Schneider Electric has released a comprehensive novel framework for environmentally sustainable data centres.
The industry-first framework proposes five areas of environmental impact inclusive of key metrics for data centre operators in various stages of their sustainability journeys.
By leveraging the framework, operators can mitigate the impact data centres have on the environment, the company states.
On the rationale behind the framework, Schneider Electric states, data centres are responsible for up to 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, equivalent to that of the airline industry.
To contend with an increase in digital bandwidth and IT-sector electricity demand, the industry demands a holistic and standardised approach to environmental sustainability.
Schneider Electric executive vice president secure power division Pankaj Sharma says, “Environmental sustainability reporting is a growing focus for many data centre operators.
“Yet, the industry lacks a standardised approach for implementing, measuring, and reporting on environmental impact.
“Schneider Electric developed a holistic framework with standardised metrics to guide operators and the industry at large. Our intention with this framework is to improve benchmarking and progress toward environmental sustainability to protect natural resources for future generations.”
IDC program vice president for the Datacenter and Support Services Program Rob Brothers says, “The data centre industry has made significant progress in increasing energy efficiency; however, as digital demands increase they must remain committed to driving long-term broader sustainability initiatives.
“You can’t have an impact on what you don’t measure; therefore, companies must establish clear and consistent metrics that account for not only efficient technology, but also the consumption (or possible destruction) of natural resources such as water, land and biodiversity.”
Mounting pressures from investors, regulators, shareholders, customers and employees also drive the need for improved environmental-impact reporting in data centre operations, Schneider Electric states.
However, many data centre operators lack sustainability expertise and face a daunting task of determining what metrics to track and strategies to implement.
Schneider Electric’s framework was developed by its Energy Management Research Center leveraging expertise from ESG experts, sustainability consultants, data centre scientists, and data centre solution architects to take the guesswork out of measurement and reporting.
The Energy Management Research Center was established in 2002 and has developed more than 200 vendor-neutral whitepapers and trade-off tools available for free to the industry.
Tracking and reporting on standardised sustainability metrics helps drive internal team alignment improvements and increases transparency for external stakeholders, including customers and regulators, the company states.
Implementing this framework also allows data centre operators to:
Remove the difficulty of selecting impactful metrics for tracking
Improve communication and alignment with internal teams on sustainability objectives
Act on the data to improve operations
Enable regular and consistent reporting for external stakeholders (investors, regulators, potential employees, etc.)
Standardise benchmarking across industry peers around the globe
Schneider Electric works with technology companies and colocation providers to design, build, operate and maintain facilities. It operates as a digital partner that offers solutions for power, building, IT and sustainability facets of the business.
About Schneider Electric
Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.
Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency.
We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.
We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.