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‘Sustainability a priority’, data centre leaders say

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Sustainability is becoming a primary driver for data centre site selection, design, build and operations according to data centre thought leaders.

JLL recently brought together top data centre executives to discuss the main factors affecting the industry at its 2022 Data Center Forum, held in Park City, Utah.

At the event, Brian Kortendick, JLL executive director for global data centre strategy said: “Sustainability is at the forefront of industry challenges, we all, together, need a concentrated effort to develop new concepts, practices and innovative approaches to achieve sustainability goals.”

Data centres have high initial carbon output, meaning their owners have an obligation to invest in sustainable ways of doing business.

Before the event, though, 96% of 50 JLL clients said they had defined sustainability goals, but only 19% have publicly committed funded execution plans.

“Whether self-regulated through something like the iMasons Climate Accord or more strictly regulated through the SEC in the U.S. and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive in the EU, the industry will soon have much more robust need for sustainability assessment, accounting, reporting and monitoring,” said Sean Farney, JLL executive director for data centre strategy and innovation.

Because the data centre industry is able to continually adapt and improve, it can excel at sustainable operations.

Companies must first assess their entire mechanical and electrical plant and take advantage of reliability-based maintenance that structures asset replacements and investments toward operational objectives.