Chindata to explore zero-carbon data centres under UN initiative

09 September 2021 | Melanie Mingas

Cover

Chindata Group is to "proactively explore" the development of zero-carbon data centres after becoming the first digital infrastructure participant in the UN's Global Compact initiative.

United Nations Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and currently counts 13,000 organisations and corporate participants from more than 170 countries.

As the first digital infraco to join the initiative in the Asia-Pacific region, Chindata Group will also look at the adoption of white-box model equipment manufacturing and "the transformation of data centres as the foundation of the digital economy".

The developments followed the news late last year that Chindata Group will be the first company in China’s internet industry to commit to 100% renewable-powered solutions by 2030.

Confirming its participation, Chindata Group said: "Through its involvement, Chindata Group will work with other members to promote a shared global vision, including delivering on the United Nations’ SDGs. This move extends Chindata Group’s commitment to achieve the inclusive and sustainable development of digital infrastructure."

Founded and headed by Alex Ju (pictured) Chindata operates data centre under two brands. Chindata covers hyper-density IT cluster infrastructure in Greater Beijing, the Yangtze River Delta and the Greater Bay Area – three key economic areas in China. Meanwhile, Bridge Data Centres owns deployable data centre clusters in Malaysia and India and seeks business opportunities in other emerging APAC markets.

Chindata's 2030 Carbon Neutral Roadmap, which mandated that all of its next-generation hyperscale data centres in China will use 100% renewable energy solutions by 2030, was launched last December. It committed to an installed capacity of "no less than 2GW by 2030".

This announcement followed the signing of renewable energy contracts with local governments, such as Datong and Zhangjiakou of China, totaling 1300 MW of installed capacity.

At the time the firm said: " While catering to clients' computing power needs, Chindata Group adopts a unique site selection strategy, putting energy as a key factor. Generally speaking, most of its hyperscale data centers are located in a region with rich wind and solar resources, making it possible to fully absorb local surplus wind and solar energy. In 2019 alone, Chindata Group has achieved a portfolio renewable energy mix of 37%."