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How green is your data centre?

Not sure how sustainable a facility is? Cue DigiPlex, who has just published, ‘Will your IT withstand a sustainability review?’, a guide to help businesses assess and manage the sustainability profile of the data centres their data resides in.

 To date, the environmental damage caused by IT has been largely overlooked, but this is changing. The DigiPlex guide highlights:

  • It has been estimated that data centres and digital infrastructure could be responsible for up to 20% of the world’s electricity consumption and 5.5% of CO2 emissions within a decade.
  • One in four Scandinavian consumers would consider using the internet less to reduce environmental damage.
  • Nearly three-quarters of Scandinavians believe digital service providers should report on their energy consumption and its impact on climate.
  • The EU Commission note in their digital strategy that data centres are responsible for a significant environmental footprint, and “can and should become climate neutral by 2030.”

Data, and the digital infrastructure that supports data collection, use and storage, is essential to almost every business.

But few organisations have the frameworks and processes to accurately report on the environmental impact of the data centres their data resides in. As they use a wider range of cloud, co-located and on-premise IT facilities, many struggle to even identify where data and computing resources are located.

The DigiPlex guide, ‘Will your IT withstand a sustainability review?’ provides a compendium of research, insights and practical advice designed to help businesses assess the sustainability of their IT provision and make decisions to improve it based on industry best practice.

It includes summaries of research by leading experts including Gartner, The Uptime Institute and Harvard Business Review, as well as primary research undertaken by DigiPlex with Kantar.

The guide outlines five reasons why organisations should expect an audit of their IT’s environmental impact. It then provides three data centre areas where action can and should be taken to prepare for an audit and, more importantly, establish the metrics that can help to reduce CO2 emissions. An easy to use checklist completes the guide, which can be downloaded from DigiPlex.

DigiPlex CEO Wiljar Nesse commented, “New digital technologies have undoubtedly made the world a better place. But at the same time digitalisation has increased energy consumption. Every internet search, every streamed song and every electronic transaction consumes energy. Each individual action is tiny, but the enormous growth in digital activity now consumes massive amounts of energy.

“Our guide not only demonstrates that politicians, environmental groups and consumers are waking up to this, but provides clear, proactive steps that can and must be taken to mitigate the increasing environmental impact of digital on our planet.”

“The data economy has escaped environmental scrutiny for too long – now is the time to take responsibility for the impact of your IT on the climate, before customers, governments and regulators force you to.”

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