Climate change

Cloud and data centre giants create Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact

21 January 2021 | Abigail Opiah

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One year after the adoption of the European Green Deal, cloud infrastructure providers and data centre operators have created the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact.

Twenty-five companies and 17 associations have agreed to a Self Regulatory Initiative to make data centres in Europe climate neutral by 2030.

Companies joining the Pact are key players in cloud infrastructure and data centres in Europe. 

This has been labelled as a historic and unprecedented commitment by an industry to proactively lead the transition to a climate-neutral economy.

Cloud providers and data centres companies include Altuhost, Aruba, Atos, AWS (Amazon Web Services), CyrusOne, Data4, DigiPlex, Digital Realty/Interxion, Equinix, FlameNetworks, Gigas, Google, Ikoula, Ilger, Infloclip, Irideos, ITnet, LCL, Leaseweb, NTT, OVHcloud, Register, Scaleway, and Seeweb.

Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal said, "Citizens across Europe use ever more technology to go about their daily lives and want this technology, also to help secure a sustainable future for people and planet.

“Today's pledge from important parts of the data industry constitutes a promise to society and offers a welcome first step towards achieving our common ambitions for a smart and sustainable future."

Trade associations include EUDCA, the European Data Centre Association, Cloud28+, Cloud Community Poland, Danish Cloud Community, Datacenter Industrien, Data Centre Alliance, Dutch Data Center Association, Dutch Hosting Providers Association, Eco - Alliance for strengthening digital infrastructures in Germany, EuroCloud Croatia, EuroCloud France, France Datacenter, Host in Scotland, IKT-Norge, ISPConnect, and TechUK.

Alban Schmutz, Chairman of CISPE (Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe) said, "With cloud infrastructure the backbone of the European Union's digital economy, our industry is committed to the idea that we must all play a central role in addressing climate change.

“This commitment underpins a roadmap for Europe's cloud infrastructure industry to offer climate neutral services to customers by 2030."

The Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact establishes a Self Regulatory Initiative, which has been developed in co-operation with the European Commission.

It supports both the European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050, and the European Data Strategy by making EU data centres climate neutral by 2030.

"Data centres are the supporting pillars of the fourth industrial revolution and, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, are essential infrastructure of not only the digital economy but of the entire global economy,” said Apostolos Kakkos, Chairman of EUDCA (European Data Centre Association).

“It is our duty to commit to a self-regulatory initiative that will help to ensure the operational availability, sustainability and the future of our industry."

It commits signatories to ensure their data centres are climate neutral by setting ambitious measurable targets for 2025 and 2030 in the following areas:

  • Prove energy efficiency with measurable targets
  • Purchase 100% carbon-free energy
  • Prioritise water conservation
  • Reuse and repair servers
  • Look for ways to recycle heat

Progress towards achieving climate-neutral data centres will be monitored by the European Commission twice a year.