Saturday, 11th July 2020

Aggreko echoes calls for pragmatic action on emission reduction

Following growing public demand for more eco-friendly policy and the publication of a Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report into the UK’s Net Zero progress, the country’s data centre sector should consider pragmatic and decisive action to lower its carbon footprint.

Recent Climate Assembly UK polling has highlighted that an overwhelming majority of Britons see the lockdown as an opportunity to tackle climate change, with 93% stating that the Government and employers should encourage emission-cutting lifestyle changes post-pandemic. According to Aggreko, these attitudes show how sustainability will be a vital national priority in the future, and follows findings from the company’s own industry research.

Specifically, Aggreko surveyed over 200 energy professionals across a wide variety of industries, finding that a resounding 96% of respondents said their company’s environmental impact was a ‘medium- to high-priority.’ However, though 82% of those surveyed confirmed they had used alternative fuels to improve sustainability, 85% still identified diesel as their fuel of choice for powering on-site equipment, showing a disconnect between thought and action.

Citing these findings and the publication of a new report by the Committee on Climate Change calling for Net Zero to be at the forefront of any post-COVID economic recovery plan, Aggreko is suggesting how the data centre sector could begin to take further steps toward lower emissions.

“Both public and policymaker opinion is coalescing behind Net Zero, and it is clear the drive to reduce emissions will only grow in prominence as time goes on,” says Chris Rason, Managing Director at Aggreko. “Yet even though the Government has set 2050 as a deadline to reach this goal, it can still seem an intimidating prospect for businesses. This can be seen in our own research, which shows that while industry’s heart is very much in the right place on Net Zero, further efforts are required to improve overall sustainability.

“However, by taking smaller initial steps and adopting more eco-friendly, sustainable technologies in the short term, organisations can set themselves on the best possible path to hit this ambitious target. Energy generation, more specifically reducing reliance on fossil fuels, represents one of the most promising areas where pronounced emissions savings can be realised.”

A number of sustainable technologies are already available for organisations looking to inch toward Net Zero. These solutions, which are identified in Aggreko’s new report, ‘Bridging the Gap to Net Zero: Solutions towards the net zero challenge,’ include Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), Gas-to-liquid (GTL), Combined Heat and Power (CHP), battery and raising the efficiency of existing technologies.

Chris concludes: “Ever since the Government passed the legislation to put Net Zero into law in June 2019, the question has gone from if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to how and when we do it. And while the coronavirus has led to disruption on an unprecedented scale, the country’s ambitions to lower emissions and reduce global warming remains undimmed.

“Achieving Net Zero will doubtlessly be difficult, and an incremental, sustained approach is vital if we are to achieve success. We hope our report, which explores the possible options for businesses looking to improve the sustainability of their operations, has a role to play in hitting these lofty targets.”

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