IT Thought Leadership

Sustainability Innovation: Highlights from the VMware IT Performance Annual Report 2022, Part Five of Six

Part one of this series provided an overview of the VMware IT Performance Annual Report 2022 and VMware IT innovation. In part two, we looked at the digital transformation of our modern apps. In part three, we examined modern SaaS innovation. Part four dealt with security innovation.

In part five of our six-part series we look closely at sustainability innovation in the digital age.   

One of the key takeaways from the VMware Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) team’s 2021 ESG Report is that the carbon footprint of digital technologies is increasing yearly. Other recent studies—such as Why your internet habits are not as clean as you think and reported by the BBC—estimate that the Internet emits 1.6 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually due to the manufacture and running of digital technologies among all internet users around the world. In addition, it will account for nearly 20 percent of all the world’s electricity consumption by 2025.

The VMware 2021 ESG Report demonstrated that the carbon footprint of digital technologies has also been increasing yearly. According to Mightybytes, in 2019 more than 50 million tons of e-waste were produced, and that number is expected to rise by eight percent annually.

The 2021 ESG Report also noted that since 2003 VMware virtualization solutions—through server, storage and networking infrastructure consolidation—helped avoid deploying 142 million servers, resulting in 2.4 billion megawatt hours (MWh) less energy consumed and preventing 1.2 billion metric tons of carbon emissions from being released into the environment. VMware server consolidation solutions used by enterprises worldwide have, in part, contributed to a favorable report from the International Energy Agency. That report outlined how data center electricity consumption remained flat despite a 12-fold increase in Internet traffic and an eight-fold increase in workloads.

The VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative helps our customers green their public cloud supply chain. The program connects customers looking for low-carbon solutions with VMware Cloud providers committed to energy-efficient data center operations using the full stack of VMware virtualization solutions and 100 percent renewable energy-powered data centers.

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VMware is committed to doing its part to reduce the carbon footprint of digital technologies. Through the VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative, we will accomplish our goal of all VMware public clouds powered by renewable energy—and our entire infrastructure becoming highly energy and carbon efficient—by 2030. VMware is already partnering with more than 30 companies, including Atea, Equinix, IBM, Microsoft and OVHcloud to meet this deadline.

Our commitment is designed to enable our customers to easily and seamlessly reduce their carbon footprints and be sustainable. Together with our partners and customers, we do our part to help mitigate the leading environmental issues associated with the digital technology industry.

VMware sustainability efforts in action

  • Introduced carbon footprint (usage/waste) to our hardware usage report in conjunction with the ESG team.
  • The H20 Project increases the sustainable use of hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) servers. (VMware currently has about 22,000 servers in this pool.) HaaS is a service provision model for hardware, defined differently in managed services compared to grid computing.
  • GPU as a service (GPUaaS) was developed in 2021 to ensure that we share GPUs for machine learning (ML) workloads. This enables higher use of GPUs and lowers the overall need for new GPUs. Savings will be even more substantial when ML usage increases across the company.
  • Reclaimed and repurposed 1,000 underused zombie servers in 2021 to improve sustainability. (Instead of buying new servers, we repurposed servers from teams who didn’t use them to groups in need.)

You can read the VMware IT Performance Annual Report 2022 to learn more about our sustainability innovation.

And don’t forget to check out these other blogs in this series:

Part One: an overview of the VMware IT Performance Annual Report

Part Two: digital transformation of our modern apps

Part Three: our transition to a SaaS model

Part Four: Zero Trust security

VMware on VMware blogs are written by IT subject matter experts sharing stories about our digital transformation using VMware products and services in a global production environment. To learn more about how VMware IT uses VMware products and technology to solve critical challenges, visit our microsite, read our blogs and IT Performance Annual Report and follow us on SoundCloud, Twitter, YouTube. All VMware trademarks and registered marks (including logos and icons) referenced in the document remain the property of VMware.