Recruitment shouldn’t cost the earth

John Dennehy
John Dennehy

Online recruitment software means less paper is wasted by candidates and companies. That’s good news.

At HireHive all of our server processing and storage happens in Microsoft’s Azure data centers. From an environmental point of view, this is also good: Microsoft is a carbon neutral company since 2012. But the fact remains that our application uses energy which contributes to the CO2 build up that is suffocating our planet.

We want to get to a point where recruitment doesn’t cost the earth. We’d like our carbon emissions to be as small as possible and we’d like to offset the rest through carbon sequestration projects like planting indigenous forests.

First, we need to know how much carbon our application creates. Our monthly invoice from Microsoft details everything from General Bloc Blobs, Data Injection, Bandwidth, SQL Databases, and Service Bus costs. Every cost is allocated down to the nearest cent. What we don’t have is an estimate of how much CO2 all this creates.

We asked the folks who run Azure’s support on Twitter. Here’s the response:

It’s obviously not trivial to calculate carbon emissions for a client. Somebody’s got to build the formula. If enough of us ask for this information it’s likely we’ll eventually get it. It’s not an impossible ask. If Microsoft were to provide estimates it would help companies like HireHive to come up with positive ways to offset the emissions. We take this as our responsibility.

Microsoft would, to the best of our knowledge, be the first cloud provider to provide this information. Amazon claims that carbon emissions from data centers are a factor of three things: “the number of servers running, the total energy required to power each server, and the carbon intensity of energy sources used to power these servers.” Their stated goal is to reach 100% energy from renewable sources. They’ve just passed the 50% mark. Google claims to have reached 100% renewable energy in 2017 for its global operations including data centers.

Our ask to Microsoft is simple: can you please estimate the CO2 emissions and include it on our next bill?

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