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Uptime Institute supports datacentre operators with honing their sustainability strategies

In the wake of research highlighting the patchy progress operators have made to-date on sustainability initiatives, the Uptime Institute debuts series of reports to help the datacentre sector improve its environmental standing

Datacentre resiliency think tank The Uptime Institute is releasing a series of reports to guide digital infrastructure owners and operators through the steps they can take to minimise the environmental impacts of their operations.

The organisation plans to publish six reports in total, which are being rolled out to help infrastructure managers plot their own path to operating sustainably, in the face of growing regulatory and governmental pressure on datacentres to curb their carbon emissions and energy use.

The reports come hot on the heels of various pieces of research and advisory documents The Uptime Institute has previously published, geared towards helping operators get to grips with the changing regulatory landscape around environmental issues and sustainability.

“Governments worldwide are beginning to establish new regulations and promulgate new policies to discourage unsustainable datacentre growth, drive procurement of low-carbon datacentre services, and move toward net-zero carbon emissions goals,” said The Uptime Institute in a statement.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, the national grids supplying several of the major colocations hubs in Europe are said to be feeling pressure from the growing demand for power from datacentre operators.

At the same time, operators are under pressure to ramp up the amount of renewable power they use to run their facilities to reduce their carbon emissions and reduce the amount of water used to cool their facilities.  

As exemplified by The Uptime Institute’s 2021 Global datacentre survey report, very few organisations have put in place processes and controls to address these areas, with much of the work that operators do on sustainability focused primarily on power-related metrics.

“Most organisations tend to only compile and report on power-related sustainability metrics, while far too few are tracking other key elements such as water use (51%), greenhouse gas emissions (33%) and IT efficiency (25%),” said Uptime Institute.

The first of the six reports is already available and is focused on helping datacentre and infrastructure managers create a sustainability strategy and includes guidance on what environmental elements operators should be looking to improve and how, as well as detailing the steps they should take to track their progress.

“This advisory series is a ‘how-to’ guide to implementing effective environmental sustainability initiatives that span all facilities and IT operations and address the needs of all stakeholders inside and outside the organisation,” said Jay Dietrich, lead author of the report series and research director of sustainability at Uptime Intelligence, which is the Institute division overseeing the reports.

Andy Lawrence, founding member and executive director of Uptime Intelligence, added: “As sustainability requirements become more demanding, digital infrastructure operators must be prepared with a comprehensive, actionable sustainability strategy.”

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