Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
(World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987)
Sustainability plays an increasingly central role in all noris decisions. Therefore, we review our actions not only from an economic point of view, but also and in particular with regard to environmental and social compatibility. All our decisions must be sustainable in the long term.
Of course, we always try to drive technical innovations further, but it is precisely through this that we see the opportunity to shape our common future positively in the long term. We provide our services as environmentally responsible as possible and participate in projects that are dedicated to sustainability in the economic, environmental and social fields.
We want to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible, which is why we obtain the electricity for our data centers from renewable energy sources such as sun, wind, water and biogases.
We always purchase our hardware as reprocessed goods if it also meets our high quality standards. This means that used products are reused and no new primary resources have to be used. Additionally, this has the advantage that we can pass on the resulting lower prices to our customers for 100% functional goods. Another sustainable aspect is that one tree is planted per purchased, remanufactured switch or router.
In our newer data centers in Nuremberg and Munich, we rely on a unique, patented, modular concept for cooling with CECC (Combined Energy and Cooling Cells). This modern cooling system enables us to achieve up to 70% less energy consumption for cooling and operation. This not only reduces costs for our customers, but also protects the environment.
We also developed a highly innovative concept to use the exhaust heat in the double ceiling of the data center in Nuremberg to cool our cloud systems. We therefore call it “Cloud on Top”. In this unique concept, the otherwise unused warm air is used for special cloud hardware designed for warmer environmental conditions. In this way, we save space and at the same time increase the energy efficiency of our data centers even further – another contribution to Green IT!
In order to establish the responsible use of natural resources at noris in the long term, our Nuremberg site and the Munich East data center are certified in accordance with ISO 14001. This represents This is proof of compliance with globally recognized requirements for an environmental management system. In addition, we have been certified according to ISO 50001 at the same locations since 2020. This certification sets requirements for companies to introduce, implement and improve energy management.
Sustainable resource management
As a further step towards more resource-efficient work, we are focusing on an almost paperless office. At our office, only documents that are really needed on paper are sent out of the printer.
Unfortunately, it is still not entirely avoidable that we use batteries to supply power to small devices. This makes it even more important that they are properly disposed of. We therefore keep battery collection garbage cans for our employees in which everyone can throw in their old batteries. Even those from private use.
In the offices, instead of power-hungry beamers, we are increasingly using monitors that can also be used as electronic whiteboards. In this way we save electricity, paper for flip charts and pens.
We are also increasingly focusing on making our free drinks available as sustainably as possible. In the case of milk, for example, we are switching to getting it delivered fresh from local farmers in returnable packaging.
For a long time now, we are providing our employees with E-car charging stations to charge E-cars during working hours, free of charge and by using green electricity to save resources.
Since 2020 we are also offering charging stations for e-bikes. In combination with the possibility of a job bike, we hope to make a further positive contribution to a green world.
Furthermore, noris 2021 has decided to provide each employee with a small car with electric drive – at attractive conditions! In combination with the charging stations, this is intended to promote the move away from fossil resources.
Rosetta@home is a volunteer computing project of the University of Washington. This project uses computer resources distributed around the world and connected via the Internet to predict protein structures and binding.
The goal is to make structural predictions that can be used to develop cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and AIDS.
Particularly in the wake of the Corona pandemic, we have made some of the resources in our data centers available to contribute to the success of this project.
The European project GAIA-X was founded with the goal of providing a competitive next-generation data infrastructure to counter the classic hyperscalers, without being bound by the CLOUD Act, for example. This infrastructure is not intended to compete with existing providers, but to provide a secure and trustworthy alternative through open interfaces.
It is a joint project of Germany, France and other European participants, who are actively working on the new ecosystem in the interaction between science, economy and administration.
We are a participating player in the GAIA-X project because we too believe that further technical progress can only be sustainable if there is a secure, transparent and trustworthy data infrastructure.
The aim of the HotFlAd project is to demonstrate an innovative, sustainable cooling concept. This concept is based on the use of the exhaust heat of information technology. By combining the exhaust heat recovery with an adsorption cooling machine, it is possible to use the heat generated by the servers to cool the other air-cooled information technology in the data center. For example, storage systems, network components or even uninterruptible power supply systems can be cooled. In addition, the high temperature level of the exhaust heat allows it to be used directly for heating purposes, service water heating or for supplying local heating networks.
The general applicability for an edge computing center is being investigated in a test setup at the Research and Test Computing Center at the Hermann Rietschel Institute. Practical testing will then take place in the data center of noris networks AG as a field test. Both systems will be continuously monitored, evaluated and optimized. The results obtained will then be used by the Borderstep Institut für Innovation und Nachhaltigkeit gemeinnützige GmbH to evaluate two use cases: Use in server rooms of non-residential buildings and in compact data centers for edge solutions and 5G mobile phone applications.
The project is funded within the framework of the “Förderinitiative EnEff: Gebäude 2050” of the BMWi.
We are involved in the planning and construction of the project and provide space, power and network.
VMware Zero Carbon Committed
In 2021, VMware launched the Zero Carbon Committed partner initiative. The goal of this initiative is to reduce the CO2 emissions of clouds to 0 by 2030 and thereby be part of a more sustainable future.
Since we have been powering our data centers with renewable energy for years, we already meet this requirement as a VMware Cloud Verified partner and are therefore of course part of this initiative.