Vertiv has released its Guide to Data Centre Sustainability, an online resource for data centre owners and operators seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their facilities.
According to a report by the International Energy Agency, data centres account for about 1% of global electricity demand. The report notes that the industry was able to limit the impact of capacity growth on total energy consumption prior to 2020 by improving operating efficiency. However, in 2020, global internet traffic surged by more than 40%, and Market Intelligence projects a 13% compound annual growth rate in data centre construction over the next five years. That trend, combined with increased focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, has led some operators to seek new solutions that increase equipment utilisation and drive out remaining inefficiencies, phase out water-intensive cooling technologies, and decrease their dependence on carbon-based energy sources.
“We’re seeing a sense of urgency by operators across the industry to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment, and this new resource is designed to help them do just that,” said TJ Faze, Head of ESG Strategy & Engagement at Vertiv. “The focus on operational efficiency has enabled significant improvements, but now new strategies and more intelligent systems are required to drive down emissions and water use as the industry continues to grow. As a provider of infrastructure solutions to enterprises, colocation and cloud providers, Vertiv is well-positioned to share best practices and new developments across these sectors.”
The industry movement has been led by large hyperscale operators who have set goals to become carbon neutral or carbon negative by the end of this decade. These operators are taking the lead in advancing technologies that support these goals and developing a roadmap for the rest of the industry. Many colocation providers are also moving to carbon-neutral and water-efficient operations to capitalise on market demand for data centre services that support their enterprise customers’ environmental goals. Enterprises must also address the impact of their on-premises data centres to support those goals.
“In Europe alone, over 25 European cloud and data centre operators and 17 other industry associations have signed an agreement to make their facilities carbon neutral via 100% renewable energy sources by 2030,” said Karsten Winther, EMEA President at Vertiv. “This will only be achievable if organisations implement new strategies and innovative systems that reduce the consumption of resources. Our newly launched Guide, paired with our depth of experience in providing infrastructure solutions, allows us to share best practices and new innovations from across the industry to educate these operators and help to reduce the environmental footprint of their facilities, not only in Europe, but across the globe.”