Advice on digital infrastructure sustainability

In-depth series of reports gives both data centre managers and IT operating executives the playbook for building and operating sustainable, yet resilient digital infrastructure.

Uptime Institute has introduced a new Executive Advisory report series titled “Digital infrastructure sustainability – a manager’s guide” and released the first installment: “Creating a sustainability strategy.” The new advisory series is a uniquely practical resource that owners and operators can use to establish and implement an effective sustainability strategy.

The launch of this comprehensive executive advisory series is the latest step in Uptime’s longstanding and expanding program to inform, guide and support sustainability efforts within the sector – and it comes at a critical time for digital infrastructure operators. Governments worldwide are beginning to establish new regulations and promulgate new policies to discourage unsustainable data center growth, drive procurement of low-carbon data center services, and move toward net-zero carbon emissions goals.

However, research by Uptime clearly shows that most organizations have not put in place many of the strategies, processes and controls they will need to meet all stakeholder expectations and legislator demands. According to Uptime’s 2021 Global Data Center Survey, most organizations tend to only compile and report on power-related sustainability metrics, while far too few are tracking other key elements such as water use (just 51%), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (just 33%), and IT efficiency (just 25%).

The first report in the series, “Creating a sustainability strategy,” defines the key elements to include in a sustainability strategy, the actions necessary for a successful implementation, and the processes required to measure progress against goals and objectives. Download an executive summary of the report and register for the accompanying webinar on Tuesday, May 10th at 9:00 a.m. PDT here.

The complete series of six reports takes managers through the key areas that must be addressed in an environmental sustainability strategy, ranging from creating the strategy, reducing energy consumption, buying renewable energy, tracking and reporting carbon emissions, managing water consumption, and equipment reuse and recycling. The advisory series also provides guidance on compliance with and the adoption of critical standards and legislative initiatives, many of which are both confused and confusing.

“As sustainability requirements become more demanding, digital infrastructure operators must be prepared with a comprehensive, actionable sustainability strategy,” said Andy Lawrence, founding member and executive director, Uptime Intelligence.

“This advisory series is a “how-to” guide to implementing effective environmental sustainability initiatives that span all facilities and IT operations and address the needs of all stakeholders inside and outside the organization,” said Jay Dietrich, research director of sustainability, Uptime Intelligence

and lead author of the report series.

Uptime has been advising operators of digital infrastructure on sustainability and efficiency since 2007, the year of the first Uptime Institute Green Data Center forum. Through its Sustainability Consulting Services and related offerings, Uptime advises some of the world’s largest digital infrastructure owners and operators, many vendors and equipment manufacturers, regulators and policymakers to help the sector design, build and operate digital infrastructure sustainably—without compromising resiliency.

UPCOMING REPORTS IN THE SERIES:

“Reducing the energy footprint” – The first objective of a sustainability plan is to minimize energy use through efficiency measures. Further benefits will be realized by replacing electricity from nonrenewable sources with renewably generated energy.

“Tackling greenhouse gases” – Operators of digital infrastructure must have a greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal that takes into account Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions — and they must report these reductions in accordance with agreed policy.

“IT efficiency: the critical core of digital sustainability” – A digital sustainability strategy should incorporate both the facilities and IT operations, even for colocation operators. This report covers strategies, software tools and metrics that can help drive up IT efficiency.

“Navigating regulations and standards” – Critical digital infrastructure is subject to an expanding set of regulations, directives and standards, with varying levels of maturity and acceptance. Most are voluntary, but more are becoming mandatory.

“Three sustainability elements: water, the circular economy and siting” – This report discusses three important elements of the sustainability strategy: water use; siting, including design and certification; and reuse, disposal, and recycling. Addressing these elements can significantly reduce the environmental impact of digital infrastructure.

“Glossary of digital infrastructure sustainability” – This document explains the key terms used by those defining, regulating, and applying digital infrastructure sustainability strategies.

Uptime Institute’s 2022 Global Data Center Survey findings highlight the growing, industry-wide need to achieve meaningful efficiency gains, evolve sustainability reporting practices, prevent costly outages and more.
Project represents the first time heat reuse technology has been retrofitted to a data center in Norway to supply capital city with reutilized, emission-free district heating.
According to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group, the US cloud hyperscalers—Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft—increased data center capex by 45 percent in 2Q 2022, propelling global data center capex to new heights. However, demand pullback is anticipated among certain Chinese and Tier 3 US cloud service providers and select enterprise verticals.
OVHcloud inaugurates its new datacentre in Strasbourg: SBG5.
Yondr Group is to develop a number of data center facilities in Berlin, Germany. The first phase of the project, located in the municipality of Ragow, is expected to deliver 10MW of capacity and is expected to be ready for service in 2024. When fully developed, the data center campus will have a total capacity of 42MW.
Keysource, the global data centre design, consultancy and operations specialist, and Chapmanbdsp the global built environment specialist, have formed a partnership that creates a new offer to support clients on the road to net zero carbon emissions in the data centre and critical infrastructure market.
Leveraging Schneider Electric’s prefabricated data centre infrastructure, with remote access, brings power efficient, faster, and more reliable connectivity to regional Australia.
Principal Real Estate, the real estate investment team for Principal Global Investors®, has acquired the first asset of the Principal European Data Centre Fund I (the Fund). Principal also recently completed the second capital raise for the Fund, bringing total equity investments to €205 million.