Schneider Electric launches data centre sustainability framework

Schneider Electric launches data centre sustainability framework

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Schneider Electric has released what its describes as a 'comprehensive novel framework' for environmentally sustainable data centres.

Touted as an industry-first, the framework proposes five areas of environmental impact, which includes key metrics for data centre operators in various stages of their sustainability journeys. Using this framework, operators can mitigate the impact data centres have on the environment.

“Environmental sustainability reporting is a growing focus for many data centre operators. Yet, the industry lacks a standardised approach for implementing, measuring, and reporting on environmental impact," said Pankaj Sharma, executive vice president of the secure power division at Schneider Electric.

"Schneider Electric developed a holistic framework with standardised metrics to guide operators and the industry at large. Our intention with this framework is to improve benchmarking and progress toward environmental sustainability to protect natural resources for future generations.”

According to the report Data centres are responsible for up to 2% of the world’s carbon emissions. In order to manage the increase in digital bandwidth and IT-sector electricity demand, the industry requires a holistic and standardised approach to environmental sustainability.

In addition, growing pressure from investors, regulators, shareholders, customers, and employees is also driving the need for improved environmental-impact reporting in data centre operations.

“The data centre industry has made significant progress in increasing energy efficiency; however, as digital demands increase they must remain committed to driving long-term broader sustainability initiatives,” said Rob Brothers, program vice president for the data centre and support services Program at IDC.

"You can’t have an impact on what you don’t measure; therefore, companies must establish clear and consistent metrics that account for not only efficient technology, but also the consumption (or possible destruction) of natural resources such as water, land and biodiversity.”

Schneider Electric’s framework was developed by its Energy Management Research Centre with expertise from ESG experts, sustainability consultants, data centre scientists, and data centre solution architects to take standardise measurement and reporting.

Specifically, the framework enables data centre operators to: select impactful metrics for tracking, improve the communication and alignment with internal teams on sustainability objectives, action data to improve operations, enable regular and consistent reporting for external stakeholders, and standardise benchmarking across industry peers.

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