Data Center Growth Depends on Sustainability

The data center industry is booming, but sustainability will need to be adopted in facilities globally for this success to continue.
improve the sustainability of their operations to keep up with growth. Many parts of the world do not have the resources to run these facilities, but thanks to evolving sustainability practices, this is now changing. This means using less carbon-intensive materials, like algae to make bricks or mushrooms to make structural tubes

Eventually, there will be blowback on current data operations, and a significant loss can be faced if eco-friendly efforts are not in place. This has led to the steady adoption of environmental, social, and governance sustainability efforts in businesses and everyday life.

A need for ESG

ESG, which refers to environmental, social, and governance, has become more common than ever before. Over 2,000 companies have recognized the need for more sustainable data centers and now issue sustainability reports. In these reports, companies set science-based carbon target goals, and about one-third of companies in the UK have pledged that their organization will reach net zero by 2050. Events such as global climate talks falling short, an explosion of ESG in the mainstream, and problems with supply chains have put more focus on sustainability across various industries, especially the data center industry.

The call for ESG is not expected to end anytime soon with the rise of movements bringing attention to the need for sustainability in operations. This has led to increased standards and regulations affecting how data centers operate and how data center companies should build their facilities. With the growth of data centers throughout the world, current facilities will need to be transitioned into sustainable facilities, and new data centers must be constructed with ESG in mind. Any company can create an ESG strategy by taking steps including setting company goals for sustainability and success, evaluating opportunities, building a budget and constructing an ESG framework, creating a sustainability team, and promoting sustainability performance to further (and monitor) ESG efforts.

Incorporating more sustainability into data centers

The need for sustainability in every aspect of life, especially data centers, is undeniable. If data centers want their company to grow into the future, they need to scale their operations to reduce water and focus on their net-zero efforts to be most successful. With hyperscale leaders in the industry such as AWS, Google, and Microsoft creating more data centers with sustainability in mind, the rest of the world must keep pace. While not every company can develop new sustainable technologies in the way companies like Microsoft have, organizations can introduce multiple sustainability efforts into their operations with minimal strain.

These can include measures like recycling equipment and getting the most out of their daily operations. Certain pieces of hardware must be adapted for the best performance, but many pieces of equipment can be recycled and reused in data centers for years.

Data centers can adjust the air conditioning to 78. This enables optimal temperature—any lower is not beneficial to heat reduction. Reducing or eliminating the need for in-facility chillers by building with the natural environment in mind can also reduce energy costs.

Incorporating renewable energy such as solar panels or even running generators on solar energy cuts down on pollution and the costs spent on fuel. Even if data centers can't go completely renewable, replacing a few gas generators with clean energy has a noticeable impact on sustainability and costs.

Data growth via sustainability

The data center industry is booming, but sustainability will need to be adopted in facilities globally for this success to continue. As it’s becoming increasingly expensive to manage data in-house, many companies are switching operations to the cloud, driving an increase in outsourcing to data centers. With the data center market expected to reach over $69 billion by 2024, sustainability is the only way to continue data success into the future and to keep our environment safer.


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