The Importance of Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future


Climate change, global warming and air pollution are just some of the many factors threatening the long-term health of our planet. Adopting renewable energy resources is one way to help counter these factors and make a sustainable future a reality.

Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy is born from natural resources and doesn’t generate harmful pollutants.  Relying on renewable resources is becoming more important each year – the United Nations reports that coal, oil, gas and other fossil fuels account for 75% of global greenhouse emissions. And to avoid the worst effects from climate change, emissions must be reduced by almost 50% by 2030 and hit net-zero by 2050.[1]

Protecting the environment is one of our core values at Cologix, especially as we continue to grow and build new data centers. We strive each day to optimize our customers’ digital infrastructure responsibly and efficiently for the good of our planet. That is why renewable energy is at the forefront of our ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiatives and a priority during the design, build and management of our facilities.

Benefits of renewable energy

Renewable energy comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydro and geothermal power. These sources do not produce greenhouse gases, toxic pollutants or waste that contribute to climate change and air pollution. Natural resources are better for the planet and help produce cleaner air for us to breathe, and there are plenty at our disposal – if used efficiently, they will power the world for generations to come. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, will eventually run out.

Hydroelectric power plants, powered by water, have reservoirs that store rainwater, which can be used for drinking and cooking or watering crops. Storing this water also protects a community’s water tables, making it less vulnerable to droughts and flooding. There is more to renewable energy than cleansing the environment – it can supply an economic boost, as well. According to the United Nations, one dollar invested in renewable energy creates three times more jobs than the fossil-fuel industry[2].  And the International Energy Agency estimates in its Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario

that 14 million new clean-energy jobs will be created by 2030, and 16 million workers will shift to new roles created by clean energy.[1]

Renewable energy also helps create more jobs for women. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s 2020 Annual Review, 32% of the global renewable workforce is comprised of women compared to the 21% working in the fossil-fuel industry[2].

Cologix and renewable energy

Cologix began our formal ESG journey in 2021 and has committed to achieving 100% carbon neutrality in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and the use of 100% of renewable energy in all our data centers by 2030.

In 2021, Cologix used 134,818,720 kWh of renewable energy. We are always striving to get better, however, beginning with the design of our facilities and our investment in markets with access to renewable energy. Many of our data centers use closed-loop water systems that recycle water, and Cologix also adheres to ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Condition Engineers) TC9.9 A1 guidance for allowable temperature and humidity ranges. This enables us to reduce the water used for cooling and humidification and ensures overall efficiency.

Because data centers typically use more than half of their energy cooling the equipment, Cologix invests in environmentally friendly chillers including TurboCor compressors, which are 50% more efficient than traditional chillers. We also use free-air cooling in our Vancouver and Silicon Valley data centers, where banks of energy-efficient fans circulate cool, clean air throughout.

Innovations driven by artificial intelligence (AI) will also play more of a role in Cologix’s commitment to the use of renewable energy. AI-powered software enables the monitoring of equipment in real time, allowing us to accurately manage energy consumption to ensure we are hitting our renewable goals. AI will help data centers better allocate their resources, making them more efficient and helping companies like Cologix reduce our carbon footprint.

Regular monitoring of our equipment allows us to make upgrades to newer options that emphasize efficiency and the use of renewable energy. In 2021, Cologix data centers in Minneapolis, Montréal, Silicon Valley and Vancouver were retrofitted with new, efficient cooling and power distribution systems.

These actions and investments will allow Cologix to reduce our carbon footprint even as we continue to build more data centers and serve more customers.

A relentless pursuit

At Cologix, we are always looking to better the communities and world around us. That is why our operations leaders are constantly working to transition from fossil fuels to carbon-free options derived from renewable and nuclear energy resources.

Using renewable energy throughout our 40+ data centers, Cologix is doing our part to support a planet that is safe for hundreds of years to come. In order to achieve a sustainable future, this is an investment we all need to make.

Download our 2021 ESG report, Engineered For Scale, to learn more about our use of renewable energy and roadmap toward environmental excellence.

[1] United Nations. Renewable energy – powering a safer future.

[2] United Nations. Renewable energy – powering a safer future.

[3] International Energy Agency. World Energy Employment executive summary.

[4] International Renewable Energy Agency. Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2020


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