By Fidelma Russo, senior vice president and general manager, cloud services, VMware
Nicola Peill-Moelter, director, sustainability innovation, VMware
May 5, 2021
The Climate Decade is upon us. Our collective actions over the next 10 years will be critical in defining the future trajectory of our planet. With a renewed societal focus on sustainability and climate change over the past several years, it’s become increasingly clear we must drastically reduce our carbon emissions.
At VMware, we’ve had a longstanding commitment to sustainability. In 2018, we achieved carbon neutrality two years ahead of our original goal. We also recently announced our intent to achieve net zero carbon emissions for our operations and supply chain as part of our 2030 Agenda, in which we outlined our 10-year commitment to reach 30 goals by 2030 to create a more equitable, sustainable and resilient world. A component of our 2030 Agenda is “Intrinsic Sustainability” innovation with a focus on helping our customers—through VMware’s virtualization and cloud solutions and partnerships—meet their sustainability goals by reducing the carbon emissions associated with their data center operations.
Announcing VMware Zero Carbon Committed: Connecting Customers and Cloud Partners with Shared Sustainability Goals
To that end, we’re excited to announce the launch of the VMware Zero Carbon Committed cloud partner initiative. We envision catalyzing and accelerating the transition to zero carbon clouds through VMware Cloud Partner data centers powered by renewable energy sources by 2030. This initiative is a collaboration with our VMware Cloud Verified providers that operate infrastructure-, energy- and carbon-efficient data centers based on VMware software-defined data center (SDDC) technologies and have commitments to using renewable energy power.
Exemplifying VMware’s ongoing commitment to product sustainability innovation, this initiative aims to:
VMware Zero Carbon Committed builds on our history of helping customers reduce the environmental impact of their digital operations through more efficient and productive use of IT infrastructure. The initiative also extends our reach and impact alongside our public cloud partners. It enables us to connect customers who have sustainability goals and are looking for low-carbon solutions with a VMware cloud provider who is committed to achieving zero carbon clouds through renewable energy-powered operations and energy-efficient data centers.
Key VMware Cloud Verified Partners Supporting Inaugural Launch
We’re excited to announce that VMware’s Cloud Verified partners Atea, Equinix, IBM, Microsoft and OVHcloud are joining us for the inaugural launch of this initiative.
Every day, more and more global, cross-sector companies—more than 1,300 to-date including VMware and many of our customers—are committing to the United Nations’ Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative to reduce absolute carbon emissions in their operations and supply chains to reach net zero carbon by 2050.(1) In partnership with our VMware Cloud Verified partners, we believe the Zero Carbon Committed initiative will make it easier for these companies to reach their goals.
“Being part of the climate solution requires driving change throughout the entire ecosystem,” said Chiara Selvetti, head of sustainability, Atea Sweden. “Atea’s clear 100% renewables goal—part of our SBT target—makes it easier for customers to understand the sustainability impact of their IT investments and for Atea’s employees to advise customers in the sustainable choices they make.”
Beyond corporations, we’re seeing a global push by governments around the world toward low-carbon economies that will further drive the demand for low-carbon products and services. To date, 37 countries have committed to Net Zero Carbon goals and are implementing policies, incentives and regulations to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.(2)
“Equinix and VMware have partnered together to help enterprises with their digital transformations for years and now this collaboration extends to doing our part to protect the planet,” said Steve Steinhilber, vice president, business development, Equinix. “We are proud to be a part of VMware’s Zero Carbon Committed initiative, which demonstrates our joint commitment to using 100% renewable energy by 2030. Through this partnership with VMware, we can help our mutual customers and partners green their supply chain and reduce their environmental impact, while building fast and more secure enterprise hybrid multi-cloud infrastructures.”
"In February 2021, IBM set a goal to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by using feasible technologies to remove emissions in an amount which equals or exceeds IBM's residual emissions," said Edan Dionne, vice president, environmental, energy and chemical management programs of IBM's Corporate
Environmental Affairs staff. "Toward achieving this goal IBM will continue to first focus on reducing—not offsetting—GHG emissions and with 90% of the electricity IBM consumes coming from renewable sources by 2030, aiming to limit our residual GHG emissions to 350,000 mtCO2e. We look forward to continuing our partnership with VMware in serving clients, while reducing our environmental impact."
“As part of Microsoft’s commitment to be carbon negative by 2030, sustainability is front and center for our data center growth and operations. We’ve made early progress and as part of this journey, we are proud to work with other forward-thinking partners like VMware and their Zero Carbon Committed Initiative to help drive change across the industry,” said Noelle Walsh, CVP, cloud operations + innovation, Microsoft.
“The world has become increasingly dependent on data, and the wide-scale transition from onsite storage toward cloud-based solutions represents an incredible opportunity for our industry to lead the way in helping all companies make progress toward sustainability,” said François Sterin, chief industry officer for OVHcloud. “We have seen significant interest from all customers in maximizing data center efficiency and are proud to serve as an inaugural member of VMware’s Zero Carbon Committed cloud partner initiative and share in the commitment to generating net carbon zero emissions by 2030.”
Phased Approach to Raising Awareness for Sustainable Cloud Operations
We are planning a phased approach over the next decade to achieve 100% renewable energy-powered and carbon-efficient VMware clouds. Early on, the initiative will connect customers with VMware cloud providers with aligned sustainability goals and provide a competitive differentiation for these cloud providers who are leading the journey with aggressive renewable energy goals and running efficient data centers.
Over time, the initiative will raise awareness among our other cloud providers about the importance to our customers of sustainable cloud operations. We believe this awareness can help inspire all our partners to begin or accelerate their journeys to zero carbon cloud operations. Longer term, we plan to develop programs to assist providers with launching their renewable energy journeys.
As we approach the end of Earth Month, we’re encouraged by the increase in decarbonization commitments from the global community. The challenge of achieving net zero carbon emissions will require us to come together as a global community to collaborate toward a sustainable future.
Together, Accelerating Zero Carbon Clouds by 2030
We’re proud of the progress that has been made so far and are encouraged by ongoing decarbonization commitments. Through the Zero Carbon Committed initiative, we envision that by 2030, all VMware public clouds will be powered with renewable energy and run infrastructure-, energy- and carbon-efficient operations. In collaboration with our partners and customers, we’re looking forward to tackling one of the leading environmental issues of our time, and working toward a sustainable, equitable and resilient future.
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