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Earth Day 2023: ANS and our commitment to sustainability

Earth Day 2023: ANS and our commitment to sustainability

With Earth Day (22nd April) just around the corner, we thought it would be a great moment to share the latest on ANS’s work to reduce its carbon footprint. Earth Day is an annual celebration that honours the achievements of the environmental movement and raises awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations. The date of Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.​​​​​​

So, ahead of Earth Day, here are 7 things you might not know about ANS and our commitment to the environment…

1. We’re ISO 14001 certified.

ISO 14001 is a global standard that ensures businesses are conscious of their environmental impacts. Our ISO certification holds us to account against a set of measures relating to our carbon emissions, energy use and waste disposal. 

The standard includes a requirement to improve the greenness of our operations over time with a series of targets to continuously reduce our impact on the environment. Our board-level oversight guarantees that the ANS organisation is aligned from top to bottom. 

2. Our data centres are energy efficient by design.

Our data centres achieve a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of less than 1.3 at full design load. This means that for every 1.3 megawatts of power input, 1 megawatt is delivered to the IT equipment. Although some power waste is inevitable, this level of energy efficiency is industry leading!  

We also have an in-house project to reduce energy consumption across our data centre estate, and our project team have already decommissioned thousands of legacy servers. We also noted that a big chunk of the DC power usage goes to keeping them cool. As a result, we’ve invested heavily in enhancing our cooling systems and continually review set points to optimise our cooling strategies.  

The latest virtualisation technologies, like virtual firewalls, also help us strip out more hardware and use less power. 

3. We work with TechUK to reduce our data centre emissions.

We work with TechUK to establish CO2 reduction targets for our data centres, which helps us hold ourselves accountable. So far, we’ve seen a 10% reduction in electrical loads as a result of recent investments, and we’ve once again hit our targets. 

4. All our sites use 100% renewable electricity.

We buy all our electricity from a supplier that offers green electricity, 100% generated from renewables. Renewable sources of electricity and energy promote better air quality and contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. 

5. 100% of our Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in 2022 was donated to charity or appropriately recycled.

Our business naturally generates electrical waste. Wherever possible we give unwanted servers to charitable organisations, who can then sell them on to fund their activities. To date, we’ve sent 50 tonnes of old servers to charity. We’ve mostly gifted these to the Air Ambulance who take tech kit as donations, and we have plans to send more soon! 

When we can’t donate electrical waste, we ensure it’s recycled by an approved firm. We ensure any data saved in equipment subject to WEEE disposal is deleted prior to us sending it anywhere. 

6. Going LED only across our DC estate in 2022 saved 50% in energy use.

It’s a big investment, but a simple equation. Replacing all our lighting with LEDs across our datacentres cut our energy use for lighting in half.  

We’re committed to continuously developing and evolving our ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategy to ensure we’re a sustainable and ethical business in everything we do.  

7. We’re carbon neutral, and we hold the PAS 2060 certification to prove it.

We hold the PAS 2060 carbon neutrality certification. This certification involves an assessment of the carbon emissions generated by our entire operation. This means we create a plan to reduce carbon emissions through target-driven management, like introducing LED lighting or increasing recycling, and then offset any excess emissions, often by purchasing carbon credits. 

Carbon offsetting balances emissions, by financially supporting projects around the world that provide solutions to climate change, including decarbonising electricity grids, reforestation, and sequestering carbon.  

To date, we’ve supported a variety of carbon-offsetting projects, ranging from tree planting to most recently supporting the Arca Hydro Electric Power Plant in Turkey. The capacity of this plant is 16.35 Megawatts electric (MWe) with 3 vertical axis turbines of 5.45 MWe each. The project saves around 31,405 tonnes of CO2e per year from entering our atmosphere.​​​​​​​ 

In summary…

At ANS, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our sustainability so that we can continue to provide great technology while safeguarding the environment. We’re excited to see how we can progress this year to achieve new sustainability goals, increase our charity donations, and learn new ways to reuse and recycle goods.