’s sustainability efforts, but Matthew’s own views on green operations.
“As the parent of two young boys, I want them to live in a world that is the best that it can be. It’s my hope that, as a result of our company becoming carbon neutral, we can help our customers have the least impact on the environment possible,” says Matthew. “Our primary goal is to be 100% carbon neutral by the end of 2022. In addition, we are committed to providing services with the most negligible impact on the environment.”
To make those aggressive goals a reality, BlackBox invested in and implemented an ISO 14001 environmental management system. The system not only ensures that the company uses data centers powered by renewable sources, but also sets clear sustainability objectives and requirements for the company.
Notably, these requirements have not slowed BlackBox’s growth. With an expanding customer base that includes companies in many industries, BlackBox specializes in providing high-performance, highly available managed private clouds backed up by the best technical stack. It also offers co-location and managed hosting services that encompass backup and disaster recovery-as-a-service, storage solutions, and security offerings.
BlackBox’s cloud hosting solutions come with a service level agreement that provides peace of mind to all customers – whether the company hosts a single server or hundreds. This includes monitoring and 24/7/365 support, rapid responses times, 99.99% network uptime guarantees, and one-hour hardware replacement warranties.
All of these factors have contributed to BlackBox’s momentum. Despite this success, Matthew is frank when speaking of the big picture and sustainability.
“Three percent of the worldwide global electricity consumption is accounted for by data centers,” he says. “That’s sad and needs to change, and unfortunately it’s just one indication of the impact we all have in the IT services and solutions industry. Data centers also contribute 2% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, while the hardware refreshes of such facilities contribute significantly to the production of electronic waste that overall accounts for 70% of toxic waste.”
He notes that such sobering statistics underscore why it’s imperative that organizations use virtualization and cloud computing to reduce their computing and networking footprints. Matthew also believes it’s crucial that such services be offered by carbon-neutral providers.
“Together, we can reduce the use of fossil fuels in a big way,” he says. “With worldwide emissions levels so high, we all have to do more. We believe that having a partner like VMware running an initiative like VMware Zero Carbon Committed will have a very positive and direct impact on partners and consumers alike, and indeed the companies we serve have been surprised by our efforts. We make them aware of what we are doing and hope it will encourage them to improve as well. Together we can all make a difference if we invest time and effort into sustainability.”
Learn more about BlackBox Hosting and its partnership with VMware here.