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Member of the Month October 2019: Switch Utilizes 100% Renewable Energy to Power Its Data Centers in Michigan and Beyond

Editor’s note: The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Member of the Month designation recognizes a Chamber member working to grow the regional economy through innovative leadership in alignment with the Chamber’s programs or policy agenda.

Switch was named the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Member of the Month for October because of its commitment to sustainability and use of locally-generated 100% renewable energy to power its data centers, including its Pyramid Campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Switch has been widely recognized as a leader in sustainability. Greenpeace ranked Switch the highest in the world for sustainability among technology companies, and the company achieved all A’s in their 2017 Clicking Clean Report. In September 2019, Switch also received national recognition for its green leadership from the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) when it received the 2019 Green Power Leadership Award.

Switch, a global technology company, develops and operates the world’s highest-rated data centers, and provides colocation, cloud services, telecommunications and content ecosystems. Switch was founded in 2000 by Rob Roy, with sustainability in mind. Switch is committed to ensuring the “data that runs the planet, does not ruin the planet.”

Today, Switch is known “as a world leader in the design and operation of sustainable data centers” with North American operations in Las Vegas, Tahoe Reno, Atlanta, and Grand Rapids. Switch’s clients include FedEx, Box, Amazon, eBay, MGM as well as several leading Michigan based companies.

“One of the key principles for Switch when we expand to other states, including Michigan, is to sustain on locally generated 100% renewable energy,” said Adam Kramer, Executive Vice President of Strategy for Switch.

In 2015, Switch helped to create Nevada’s first green tariff, allowing businesses in the state to purchase renewable energy. Three years later, Switch partnered with Consumer’s Energy and worked with the State of Michigan to also approve a green tariff. “The tariff is the first of its kind in Michigan,” said Kramer.

The Pyramid Campus located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is Switch’s iconic data center that will have a capacity of up to 1.8 million square feet of data center space upon completion. “Switch has used clean energy in Michigan since day one,” Kramer said. He continued, “Energy use is the nature of our business. Switch uses power 24 hours, 7 days a week. The internet never turns off. No other data center in the state is doing what we have accomplished.”

In addition, Switch publishes reports on its energy consumption and emissions. “We publish these reports to ensure that everyone can validate our claims, and to inspire others to use renewable energy,” said Kramer.