4 Reasons Why Choosing an Eco-Friendly Data Center is a Smart Move

Sustainability Blog in the Pacific Northwest


Data centers consume roughly 200 terawatt-hours of electricity – nearly 1% of global electricity demand and 0.3% of all global CO2 emissions.1 And as the global datasphere keeps expanding at breakneck speeds, these statistics are expected to rise in parallel.

The good news is data center providers can take steps to minimize environmental impacts. Our industry is making great strides to become “greener” and more sustainable, with some providers and markets already ahead of the curve. And right now, the Pacific Northwest is in the lead.

This region holds an incredible opportunity for eco-conscious businesses looking to forge sustainability partnerships. It’s a magnet for data center providers that are committed to driving down energy consumption without sacrificing service delivery expectations. Here are four reasons why:


1: The entire region prioritizes sustainability.             

Washington state’s Clean Energy Transformation Act mandated 100% of all energy come from clean power sources by 2045.2 Seattle’s Climate Action Plan established the city’s commitment to become 100% sustainable by 2030 and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Oregon’s Department of Energy offers a State Energy Loan Program (SELP) as well as other energy incentives and grants focused on sustainability, and Portland is America’s #1 “green” city.2

It can be mutually beneficial for a business to align with a data center provider in the Pacific Northwest. They can learn best practices from one another and pool resources to drive joint eco-friendly initiatives forward.


2: The Pacific Northwest helps businesses control costs.

The region has the lowest power costs in the nation – and data centers invested in implementing energy-efficiency measures can compound the savings.

The area also has several business-friendly tax incentives. For starters, Oregon doesn’t have sales tax. Its Enterprise Zone Program incentivizes new business investments by removing all local property taxes for a fixed number of years, and the Strategic Investment Program provides a 15-year property tax exemption for companies.

As a colocation customer, you can also take advantage of these incentives and exemptions – both directly and indirectly via passed through savings from a data center partner with facilities in the Pacific Northwest.


3: It’s a destination with one of the most moderate climates.
Nearly half of a data center’s energy consumption goes into powering its cooling and ventilation systems.3 This isn’t true in the Pacific Northwest – where mild temperatures exist year-round.

And compared to other West Coast markets, the seismic threat in the Pacific Northwest is low. Earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, and hailstorms are less likely to occur than in other parts of the country, safeguarding the most important thing cloud computing and colocation customers expect – uptime and reliability.


4: There’s easy access to 100% renewable energy sources.

Washington leads the country in producing two-thirds of its energy via hydroelectric power. In fact, the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River is the largest hydropower producer in the U.S. and meets 30% of the region’s electricity needs.4

​​Oregon can produce up to 3,150 megawatts of electricity from wind farms, which is enough to power nearly 7 million homes.5 Further still, the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard mandates 50 percent of the electricity Oregonians use come from renewable resources by 2040.6

There’s no shortage of wind and water in the Pacific Northwest and with recent changes to local energy policies, aggressive plans to retire coal and reductions in the cost of renewable resources, rolling blackouts, and power outage concerns will soon become a thing of the past.


Meet Your ESG Targets with a Likeminded Data Center Provider

As you set your own sustainability goals, it’s important to seek out locations and data center partners that align with your aspirations. With all the benefits it offers, the Pacific Northwest is the ideal place to start looking.

To learn more about the benefits of choosing a sustainable data center partner and to see what a 100% sustainable data center looks like, schedule a tour today.




1 Renewable Energy Alone Can’t Address Data Centers’ Adverse Environmental Impact

2 Report: Portland paves way as most eco-friendly city in U.S.

3 Data Center Cooling Costs

4 Pacific Northwest poised to test 100% renewables as utilities weigh gas vs. storage

5 Renewable Energy in the Pacific Northwest

6 Oregon Department of Energy / Energy in Oregon / Renewable Portfolio Standard