The DTA has established a new Data Centre Panel, which will help promote sustainable practices across the data centre market and support the Government’s move towards ‘net zero’.
Replacing the previous panel established in 2014, the new Data Centre panel includes a strengthened range of measures for data centre providers to identify, manage and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. To be included on the panel, these providers had to:
- meet the requirements of the Government’s ICT Sustainability Plan1 for data centres
- comply with emission thresholds under the NGER Act
- use accredited Greenpower from renewable sources
- have a 5-star NABERS rating or equivalent environmental rating
- target a Power Use Efficiency (PUE) of less than 1.4
- have a roadmap to meet net zero emissions through innovation, planning and investment.
“This an important step in sustainable ICT procurement across government,” said Wayne Poels, General Manager for Digital Investment Advice and Sourcing. “As government expands its use of data centres to support the rapid digital transformation of our services and systems, these measures will ensure that providers are supporting our commitment to achieving ‘net zero’.”
“This is also a strong signal to the data centre market that government expects to see further investment and innovation to help drive Australia’s response to climate change.” The technical requirements for the new panel included sustainable design considerations, including the use of robotics, automation and smart sensors for facility monitoring, as well as innovative approaches to managing temperature controls in the data centre facilities available under the panel.
The DTA has mandatory reporting requirements in place to ensure that the data centre providers are addressing these sustainability measures, including environment ratings, power consumption, and what percentage of the power consumed came from a renewable power source. “This isn’t a ‘set and forget’ measure for the DTA,” said Mr Poels. “We will continue to monitor progress and work closely with buyers and sellers over the panel term to encourage significant progress towards ‘net zero’ in this space.”
The new Data Centre panel provides measures to further support compliance with the Australian Government’s Hosting Certification Framework as well as regulatory obligations under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018. The Sellers must also comply with Australian and International standards for data centres security, including but not limited to, Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework and the Australian Government Information Security Manual, helping government agencies to strengthen the security and sovereignty of their data.
The introduction of a new category: prefabricated data centre module, increases the number of data centre services available to buyers. This will give the government greater flexibility when engaging the market.
For the first time, the Data Centre Panel will be integrated into BuyICT.gov.au – the DTA online platform to streamline the ICT procurement process. This means that it will be quicker and easier for data centre providers to tender for government business, with easy-to-follow online procurement workflows for government buyers to use when approaching the market.
The Data Centre Panel (SON3945937) is live and available to able used by all Australian Government, including state and territory governments, via BuyICT.gov.au.