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The Green Revolution

Eco-Friendly Choices for Manufacturing, Telecoms, and Data Centres.

For any company, ‘going green’ requires a conscious effort to reduce its environmental impact. But as well as doing the right thing, there are a number of compelling business benefits for those who do.

Sustainability in businesses provides more efficient processes, which can cut down costs. Sustainability is also now more than merely a status symbol, becoming central to many corporate social responsibility policies, similar to anti-slavery, discrimination, and corruption.

Rainford Solution’s own experience as a manufacturer also touches our customers, in telecoms and data centres. Here are our thoughts:

Manufacturing

Today, the UK’s main source of energy is still fossil fuels (check out this real-time Dashboard), and because manufacturing consumes huge amounts of electricity, switching to energy suppliers that promise a high percentage of renewables in their generation mix is one way to motivate that industry.

Some very large manufacturing facilities are already generating their own power from solar arrays and wind turbines, to store in battery arrays for use when needed or sold back to the grid.  This achieves a very low carbon footprint as well as long term cost savings – payback on solar panel investment is under ten years, and wind turbines within their lifetime (source: Renewables First).

Manufacturing plants can become more eco-friendly by updating old processes systems, as our Technical Director Steve Blackburn explained in this blog article. At Rainford Solutions, we make a continuous effort to make our products and processes greener – reducing waste, going paperless, updating to LED lighting, and replacing aging machinery. We reckon we have saved over 150 metric tonnes of CO2 per annum compared with a few years ago.

Telecommunications

Telecommunications is an essential service that we depend on even more in this post Covid world. Until recently the UK has lagged behind other countries, relying on the huge copper-based telephony network to deliver xDSL based broadband. But in the last few years that’s all changed, and now huge private and public sector investments are pouring into Broadband Britain, supported by Government policy initiatives.

The new generation of fibre optic networks are much more energy efficient – and the business case, even for an established network like BT, is compelling. (Read about copper switch off here).  New market entrants, the so-called AltNets, are rapidly building pure fibre networks, disrupting established incumbents and exciting consumers.

Meanwhile in the world of mobile telecommunications nobody can have missed that 5G has arrived. A big driver for the low latency and high bandwidth of 5G networks is enabling connected devices, such as sensors and cameras. 5G will be the blood in the veins of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), which is essential to all kinds of artificial intelligence and algorithm-driven services. Some of these services will be a boon to the environment, enabling, for example, better use of water and fertiliser in agriculture, and reducing traffic congestion to lower emissions.

Operating telecom equipment at the correct temperature can affect efficiency and consume less energy. Our Weatherproof Cabinets use intelligent cooling that operates only when required to minimise energy usage and noise.

Data Centres

World Finance reports that data centres are now responsible for 3% of the world’s electric power consumption. Their massive server farms require huge amounts of power to run and keep cool. After all, power and cooling is the number one ongoing operational cost in running a data centre, so it’s no surprise that this is an industry that makes a big deal about its green credentials.

The Data Centre Solutions that Rainford develops for our customers combine innovation with a drive to reduce costs. Check out this case study where we developed a hot- and cold-aisle containment solution for a major operator.

Final Thoughts

As we write this, the Cop26 Climate Summit has taken place in Glasgow. Sir David Attenborough admonished the assembled global leaders that ‘the world is looking’. The Queen put it ‘the time for words has now moved to the time for action’, and Boris Johnson admitted that whether the world can avert disaster still ‘hangs in the balance’.

The truth is everyone can make a difference, and we all have to: there is no planet B.

For more information do contact us at Rainford Solutions.

Exclusively penned for rainfordsolutions.com
by JayceeMarie Brick

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