Vice President of Energy and Sustainability at QTS Data Centers
Mechanical engineer Travis Wright studied at Marquette University, Milwaukee, starting his career in the iron and steel industries, before moving to high tech.
Wright’s passion for energy and sustainability came after seeing the impact data centres can have on the world, and, in 2018, he became heavily involved in QTS’ sustainability programme as the company's Vice President of Energy and Sustainability.
“With so many people on the planet, I think it’s important to go out and do good in the world,” Wright says. “Data centres are huge and impactful and have the ability to move the needle, so it’s paramount for me, personally, and for QTS as a business to clear the way for others, for utilities to be able to deliver power in a different way, enabling others to take advantage of that, too.”
Leadership and management
Wright has one key rule when it comes to managing: Hire great people and get out of their way.
“You can’t be a great leader without great people,” Wright explains, “so primarily, I try to ensure we have a really solid team. Throughout my career, I’ve found that when I’ve achieved this, people are more excited about their jobs as they feel empowered – they’re therefore more likely to excel in their roles. It also makes for a more enjoyable company culture.”
And company culture is just one of the aspects that Wright enjoys the most about working at QTS. “It’s not like any other company I’ve worked for in the past,” he admits.
Wright reminisced about his first week working for the company, when he saw two VPs meet and give each other a big bear hug on a construction site. “It was at this moment I realised that people at QTS don’t just work together – they actually like one another,” Wright beams. “From this, it was very clear that QTS only hires great people, who work hard, inspire each other and want to achieve great things for the planet.”
Wright explains that for Chad Williams, CEO of QTS it’s important that this culture is embedded across the company, to ensure that all employees have both the best interests of the company and society at heart.
Poignant career milestones
Over the course of Wright’s nine years at QTS, he has reached a number of milestones that he is immensely proud of. Top of the list, however, is winning the Best Initiative for Philanthropy and Corporate Giving award. “There’s no question that the team receiving such a prestigious award is top of my career achievement list,” Wright shares.
“On a personal level, I would say my crowning achievement has been launching the site in Texas. From there, I was able to come back and create a similar innovation with the sustainability programme, which is now embedded in the company.”
“It’s been amazing to see how the people that work alongside me have had such an enormous impact just on the way the company operates. When we look at some of the really big things that have happened in this company, it shows what a massive impact our sustainability programme and company culture has had on the greater business.”
“For example, when QTS was acquired by Blackstone 18 months ago, we were competing against 109 other data centres. Our leading sustainability programme matched what Blackstone wanted to do in the world, so I believe that the sustainability programme has had a huge impact on QTS, which makes me incredibly proud.”
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