Eddie Schutter

Chief Technology Officer, Switch
Sustainability Executive Sponsor (#IMsustainability)
Eddie is the CTO at Switch, an Infrastructure Masons founding member / board director, and 25 year industry veteran with engineering and leadership positions in Silicon Valley’s telecom and IT industry.

Published in Issue 4 | July 30, 2020

Why did you get involved with iMasons?
Five years ago I started to realize that there were few skills, competencies, or experiences being transferred from infrastructure leaders to the next generation. Many of the leaders in the industry were aging and retiring out, and there was a shortage of engineers and technicians to backfill that talent exodus. Additionally, there was a clear lack of diversity in engineering and management, and as a father of five daughters, it is important to me that we make sure that women and under-represented talent have full access to this industry. Finally, I felt that the industry approached sustainability as sporadic efforts by individual companies targeted more at optics than achieving meaningful results.

Dean [Nelson] and I talked a lot about these challenges and how we could make a difference, give back to the industry, and enable our community to overcome these challenges. When Dean proposed that we pull together the most important and influential leaders in the digital infrastructure industry to address these issues, I wanted to be a part of it and give back.

Why is inspiring sustainability important?
It is about the inheritance that we pass on to the next generation of our industry and society. We need to accept that we are interdependent. I think of it as a sign of great wisdom when you strive to live in a way that does not negatively impact your neighbor. Sustainability is caring about how we impact the environment and natural resources, but also about the social and economic dimensions. We need to identify and act upon what really matters.

Inspiring Sustainability is one of four strategic priorities for Infrastructure Masons. This is something that is deeply personal to many of our members, including myself.

What is the IM Sustainability Strategy?
Inspiring Sustainability is one of four strategic priorities for Infrastructure Masons. This is something that is deeply personal to many of our members, including myself. Our industry continues to grow, and it is more important than ever to exercise stewardship and make sure that this growth happens in a sustainable way. Our member community is leading by example, and iMasons is supporting our members by providing a framework and platform for sharing best practices and promoting collaboration.
We are also trying to inspire our members by recognizing leaders. One example is the Sustainability Champion Award that we gave to Joe Kava of Google in Monaco last year. Joe had been personally involved in stewardship and leadership in Google for more than ten years, influencing Google and the rest of our industry to innovate and drive sustainability.

More recently, Patrik Öhlund, Chair of iMasons Sustainability Committee, led an effort to work closely with Joe and other senior industry leaders from the hyperscale community to develop a shared sustainability vision: Every click improves the future. Digital infrastructure contributes to the global economy and society without harming the planet.