How CtrlS is redefining its Carbon Emissions & Sustainability Strategy

The debate around how the widespread use of technology impacts power requirements across nations- both developed and developing is intensely discussed.

When over 110 countries pledged climate neutrality by 2050, it reflected how important climate change means for the governments. As world leaders met at Glasgow and more importantly decided to commit their energy and resources around Climate Change, corporates are actively following suit.

However, it is a shared responsibility that needs to be distributed among the government, corporates, and the public. While there is no denying that with increasing digital consumption, in the aftermath of the pandemic, has seen a dramatic increase in data consumption. This warrants more storage space, which means more data centres, which in turn will generate more carbon.

Continuous Steps to reduce Carbon footprint

According to the International Energy Agency, data centres consume nearly 200 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy which equals one per cent of global electricity demand. This contributes 0.3 per cent of all global CO2 emissions. With increasing need of data computation, the environmental footprint of data centres will also increase and contribute towards global warming.

CtrlS has said that it has considerably reduced CO2 emission last year by 11,360 tons. It further reduced battery waste by 77,225 kilograms and has disposed off nearly 2.35 tons of e-waste in environmentally friendly manner. This is why Asia’s largest Rated 4 data centre is the partner to over 3,500 organisations which include 60 of the Fortune 500 Global Multinationals. The company has also received CII National Award for Excellence in Energy Management, Energy Efficient Unit consecutively over last six years. As an organization, CtrlS constantly evaluates and improves its operations to create a sustainable business value chain.

Gopalakrishnan P, Managing Director, GBCI – South East Asia & Middle East Markets said, “Sustainability is embedded in the DNA of CtrlS, as the company is focused on best practices in energy management, good indoor air quality management, high performance across rainwater management, heat island reduction, water conservation and efficiency management, atmosphere and light pollution management, grid harmonisation, waste management, purchase optimisation, green cleaning, and other innovations.

All CtrlS Rated-4 Hyperscale datacenters are certified as LEED v4 O+M Platinum by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), setting a benchmark for the datacenter industry both in India and around the world.” Green Business Certification Inc, (GBCI) is the world’s leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body.

As its mission is to be zero-incident organization providing the most energy-efficient data centre solution, it has created its Noida facility in the most eco-friendly way, keeping everything from soup to nuts in mind. CtrlS Noida data centre is committed to reducing, reusing, and recycling its e-waste and educate its shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders to play their role in making the world carbon neutral.

The facility undertakes best-in-class practices to determine and implement its goals to maximize utilization of renewable energy and reduce carbon footprint. The facility operates a LEED Platinum Certified v4 O+M data center. It has also implemented more than eight energy conservation and efficiency improvement initiatives with an estimated annual savings of 13.8 Gwh.

From infrastructure to IT equipment and otherwise, every inch of a data centre considerably impacts the environment and hence data centre providers cannot stop by just committing to reduce carbon footprint. They need to take continuous steps to ensure carbon neutrality. From using eco-friendly construction materials to ensuring zero waste, data centres can be a vital game changer for environment whilst serving the clients without compromise. Such move is much needed in cities across India, which suffer from air pollution and in turn impacts productivty and strains the country’s health infrastructure.

Beyond Energy

Energy is one part of being sustainable. It all starts from the planning phase of constructing the data center. As construction is one of the major reasons of high pollution in the NCR region, CtrlS took every measure, from pre-construction, during construction to post-construction, to ensure it doesn’t add much pollutant to the environment. In the pre-construction phase, CtrlS ensured sediment basin, site barricading and topsoil preservation, while during construction, it sprinkled water to not release any dust to the environment, transported loose materials in cover, and ensured vehicle wheel washing.

As its post-construction policy, CtrlS ensured to have extensive vegetation, PWH Structures or percolation pits, and even had regular maintenance of rainwater systems. It also deployed an air-filtration plant to remove air-pollutants and related chemicals to provide clean air within its data centre facility.

The Noida facility used low-VOC paints which helps reduce the chances of severe health problem for the occupants. Natural fibre floor like bamboo, wool and cotton fiber carpets, cork and others were used for flooring purposes. This reduced the volume of concrete. CtrlS also used Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood to guarantee that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits.

The CtrlS Noida facility is built with AAC blocks that are approved eco-friendly building materials and comes from industrial waste, thereby using recycled material. The data center’s roof panels are made of composite materials such as foam or cellulose layer sandwiched between two metal sheets or two plastic sheets. Going a step further, on-site separation of waste materials was enforced for careful separation by general contractors and subcontractors.

Sushil Menon, Senior Vice President & Head IT, Satin Creditcare said, “As India’s leading microfinance company, we deliver services to around 3 million customers across India spread across 23 states, especially in the rural and semi-urban areas. Availability of our IT infrastructure and applications is critical to our business, and here is where we needed a robust data centre provider, and CtrlS was found to be the most suitable as it came with a history of 100 per cent uptime, a quake resistant data center built combined with the ability to provide pollution free air in its facility, thus protecting our hardware from corrosion, and leading to our investment protection as well. CtrlS is the only facility in North India which is both quake resistant and pollution free. We are now very confident that our data is both safe and secure at CtrlS Rated-4 data centre facility.”

Greener Strategies

CtrlS Noida data centre has adopted every measure to make the facility a greener one. From chiller plant manager to VFDs for all HVAC equipment, variable cooling system, CTI approved cooling towers, Eco mode UPS system for all mechanical systems, 100 per cent LEDs, use of motion sensors and much more, the company has adopted all possible energy efficient technologies and systems to control its carbon footprint. Nearly 70-90 per cent of rainwater is harvested at the CtrlS Noida facility.

It also has adopted water consumption reduction technologies akin to usage of low flow plumbing fixtures, dual flush WC, and waterless urinals. A responsible organization, CtrlS Noida data centre recycles 100 per cent of its hazardous waste through authorised recyclers and all its batteries.

The company is also eliminating its carbon footprint through clean energy. It has plans to renewable energy in multiple phases, which will help minimize environmental impact and move to zero-emission, zero waste, and zero pollution operations.

The company has trained its guns on eliminating carbon footprint as a responsible business entity and is building a 500 acre solar plant, plans an equivalent capacity in next 24 to 36 months to ensure the reliance on coal based thermal power is reduced and renewable energy utilization is maximized. As per reliable company sources, the company plans to shift the energy consumption to 85 per cent based on renewable energy in the short term and 95 per cent in the long run. The company believes that elimination of carbon footprint will play a key role in containing the further damage. It is also exploring new technologies to eliminate waste, optimizing e-waste, adopting recycling as a method to conserve natural resources.

Venkatesh Ganesh

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