Online Tech Among Michigan’s ‘101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies’
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was on hand to honor the organizations that are focused on being more sustainable, improving the lives of their employees and are committed to local and global environments.
Companies were scored by the Illinois Institute of Technology in conjunction with Davenport University. Nominees were evaluated in multiple categories of sustainability, including environmental, community leadership, education, strategic planning and operational implementation, and innovation and problem solving.
Online Tech is the Midwest’s premier managed data center operator, serving a growing demand for data and computing capacity for small- and mid-sized businesses. It currently has three data centers – two in Ann Arbor and one in Flint Township – with plans to add four data centers around the Midwest over the next 24 months.
Data centers are often thought of as huge energy consumers. And while energy use is one of the industry’s highest cost of doing business, the consolidation of local networks hosted by individual companies into a centralized, energy-efficient facility equates to huge amounts of energy savings. In a case study using the Cloud Energy and Emissions Research (CLEER) Model, developed by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Northwestern University, results showed if all American businesses moved their computer network systems to centralized off-site servers, companies would shrink their computing energy footprints by 87 percent, or 23 billion kilowatt-hours.
“What people don’t realize is they have these servers scattered all across the world stuck in offices. Each one, on its own, is really inefficient,” said Online Tech co-CEO Yan Ness. “Consolidating computer equipment back to hyper-efficient rooms will create more efficiency than turning every gas car on the road to an electric car.”
Online Tech became the first Michigan data center operator to earn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification in mid-2012. That signifies its facilities perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. The company’s Mid-Michigan data center near Flint underwent a $1 million upgrade in 2011 with a focus on higher energy efficiency and greener technology. The energy efficiency of the uninterruptible power supplies system at the site increased from 80 percent to 92.5 percent.
The 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies award is the latest in a string of honors in 2013 for Ann Arbor-based Online Tech. In June, it was awarded a Michigan Economic Bright Spot Award for being a driving force in the Michigan economy and leading innovation. In April, the company picked up its third DiSciTech award in four years for being a leading Michigan company in the digital, scientific and technology fields. Co-CEO Ness was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Michigan and Northwest Ohio region in May and a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Automation Alley Awards Gala earlier this month.
About Online Tech
About Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies
The 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies program celebrates organizations that inspire and produce green technology to impact the industry and environment. This is the premier awards symposium that celebrates those companies that are making their businesses more sustainable, the lives of their employees better and improving the community locally and globally as a whole. The 101 Best and Brightest program provides yearlong education, benchmarking, assessment tools and interaction throughout Michigan. The 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies is co-presented by Corp! magazine and Davenport University. Additional information can be found at www.101bestandbrightest.com/sustainable.