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Carbon-neutral by 2030 and LEED Gold data centres – STT GDC goes green

Bruno Lopez resized.jpg

Singapore's ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC) has made a series of ambitious climate-related pledges, including a net carbon-neutral target of 2030 and LEED Gold certification for all new data centres.

Although the net zero goal was announced earlier this year, the pledges were made in STT GDC's inaugural ESG Report, released this week, which covered decarbonisation; safe and inclusive workplaces; and ethical and responsible operations.

“Climate issues are a rising concern for many businesses and consumers," said Bruno Lopez (pictured), president and group CEO, STT GDC.

"As Singapore pushes the envelope on sustainable development, it is imperative for the ecosystem to come together to make a collective impact and bring positive change. Sustainability has always been a core priority for our business and we have pledged to be carbon-neutral in our data centre operations by 2030. The CIX Alpha Auction represents an exciting opportunity for us to make a difference as part of our overall global ESG strategy and we are excited to join forces with other like-minded organisations to strengthen the marketplace and spearhead lasting change for future generations,” Lopez continued.

Earlier this year, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) blocked the development of further facilities after a sharp increase in total capacity and applications for new builds. MTI said data centres accounted for about 7% of the country’s total electricity in 2020.

People and Planet

Highlighting how it will play its part in the future, STT GDC set out its goals under energy efficiency, green buildings, water stewardship, diversity, labour rights and talent development.

It has pledged to transition its data centre operations to be net carbon-neutral by 2030 and all Newly constructed buildings will be LEED Gold certified as a minimum. In Thailand, STT GDC built the first LEED Gold data centre, whereas in Singapore, it achieved both LEED Gold and BCA-IMDA Green Mark Platinum certifications for the STT Loyang data centre.

Having already drawn on carbon-free energy for 43% of its operational needs this year, energy supply is under review across the global footprint.

At the STT Loyang data centre, a 2,000 m2 rooftop solar PV system has been installed and additional renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) have been signed to increase renewable energy use from 32% to 51% across the India business in the coming years. In the UK, the company has renewed and expanded contracts to procure 100% renewable energy.

Surprisingly, on water there were no specific reduction targets, however STT GDC did state that it "regularly implements water usage efficiency programs such as non-chemical treatment of the cooling tower at its STT Tai Seng data centre in Singapore, which allowed an estimated 7,300 m3 of environmentally friendly water to be discharged into the sewerage system without polluting the environment."

In India, STT GDC pioneered a reverse osmosis plant in Chennai, allowing 40 kilolitres of blowdown water to be reused each day.

More positive was the progress on gender diversity and representation with STT GDC reporting 32% female representation across the management team last year. In India this year the firm launched the STT GDC India Centre of Excellence, providing career pathways for local students and upskilling industry talent.

Further achievements were disclosed for labour and safety with 10.4 million accident-free construction hours recorded across its construction projects.

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