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Ireland’s datacentre industry launches pro-pollinator plan to boost bee population

Host In Ireland leads efforts to encourage datacentre operators to help boost biodiversity at their sites by making them more hospitable to bees and other pollinators

Ireland’s datacentre industry is embarking on a concerted biodiversity push to support a country-wide campaign to reverse the decline in the country’s native bee population.

The initiative is being overseen by Host In Ireland as a show of its support for the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s five-year All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, which sets out a series of actions that Irish businesses and consumers can take to encourage bees and other natural pollinators to thrive.

One of these actions is to encourage businesses to make their private land more pollinator-friendly, and in response to this request, Host In Ireland has published its 20-page DCs for Bees Pollinator Plan, which outlines steps that datacentres can take to make their sites more hospitable for pollinators.

“The DCs for Bees Pollinator Plan, backed by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, has been developed specifically for the datacentre industry, and includes a toolkit of pollinator-friendly actions to make Ireland more pollinator-friendly and ensure the survival of our pollinators for future generations,” said the report.

Actions that the industry can take to support pollinators are split into outdoor and indoor initiatives, with the former featuring recommendations for datacentre operators to safeguard any existing green spaces they have on their sites, and to take steps to rewild them, for example by reducing the frequency at which lawned areas of their sites are mown to encourage wildflowers to grow.

Operators are also encouraged to plant “pollinator-friendly” bulbs, trees, shrubs and flowers in any “under-utilised” outdoor spaces that they have onsite in pots, hanging baskets and window boxes, and to provide nesting habitats for bees and other pollinators.

As for indoor initiatives, the plan recommends that operators encourage their supply chain partners to do their bit to support pollinators, and throw their weight behind the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.

The DCs for Bees Pollinator Plan has won the support of Host In Ireland’s 40 datacentre industry partners, which include colocation giants Equinix, Interxion and CyrusOne, as well as major players in the server farm design and equipment manufacturing space, such as Schneider Electric, Rittal and Vertiv.

Read more about datacentres and the environment

“We have pledged to deliver on actions to make Ireland more pollinator-friendly, and ensure the survival of our pollinators for future generations,” said Garry Connolly, founder and president of Host In Ireland, which was set up to encourage overseas investment in the country’s datacentre sector.

“This blueprint will help the largest and smallest of companies in the Irish datacentre ecosystem to take long-term action and provide guidance on how to make a bigger impact with their global organisations.

“We hope our example opens the floodgates for other industries to join in and make a difference.”

Matt Pullen, managing director for Europe at CyrusOne, said the initiatives Host In Ireland is encouraging datacentre operators to get involved with are simple to do and could make a huge difference.

“The specific plan of action in the DCs for Bees Pollinator Plan makes it easy to roll out across our company and gives our employees a tangible way to give back to our community,” he said.

“As with our broader involvement in Host in Ireland, being a part of a collective provides an opportunity to have a bigger, longer-lasting impact. For something as important as Ireland’s biodiversity, we are very proud to be a part of this programme.”

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