Why Data Centres Are The New Frontier In The Fight Against Climate Change

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As we continue to generate more data than ever before, how can we stop the data centres that house this information from destroying the planet?

As a growing number of organisations seek to become major players in today’s data-driven economy, the data centre remains one of the most important pieces of business infrastructure. However, as the ice caps continue to melt at an alarming rate, is it really possible to sustain energy-guzzling data centres whilst trying to save the planet?

On May 1, 2019, the UK government approved a motion to declare a climate emergency. In the preceding weeks, children had been taking part in ‘school strike for climate’ marches, while Extinction Rebellion dominated headlines with high-profile protests to raise awareness around the consequences of climate inaction. July of 2019 was the warmest month ever observed worldwide and satellite images were released showing large parts of the Arctic, Greenland, Siberia and Alaska suffering from wildfires.

While most climate change activists are focused on limiting emissions from the automotive, aviation and energy sectors, it’s the communications industry that is on track to generate more carbon emissions than all of the aforementioned sectors.

gradient-quote Organisations [need to] lead with an energy-efficient design from the onset, adopt the latest in building technology and influence the overall supply chain for the actual sourcing of materials for these buildings. By establishing proactive sustainability and efficiency measures at inception, leveraging the latest technology these companies can ensure that the facility can be operated, maintained, repaired and refurbished easily, moving into a more circular use of materials and smarter, cleaner way of consuming energy and water. gradient-quote-right
Ian Whitfield, CEO of RED Engineering

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