iomart Hosting, one of Europe’s leading providers of managed hosting and cloud computer services, is launching a campaign to sustain up to 1,000 acres of cloud rainforest in the Neblina Reserve in Ecuador.
Through the ‘Racks 4 Acres’ initiative, in conjunction with Rainforest Concern and supported by Green IT magazine, iomart Hosting will sponsor an acre of cloud rainforest for every additional megawatt of power that is consumed from September this year within its five UK data centres. This is expected to equate to at least 500 acres, which is the equivalent of 500 football pitches.
Cloud forests make up less than 2.5 per cent of the world’s tropical forests but are home to a disproportionately large number of the world’s species. They include all the forests in the humid tropics that are frequently covered in clouds or mists and so, in addition to rainfall, capture water droplets that condense on the vegetation.
The Neblina Reserve in the Choco-Andean Forest Corridor occupies the area between the Paso Alto Moutain Range and Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve and will keep these areas connected and protect flora and fauna. The reserve also helps to establish 36 community reserves, which are owned and managed by the local community.
Phil Worms, director marketing of iomart Hosting, explained:
“As a managed hosting company and data centre owner, we are acutely aware of the effects that our day to day operations have in terms of a producing a sizeable carbon footprint. We are constantly doing everything that we can to mitigate this impact – from the implementation of cold aisle containment through to pursuit of renewable energy supplies – but given that these things take time; we’ve also wanted a project that would deliver rather more immediate benefits to our environment.
“Research shows that you can make a more significant impact on the environment by preserving mature habitats, rather than simply planting new trees, in terms of protecting existing eco systems and retaining locked in carbon. We, therefore, specifically asked that our acres are predominantly in the Neblina Reserve because of the synergy between cloud computing and cloud hosting.
“We're not attempting to take any form of moral high ground with this campaign. We know, as do many of our customers, that reducing costs and improving operational efficiency are critical objectives for any organisation at any time. We strongly believe that cloud computing and virtualisation have a major role to play in helping organisations minimise their CO² emissions by reducing their power consumption, and we think that this campaign will help us get this message across.”
The campaign also allows iomart Hosting’s customers to directly offset their own IT equipment’s carbon emissions,via iomart’s Customer Control Panel, through participation in Rainforest Concern’s Forest Credits Programme.
Peter Bennett, Director of Rainforest Concern, said: “The world’s tropical rainforests are the richest and most diverse habitats on Earth and are some of the most endangered. Whilst their plight has been well documented over the past few years, we are still witnessing wholesale destruction on a daily basis. Projects like the Racks 4 Acres have an important role to play in highlighting the threats faced by rainforests and hopefully will inspire other people and organisations to support our efforts to protect them. We all benefit from every acre of rainforest saved wherever we live in the world.
“I am delighted that the campaign will support the Neblina Reserve in the Choco-Andean Forest Corridor as this is a true, community-based conservation and eco-tourism effort, which is playing a vital role in sustaining the conservation of Ecuador. It proves what can be done when people are prepared to work together and tackle issues head on.
“What appealed to me about the Racks 4 Acres campaign is how simple it is in its approach. The correlation between power consumption, carbon emissions and conservation is a vital element in the bigger climate change debate and this campaign makes that point effectively.”
Myriam Calderon, respected Ecuadorian academic and author on environmental, heritage and cultural anthropology topics, stated:
“Our country welcomes any initiative undertaken by foreign organisations; private or governmental, willing to support Ecuador and its amazing biodiversity, in order to safeguard the lungs of the planet.
“The importance and relevance of sharing the responsibility of the protection of our most precious resources, regardless of location, is indeed a global problem. The Choco-Andean Forest Corridor project and community is as vital for countries as far and away as the United Kingdom as it is for the Andean corridor and Ecuador itself.
“Speaking as an Ecuadorian, and an environmental advocate, we welcome the support given by iomart Hosting with its Racks 4 Acres campaign. We particularly hope that this campaign will generate vital awareness of the need to protect the Cloud Forest, and that this may lead to a wider understanding of the environmental issues that we face today.”
Issued by: iomart Hosting Press Office
Tel: 0141 931 6400
Address: Lister Pavilion, Kelvin Campus, Glasgow, G20 0SP
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