ESG and the Data Centre

ESG, or to give it its full title Environmental, Social & Governance, is now a key factor influencing the Data Centre industry and business in general.

Amongst other things, ESG considerations are forcing companies to demonstrate and be accountable for their actions in relation to carbon emissions and climate change. ESG strategies and associated initiatives are now critical to a business’s long-term sustainability and value in the eyes of its investors, employees, customers, the general public, and regulators.

What is ESG?

ESG frameworks set clear standards and objectives that affect a company’s operations across three key areas:

Environmental

How the company impacts the environment through its activities with regards to its energy consumption, carbon emissions, generation and management of waste, and its impact on climate change.

Social

The social criterion sets out how the company manages its relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities it operates within, including diversity and inclusion.

Governance

Governance covers the leadership of the company, how decisions are made, compliance with the law, executive pay, shareholder rights, transparency, and business ethics.

ESG determines how a company is perceived and has the potential to affect its perceived value and long-term success.

The Growth of Data Centres

Recent events have highlighted how reliant society is on technology and digital services. Data is being created, transmitted, consumed, and stored at an incredible rate.  Experts predict that the world’s demand for data will substantially grow in the next few years with some reports estimating that by 2025 around 463 exabytes (463 billion gigabytes) of data will be produced every day globally. All this data will pass through and be processed in a Data Centre, or multiple Data Centres around the world.

Data Centres consume a lot of power to run and cool IT equipment and already account for an estimated 1% of worldwide electricity usage annually; more than some entire countries use. It has been predicted that this figure could increase to up to 13% by 2030.

With many leading authorities considering that we are now entering a Fourth Industrial Revolution, building on the use of electronics and information technology to blur the lines between the physical, digital, and biological sphere, the demands placed on Data Centres will continue to grow.  Data Centre operators and users will need to find ways of balancing the demand for delivering more and more service with providing sustainable IT infrastructure, lowering carbon emissions, achieving efficiency gains, and reducing their impact on the environment as set out in ESG frameworks.

How EDP Europe can help with ESG goals

One area that Data Centres are focused on is energy efficiency and optimisation.

Designing Data Centres that are optimised for maximum efficiency has been best practice for several years with most new Data Centres designing in the most efficient mechanical and electrical systems available. Day 1 fit out is also focused on optimising the Data Centre for maximum efficiency with aisle containment systems forming part of the fabric of the white space.

Data Centre operators must also look at legacy infrastructure with a view to upgrading and optimising older environments. This can be achieved through a combination of projects ranging from UPS, CRAC upgrades or migrating to new cooling technologies (e.g., Water Cooled Racks), to non-intrusive cooling optimisation projects where retrofit solutions provide improved airflow management which enable CRAC units to be throttled down, set points increased, or even switched off completely, therefore reducing power consumption and associated carbon emissions.

For 32 years, EDP Europe has been at the forefront of providing solutions designed to optimise the efficiency of its customers’ Data Centres. We can support you with your energy efficiency initiatives and help you to achieve your environmental goals.

We design, manufacture, and install bespoke Hot (HAC) and Cold Aisle Containment (CAC) solutions, as well as providing a suite of airflow management solutions – all of which can be deployed in both new build and legacy/retro-fit environments. We will work with you to audit your Data Centre and provide recommendations for how to optimise the environment.

To find out more how EDP Europe can assist you please contact us.

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