A Greener Shade of Green
Being authentically green has always been important to us at EchoSign. Going paperless for your contracts is, inherently, a more environmentally-friendly process than paper (particularly from a water standpoint), and we’re pleased to have won numerous green awards and recognition together with our customers including Aetna, CIGNA, BT, Facebook, and many others. We’re also proud to have partnered with the National Arbor Day Foundation since 2006 to plant trees on behalf of our customers.
But what about the servers themselves — and the offices where we work to build EchoSign and provide the human side of the service?
Since 2007, our servers have been “100% wind-powered” in that we’ve purchased renewable, wind-powered offsets to balance out all the energy costs of our servers, and where practical, used energy-efficient configurations at our SAS 70 Type II datacenters at our customer and partner Rackspace.
More recently, in 2010, we moved to a virtual machine environment using our customer and partner VMWare’s software which enables ~ 3x the document throughput per CPU (using quad-core systems which now image documents in parallel on each core), cutting CPU power requirements (the most energy-taxing part of our service) by almost 50%.
But even with wind-powered carbon offsets, and VMware virtualization, and paperless contracts, our headcount has grown to scores of EchoSign employees. Since 2006, we’ve been in a primarily passively cooled office in downtown Palo Alto with cinderblock walls which naturally maintains an ambient temperature 95% of the year with minimal HVAC drain.
The bottom line with Adobe and EchoSign together now, is that it gets even better.
Now, EchoSign’s offices are Platinum-LEED certified, complete with — this is pretty cool — on-site windmills (see pic above of one of them) and Bloom energy fuel-cell generators which power over 30% of on-site energy needs. Even our cafeteria (see below) only permits composting or recycling — extra work, but impactful, as 97% of waste is diverted from landfill.
We’ll need to do the full calculations here, and there’s still much more to do. But with a green product, servers, server power, and now Platinum-LEED offices, we feel like it’s all another big step in the right direction.