This blog has been co-written by Michail Clutter, Andrew Fanara, and Dave Cox
When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, others build windmills -- Chinese Proverb
The data center operations team is right in the middle of a big, global trend changing how data centers will operate. The catalyst? Your customers, management, and regulators increasingly demand more timely and accurate information about your facilities’ energy and water use. A concern highlighted recently in a Schneider Electric survey, which had 87% of respondents saying sustainability is moving up their company’s agenda.
It’s no coincidence that this trend has your customers scrutinizing your license to operate. They not only rely on your facilities for their digital needs, but they’re also feeling pressured by customers to green their business and supply chain. Prominent investors in the data center industry embrace the notion that a data-driven sustainability strategy can reduce operating costs, improve profit, and build customer loyalty. Fully, one-quarter of all assets under management are now run by institutional investors that use sustainability criteria to measure their potential investments in companies.
As a result, more data center operators are promoting their sustainability credentials out of competitive necessity. In Europe, you’re likely to get a European Commission directive to reign in the consumption of natural resources used by the data center and telecom sectors. In anticipation, leading companies are even getting on an aggressive path to zero carbon goals.
Sustainability is more than a reflection of a company’s values; sustainable thinking and strategy are becoming how organizations innovate and discover new business VALUE to prepare for a more volatile, uncertain future. More companies apply a sustainability lens to their data centers’ life cycle to buffer against reputational and financial risk. Along the way, they’re developing essential data management skills to uncover the most cost-effective ways to lessen environmental impact, build resilience, and increase profit.
What does all this mean for a data center operations team? Primarily what’s coming down the path is an increase in the number and complexity of sustainability data requests from stakeholders. The good news is that with a well-implemented data management solution you can have the in-house capabilities to respond to these information requests in a timely and accurate manner.
A data center operations team can meet its organization’s sustainability reporting needs by calculating the PUE, water, and carbon metrics for their facilities. Regularly calculating your metrics, will meet stakeholder demands for improved transparency and accuracy, while also benchmarking your facilities to help your management set realistic and trustworthy goals for improvements.
Sustainability demands are bringing the winds of change to the data center industry. Soon deep electrical grid integration, AI for predictive maintenance, energy storage, and zero waste in construction will enter the mainstream sustainability discussion. But to get started, contact Casne today to learn how your team can build its data management skills to stay agile and start tracking your PUE, water, and carbon sustainability metrics.
In next week’s blog, we will take a look at finding Power Usage Effectiveness in a data center, and common mistakes we see many make while calculating it.
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