Hoosier-grown LightBound began from its roots over 20 years ago as Indiana’s dial-up internet service provider, and has grown to new heights as the state’s only remaining full-service provider of datacenter, internet and voice services. A large part of our corporate focus is on competing with larger regional and national service providers. How can we gain an edge, while still maintaining our reputation for superior customer support? Our latest strategic decision allows us to do both – with the added bonus of giving back to our local community.
We offer mission-critical infrastructure – datacenter co-location and Enterprise Internet Connectivity – which is a requirement for the vast majority of businesses in the state. But that infrastructure inherently requires major energy resources to keep it reliable and efficient. LightBound used over 22 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the past 12 months to power its two datacenters. Recognizing the extent of our energy load, LightBound made the decision in April 2016 to enroll in Indianapolis Power & Light Company’s Green Power Option, using renewable energy to offset 100 percent of the fossil-fueled energy usage for all our facilities.
While cost drives many business decisions, our corporate philosophy extends beyond the bottom line – social responsibility and contributing to the community we serve is a core tenet of our corporate culture. We view ourselves as a true Hoosier-grown business giving back to the community in service as well as the local environment in which we operate.
By voluntarily participating in the Green Power Option, IPL purchases renewable energy from facilities like Indiana and Midwestern wind farms via Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). As a result, LightBound helps the community avoid approximately 34 million pounds of CO2 each year. This is the equivalent of 3,321 passenger cars taken off the roads for one year. That’s a significant footprint removed from the environment – which means a healthier place to live, work and play for our customers.
We can take this corporate responsibility to heart and still provide reliable and consistent service to customers, growing our business at the same time. Our support for the local environment makes “buying local” more attractive to customers, as they see our shared commitment to respect the environment.
But renewable energy and conservation is increasingly important to businesses of all types – either to support their own business practices and culture, because they have a mutual respect for limited resources, or simply because it’s good for public perception.
As we have seen with recent growth in the tech sector in central Indiana, companies considering bringing their business – and their talent – here are seeking forward-thinking, progressive business partners and a climate that is conducive to innovation. Not just in terms of business opportunity and technology, but also in terms of how we operate our businesses. Are we stewards for our globally dwindling resources, or are we turning a blind eye to increased waste and pollution in a world that is demanding more sustainable business practices? The “who’s who” of Indiana’s tech companies have chosen LightBound in part because we fit their culture.
The results of making this strategic decision are clear: both LightBound and its customers win. New corporations coming to Indiana win by getting the highly-available infrastructure and connectivity they need without the capital expense and expertise needed to maintain that infrastructure. LightBound wins by providing services to more business consumers that demand connectivity to their employees and business partners. And everyone wins in having less emissions in the communities we operate in and more demand for renewable energy in the state, attracting future companies to a state where being environmentally conscious is a priority. And we plan to continue fueling this growth through our renewable energy commitments, perpetuating the cycle of economic development in Indiana for years to come.