Why does sustainability make business sense for startups?

Pascal Condamine
4 min read

Today’s climate emergency calls for urgent solutions. If we take our industry alone, each year, the internet and its supporting systems produce 900 million tons of CO2. That’s 1-2% of total emissions. A similar global impact to that of deforestation. Reducing power consumption is our industry's #1 priority, followed closely by water conservation and waste management. To put this in perspective, a single data center can use power equivalent to a small city and requires a significant amount of water for cooling.

Our water use has multiplied by 6 over the past 100 years globally, and today, it continues to grow by 1% every year (UN, 2020). Of this total, millions of gallons of water are wasted in cooling towers in data centers, just to cool down servers.

It is up to us, the tech sector, to find solutions to limit that impact. But how can we do that without hindering financial growth? Many past attempts to find such solutions have failed because they cost too much, or can’t be reconciled with financial imperatives. In other words, they don’t make business sense. Not to mention their social impact.

Our experience, however, demonstrates that you can find a financial edge all while saving natural resources and thus, lower environmental footprint ; and that you can also give back to society whilst doing so.

For example, the fact we have Europe’s most energy-efficient datacenter, DC5, not only means we help save the planet; it also reduces our electricity bill (by up to 40% compared with a standard data center). Rather than planting trees, we at Scaleway prefer to think outside the box. Our sustainable actions have real impact because we have innovated where it counts most - energy and water use at the source. We use technology that makes sense for each and every one of our Scalers who are deeply concerned by their environmental impact. We are a key digital stakeholder, and not only do we innovate, we also guarantee the utmost quality and reliability of service.

Given the importance of sustainability for Scaleway, it was only natural that our Startup Programs support the greentech sector. Not only because greentech startups are expected to grow by 27% by 2024; but also because responsibility and sustainability are the key values of the next generation. So if your company can’t prove it’s sustainable, it won’t attract new talent… or clients, for that matter!

We, as digital players, have the opportunity to stand out as key contributors to enable modern societies and the future economy by putting transformative forces at the forefront of a fairer, more responsible and greener society. It has never been more urgent to change our habits and bring technological progress back to the forefront.

We believe that the ambitious and flourishing greentech ecosystem couldn’t be more crucial given the current climate emergency. We can use our influence to put these transformative forces at the lead of a fairer, more responsible, and greener society.

That's why we’ve partnered with the Greentech Alliance, a community of 1000+ greentech companies and 500+ top-tier VCs, media, and experts from around the world, for a special European Greentech edition of our Startup Programs.

Launched in 2020, Scaleway's Growth Stage & Early Stage Startup Programs are one of the many tools we developed to boost European and global startup ecosystems. These programs select a few outstanding companies to participate in the scheme every month. The qualified startups receive access to Scaleway's cloud tools via credits worth up to €36,000 over a 6- to 12-month period, plus training and mentoring in the fields of IT, product development, and marketing. The Startup Programs also provide participants with an invaluable opportunity to leverage Scaleway's international network of contacts.

Of course, this special edition will allow the selected startups to have access to the full package traditionally offered in our Startup Programs: state-of-the-art technology, valuable data storage solutions, cloud services, mentorship, and training for local early-stage and growth startups…

This vast array of support services will be tailored to the specific needs of each participant: everything will be focused on scaling successful greentech startups from Europe. Moreover, the benefits for the participants won't be limited to the support services. We're talking here about a shared philosophy.

As a legitimate extension of Scaleway's sustainability initiatives, the Startup Programs - Greentech edition gives the Programs a new dimension.

Scaleway is determined to be a positive force in society and to design new systems for a better future. By helping these greentech actors to develop environmentally-friendly technology, Scaleway offers them the opportunity to take control of their entire ecological chain, as well as their environmental footprint via the cloud.

We invite all of you to #ComeGreen and join us to tackle climate change.

Sustainable startups are more than welcome to join Scaleway’s Startup Programs GreenTech Edition, here!

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