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Report reveals increased global interest in data centre sustainability

“As global data centre infrastructure grows in response to higher demand for digital services, so does interest in its considerable environmental impact.”


October 14, 2020
By Energy Manager Canada
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A new report by 451 Research, commissioned by Schneider Electric, captures the impact efficiency and sustainability have on the cloud and data centre service provider business.

The study, “Multi-tenant data centres and sustainability: ambitions and reality,” includes insights from a survey of over 800 data centre service providers around the globe about their perspectives on sustainability and the strategic initiatives they are deploying or may be using in the future.

For the report, 451 Research conducted surveys with IT decision makers who hold functional responsibilities over their data centre sustainability strategies within colocation and wholesale data centres. Respondents were from companies ranging in size from 10 to 10,000+ employees, and with data centre capacity from under 1MW to more than 150MW.

“Datacentre efficiency and sustainability is already a major topic in the data centre sector, and our survey shows it is high on the priority list for multi-tenant data centre service providers worldwide,” says Daniel Bizo, senior research analyst with 451 Research, in a release. “As global data centre infrastructure grows in response to higher demand for digital services, so does interest in its considerable environmental impact.”

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Key Takeaways

  1. The majority of respondents (57%) believe efficiency and sustainability will be highly important competitive differentiators in three years, a large increase from the current reading of 26%.
  2. Only 43% of respondents say they have strategic sustainability initiatives and efficiency improvements for their infrastructure.

Top drivers for efficiency and sustainability programs are:

  • Customer expectations (50%)
  • Long-term operational resiliency (40%)
  • Regulatory guidelines (36%)

97% of providers have between a few or all of their customers looking for contractual commitments to sustainable practices.

Only 56% of those surveyed said they monitor their operational systems and the remaining said they do not generate reports to track these metrics (utilization, energy consumption, PUE, etc.). In addition, roughly one third track carbon intensity at all sites.

Top focus areas for sustainability improvement include:

  • Optimizing existing data centre power distribution
  • Upgrading data centre power distribution infrastructure
  • Optimizing existing data centre cooling efficiency
  • Upgrading data centre cooling infrastructure

Download the full report from Schneider Electric:  Multi-tenant data centres and sustainability: ambitions and reality.