Is it Possible Future Government Regulation - Environmental Impact Records

Sitting in the bar last night at the Swan Hotel, the location of the Uptime Institute's Symposium 2008, I met Buck on vacation with his family from St. Louis. It turns out Buck works for Emerson Electric in procurement for electrical components, and it was a fun chat about the industry and the perspective he has sourcing around the world.  He gets an interesting economic view of things when he interacts with markets for copper, plastics, and all the components to build things data centers need to run.

One of the interesting things he mentioned is new regulations have started and are gaining more momentum, requiring companies keep records of complete chemical composition for all components used in their manufacturing process.

With possible eWaste issues for data centers on the horizon, is it possible that data centers would need environmental impacts records from their suppliers? And, then required to pass that information on as part of end life?

You may laugh, but 20 years ago when working on power supplies with Aztec, now owned by Emerson Electric, we would have never thought you would need complete records of chemical composition for a power supply.

Given large data centers are huge resource consumers run by some of the richest organizations in the world, it is easy for government regulators to create new regulations thinking data center operators can afford the costs to support an environmental impact record.