Aligned’s Phill Lawson-Shanks and Mercy Manning Join REBA Advisory Board

Phill Lawson-Shanks, Aligned’s Chief Innovation Officer, and Mercy Manning, Vice President, Sales and Sustainability Strategy, have joined the Advisory Board of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). REBA is an alliance of large clean energy buyers, energy providers, service providers and NGO partners that are unlocking the energy marketplace to lead a rapid transition to a cleaner, prosperous, zero-carbon energy future. The organization’s mission is to build a resilient, zero-carbon energy system where every organization has a viable, expedient, and cost-effective pathway to renewable energy, an objective that resonates with Aligned’s commitment to solving the world’s toughest sustainability challenges associated with data center infrastructure and energy consumption, as well as water usage.

The REBA Advisory Board consists of committees which align with the organization’s areas of focus, including Supply Chain & International Collaboration, Education & Engagement, Market Innovations, and Policy Innovations. Advisory Board members hail from such Big Tech companies as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, as well as global brands in such diverse industries as automotive, entertainment and retail, including General Motors, the Walt Disney Company, and Walmart.

“As responsible stewards of the environment, sustainability will always be at the core of what we do at Aligned,” states Lawson-Shanks. “With humankind in the midst of an era that will see demands for compute, networking and storage capacity reach unprecedented levels, data center providers are uniquely positioned to ensure a clean energy future. So, along with my esteemed colleagues at REBA, I am happy to take up the mantle of securing and democratizing renewable energy resources for companies across the global digital economy.”

In addition to his role as CIO, Lawson-Shanks heads Aligned’s cross-functional Sustainability Committee, of which Mercy Manning is also a member. Aligned’s Sustainability Committee is comprised of leaders from all corporate divisions, including Customer Experience, Design & Construction, Operations, Innovation and Technology, Finance, Audit and Compliance, and Branding. The Committee’s objective is to integrate sustainability and business initiatives to help Aligned and our customers reach their sustainability goals.

“Along with Phill, I am excited to join the REBA Advisory board as an industry stakeholder and support REBA’s collaborative action towards a resilient, zero-carbon energy future, ” says Manning. “Aligned’s sustainability journey began with water and energy efficiency, and continues today with matching 100 percent of our IT load with renewable energy sources across all our data centers. We also employ a sustainability lens and environmental metrics within our supply chain.”

“What’s good for the planet isn’t only good for business. As builders of the infrastructure underpinning the economic engines of our time, driving a clean energy future is essential for us all,” Manning adds.

Not Losing Sight of Sustainability

Published by: Andrew Schaap – CEO at Aligned Data Centers – April 22, 2020

Even as most all of our daily activities have moved online and people en masse enter the digital space to work and learn from home — increasing IT loads at unprecedented levels that no one in our industry could have anticipated — now is not the time for data center providers and their customers to abandon their shared sustainability goals.

Far from it.

As businesses accelerate their digital transformation virtually overnight, driving demand for data center services, some providers may be balancing the question of maintaining their sustainability goals against having to resort to alternative, less energy-efficient solutions. But to quote Joe Kava, Google’s Vice President of Data Centers, who recently gave a presentation on the adoption of renewable energy, “There is nothing normal about the situation we currently face. And more than ever, the world is counting on us.”

Here, at Aligned, my colleagues and I could not agree more.

Aligned’s adaptive data center was designed to maintain sustainability in light of unpredictable usage and growth models. Moreover, our company was founded on the premise of solving the world’s most intractable sustainability challenges concerning data center infrastructure, energy consumption and water usage. In keeping with that vision, we recently increased our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability by matching 100% of the IT loads across our entire data center portfolio with certified renewable energy.

With flexible, renewable energy options that address customer-specific sustainability goals, cooling technologies that adapt to varying workloads, and modular mechanical and electrical infrastructure that scales as needed, Aligned has long been prepared for the present challenges. Our focus has always been to provide ultra-efficient, rapidly deployable, and sustainable data center solutions that enable customers to scale easily and efficiently as their business grows, while supporting a clean energy future.

There’s no question that the world has changed before our eyes, with companies finding themselves needing to accommodate more virtual scenarios as our physical offices become digital workplaces; our classrooms become remote learning environments; and video conferencing, social media, streaming services, and online gaming provide much needed human connection and entertainment.

This precipitous surge in internet usage is likely to decrease as we continue to make strides and emerge from the present global health crisis. However, elevated IT loads will be the new normal, bringing to the fore, and intensifying, questions of data center energy efficiency, consumption, and sustainability.

So, let’s not suspend our responsibility to solve the critical sustainability challenges of our time. Rather, let’s encourage and invest our energies in creating long-term value by developing sustainable and efficient data center infrastructure that drives forward our environmental, social and economic objectives.