Rackspace just completed its second ‘Green’ week. A year ago, Rackspace launched Greenspace, a proactive campaign to address the issues of power consumption and efficiency, carbon emissions, and general environmental responsibility.
Since then, we’ve come out with products like the Green Server configuration (utilizing the most energy efficient hardware, with all of the carbon usage offset through NativeEnergy). We’ve begun offering cloud hosting through Mosso and virtualization. And most notably, our new data center in Slough is run completely on renewable energy.
So what was Green Week?
Green Week started off with Rackspace’s second annual ‘Green Day’ event (video coming soon). At Green Day, vendors from around San Antonio came to educate Rackers on the various programs offered around town. These included CPS Energy’s windtrictiy, Solar San Antonio, parks and recreation programs and even a local farmer’s market selling fresh fruits and vegetables. Local Lexus and Toyota dealers brought Hybrid cars to test drive, as well as Vespas and even a completely electric car that runs on six car batteries!
The next day, Rackspace held its first (hopefully of many) Green Councils. Any Racker with ideas on how Rackspace as a company can improve on environmental issues was able to attend this brainstorming session. Areas that were addressed included recycling, not just paper and plastic (your normal worries) but more harmful materials that are found everywhere to include batteries, light bulbs and computer equipment. The health and wellness of Rackers was addressed, talking about healthy snacks to gym memberships, to health care incentives to a healthier lifestyle. In all, five areas of concern were addressed: Building Operations, IT/IS, HR, Products and Employee Education. As new initiatives roll out in each category, I will keep you updated.
A cool idea that not necessarily came of the Green Council, but fits in line, is a Racker- created carpool software, available to all Rackers. This interactive database allows Rackers to enter where they live and what times they want to leave and return home and they can search for nearby Rackers to carpool with. An environmental help but also a financial help.
Finally, Green Week was supposed to wrap up Friday with a community project at Mitchell Lake, but unfortunately, weather was not very cooperative. The event has been rescheduled and volunteer Rackers will tour the Audobon Center and then help to rebuild, remulch and clean the Mitchell Lake area.
So as Rackspace continues to help customers, Rackers and the community go more green, I will keep you up to date with what we are doing, but I’d like to hear some of your thoughts. Is your company going green? If you’re a customer, what do you think the next green step is for Rackspace?