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CyrusOne hits climate-neutral datacentre targets in Europe

US colocation giant CyrusOne has published its latest sustainability report, which hails progress in making its global datacentre operations climate-neutral and water-positive

US colocation giant CyrusOne claims its European facilities have hit their 2030 carbon reduction commitments eight years early, now that its sites in Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt and London are all verified as being powered exclusively by renewable sources.

The firm is one of a number of cloud and datacentre operators who joined forces in early 2021 to form the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact, pledging to ensure their server farms are climate-neutral by 2030.

The company operates more than 50 datacentres around the world, with five in London and Frankfurt, respectively, as well as additional facilities sited in Paris, Dublin, Madrid and Amsterdam.

In its recently published Sustainability report, CyrusOne claims to have met the pact’s climate-neutral commitments eight years ahead of schedule because its European facilities all now run on green energy.

“As of the end of 2020, we had achieved 100% renewable power for our facilities in London, Dublin and Amsterdam, leaving only our Frankfurt facilities operating on non-renewable power,” the report stated. “We were able to complete this transition with the first delivery of renewable power to our Frankfurt facilities in June 2021.

“This means that CyrusOne will meet its climate-neutral commitments to the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact eight years ahead of schedule – with 2022 [set to be] the first full calendar year of climate-neutral operation,” it added.

The report also goes on to detail the progress CyrusOne has made over the past 12 months to increase the amount of renewable energy it uses to power its datacentres across the US and Europe, while also taking steps to minimise the amount of water used to keep them cool.

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For instance, the report states that CyrusOne achieved a seven-fold, year-on-year increase in the amount of renewable energy it purchased in 2021, and signed contracts that would provide it with an additional 107 MWh of renewable power per year.

As previously documented by Computer Weekly, the water consumption habits of datacentres – particularly those sited in drought-prone areas – have come under increased scrutiny in recent months. This is on the back of environmental lobbyists, researchers and analysts speaking out about the environmental fallout from the growth in the number of datacentres in operation worldwide.

In its Sustainability report, CyrusOne said it has now achieved net-positive water status in three of its datacentres by transitioning these sites over to water-free cooling mechanisms, and by taking steps to invest in projects that see water restored in drought-prone areas, for example.

The company report confirmed CyrusOne is using the Green Grid Water Usage Effectiveness metric to assess how much water its sites consume, and talks about the firm’s commitment to publishing this data in the interests of transparency and to inspire other operators to follow suit.

“We promote the water-saving cooling we use at many facilities, hoping to inspire others in our industry to think seriously about water consumption,” the report stated. “We also disclose the number of facilities in our portfolio that still consume large amounts of water.”

David Ferdman, president and CEO of CyrusOne, said he is “proud” of the progress the company is making in its sustainability efforts. “The future is coming quickly and we are doing our best to make it a more just and sustainable one.”

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