by Carolyn Harrington       16 June 2020

‘Data centers built with sustainability in mind are the solution to cost efficiency and competitiveness.’

In this day and age, a few quick taps on the screen of your smartphone is all it takes to hail a ride, make digital purchases, or facilitate just about any online transaction. We have data – the lifeblood of today’s booming digital economy – to thank for this.

The neverending demand of countries and industries for more data does not come without problems as demand for cloud services and data centers that host such services grows in tandem. Traditional data centers require massive amounts of energy to store, archive and compute information, contributing to high energy consumption and carbon emissions that have irreversible impacts on our environment.

In view of this, green data centers have emerged as crucial business solutions to mitigate the resulting adverse impacts on our environment. Why are they important and how do they contribute to a greener future?


Tougher regulations

The energy consumption of data centers is set to account for 3.2% of the total worldwide carbon emissions by 2025, according to a 2019 article by ComputerWorld. Concerns about the growing energy consumption by data centers have earned them a position on the radar of environmental groups and consequently tougher regulations set in place by governments across the world.

Take for example Beijing’s ban on data centers with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.5 or higher, or Indonesia’s Regulation No. 82 – both aimed at encouraging more efficient data centers. These are but a few examples of the mounting regulatory pressures on companies to follow a green policy. Even tech giants such as Facebook and Netflix have stated their commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their energy usage, with Facebook striving to support their facilities with 100% renewable energy in 2020. This highlights the urgent need to accelerate the pace of change in our energy systems, particularly for digital services.

What this means for businesses is that green energy practices are more important now than ever in data center management. Sustainability is an important part of this new era, and while they might be the exception rather than the rule right now, they will be commonplace in the near future as governments and corporations aim to reduce environmental impact while powering up crucial cloud services.

 

Keeping businesses sustainable and competitive

With the launch of more digital services driving greater demand for cloud services and data centers, electrical costs are bound to increase if nothing is done to mitigate the increase in resources needed to support the growth. These electrical costs in turn push up overall expenditure in digital services that rely on the most efficient infrastructure, inevitably passing on the cost burden to consumers. Furthermore, if the data center is built in an area that does not provide a stable solution of power from grid, there will be resiliency issues as they will not be able to ensure 24/7 business continuity.

Hence, data centers built with sustainability in mind are the solution to cost efficiency and competitiveness. Data centers with lower PUEs are more efficient and require less power from the grid, thereby translating to lower costs and in turn lower selling price to customers.

The growing trend of green data centers across the globe points to a concerted effort to tackle challenges in reducing energy consumption, which ultimately requires an industry effort. As more companies continue to pledge their commitment to implementing green energy practices, delivering digital services in a sustainable fashion could go a long way to benefit not just digital consumers, but more importantly, the environment.

If you would like to learn more about the innovations to build green data centers, download SpaceDC’s white paper here. You can also email if you would like to find out more about how SpaceDC can help you achieve your sustainability goals.

Carolyn Harrington
Chief Operating Officer