Tech companies and data centre operators will likely be very familiar with these buzz words: “sustainability”, “climate neutrality”, and “carbon reduction”.
According to the International Energy Agency, data centres consume nearly 1% of global electricity demand and contribute to 0.3% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
Although data centres are often viewed as significant contributors to carbon emissions around the world, it is undeniable that demand for data centre services will only increase as more individuals and corporations embark on digital transformation efforts.
As such, stop-gap measures, such as government imposition of data centre moratoriums, are not likely to be viable in enhancing data centres’ sustainability in the long-run. Data centres will need to implement actionable plans to lower their carbon footprint.
Many data centre companies have responded to this challenge by taking concrete actions to innovate and position themselves as climate neutral agents acting for, rather than against, the environment.
How can data centre operators strike a balance between meeting the inevitable growing demand for data centre services, and lowering environmental costs of data centre operations?
Carbon reduction is a significant component of data centre operators’ sustainability goals, and could potentially go a long way in reducing data centres’ environmental costs.
What Does ‘Carbon Reduction’ Actually Entail?
Simply put, carbon reduction refers to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions which result from technology use in data centres. However, there are different strategies and innovations which corporations and data centre operators have adopted to reach their goal of carbon reduction.
Enterprises in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) have been reducing their carbon footprint by relying on colocation facilities to support their cloud-based services, instead of constructing their own data centres. By sharing data centre facilities with other companies, users may save costs while reducing underutilisation of space and lowering energy wastage.
Furthermore, as data centres’ customers have become more environmentally-conscious, data centres have also enhanced their competitiveness by assuring customers of their carbon reduction strategies. For instance, many firms have assured their customers that they will be increasing adoption of renewable energy to support their data centre operations and lower their carbon footprint.
With the anticipated global boom in demand for data centre services, transitioning to renewable energy is a necessary, but insufficient step towards long-term carbon reduction in data centre operations.
Hence, data centre operators should not merely view carbon reduction as a fixed target, but a comprehensive, actionable process. Data centre operators should not only be satisfied with staying below established limits for carbon emissions. Instead, they must support the integration of renewable energy within data centre operations, by continuing to develop new solutions, such as innovative cooling technology or energy efficient fuel cells.
“Carbon Reduction” will be a key topic of conversation at the W.Media Asia Pacific Cloud & Datacenter Awards programme, where enterprise users and industry experts will come together to share their insights and opinions on carbon reduction projects in data centres. If you are interested in nominating or sponsoring, visit our Awards page for more information. Nominations are open until 31st July 2022.