Volkswagen AG Pushes its Net Carbon-Neutral Data Center Operation Goal by 2027

Volkswagen AG, a German multinational automotive manufacturer, has announced its intention to make its data center operations net carbon-neutral by 2027 through expanding its computing capabilities at Green Mountain, a Norwegian operator of CO2-neutral data centers.

In Norway, renewable energy sources account for 98.9% of electricity production, with hydropower accounting for the vast majority. Both its carbon footprint and ecological impact are negligible for hydropower. The use of power from renewable energy sources for new industries, such as climate-neutral data centers, is strongly promoted by the Norwegian government. Norway is a great site for green IT because of tax benefits, affordable energy, and stable political conditions.

With Volkswagen’s expansion, its global data center operations will operate carbon-neutrally for 25% of the time. This translates to 10,000 tons less CO2 emitted annually. All servers at Green Mountain are naturally cooled by the nearby fjord and run on 100% renewable electricity produced by hydropower.

 

 

According to Hauke Stars, Member of the Board of Management, IT and Digitalization, a major item on their ESG agenda is green IT. While technology is the primary force behind increased productivity, a better customer experience, and innovative business models, it also contributes around 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

Moreover, a sustainable IT plan with ambitious goals is essential to help Volkswagen Group gradually lower their carbon footprint given the increasing demand for computing power and data storage to support their NEW AUTO agenda. Increasing their computer capacity at Green Mountain is a powerful lever to make their data center operations carbon-neutral by 2027, as data centers are the biggest source of carbon emissions in the IT industry.

Volkswagen Group began its data center operations at Green Mountain’s RJU1-Rjukan location in Telemark, Norway, in June 2019, which marked the beginning of their collaboration. In order to free up space in Volkswagen Group’s data centers at the headquarters needed for crucial business applications, it was decided to outsource non-time-critical, high-performance computing projects like crash-test simulations. Volkswagen Group has six data centers globally, including three in Wolfsburg, two in Norway, and one in Singapore.

With the most recent addition by Volkswagen AG to Green Mountain’s SVG1-Rennesy data center, one-fourth of the Group’s overall computing power needs will be carbon-neutrally powered. This translates to 10,000 tons less CO2 emitted annually. The renewable energy utilized to run Volkswagen’s data center at Green Mountain would be enough to power 500 homes sustainably for a year.

Volkswagen AG was the first company to sign up to the Paris Climate Agreement back in 2018. The business wants to be net CO2 neutral by 2050. By 2030, the Group wants to reduce CO in its key businesses by 30%. Currently, Volkswagen AG already sources more than 90% of the external power it needs for its European production facilities from renewable sources.

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