4 Factors Driving Data Centers to More Sustainable Operations

Feb. 14, 2022
A new white paper from Schneider Electric explores four key factors that are driving data centers to more sustainable operations: Colocation tenant requirements, Government regulations, Business value and ESG investment.

A new white paper from Schneider Electric explores four key factors that are driving data centers to more sustainable operations.

Get the full report.

Data center colocation providers are expanding their focus from improving energy efficiencies to achieving wider sustainability goals, according to a new white paper from Schneider Electric. The authors say that these changes to implement renewable energy and reduce water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste are driven by four key factors: “1) Colocation tenant requirements; 2) Government regulations; 3) Business value; and 4) ESG investment.”

The first driver outlined by the authors is the demand for sustainability commitments from colocation tenants. The paper cites 451 Research data that says 30% of colocation tenants “want to see contractually binding strong efficiency and sustainability commitments” while 44% of tenants “expect efficiency and sustainability clauses in the contract.” The authors note that many of these colocation tenants have made net-zero pledges and to achieve these goals their colocation providers must help them to reduce their scope 1-3 emissions.

Changing government regulations are also driving colocation providers to more sustainable operations. Schneider cites examples of regulations that will phase down or phase out the use of many refrigerants that have a high global warming potential. They also present a table of potential regulations in the US, EU, China, and Singapore that could impact data center environmental sustainability.

The third driver discussed by the paper is business value. The authors note that “becoming sustainable can give companies a competitive advantage and have a material impact on reputation and brand value which, among other benefits, helps attract and retain current customers and investors.”

Investments in forward-looking technologies, such as liquid cooling, energy re-use systems, and hydrogen fuel cells, communicate a focus on sustainability. – Schneider Electric, “Why Data Centers Must Prioritize Environmental Sustainability: Four Key Drivers

The fourth factor driving colocation data center providers to more sustainable operations is that “directly aligning a business to ESG initiatives opens up investment capital and investment focus.” Investors are increasingly using ESG-related criteria to evaluate potential investments, something that the authors believe will continue to grow.

Download the full report to learn more about the four key factors that are driving data centers to more sustainable operations.

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