EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
ANDREW GOMARSALL , EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN , N2S
he data centre industry in general is making huge
T strides in achieving net zero targets by the end of this decade through various sustainability initiatives and commitments . For example , by signing up to the EU ’ s Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact , using 100 % renewable power , on-site generation of solar and wind energy , deploying more efficient cooling and servers , sustainable buildings design and construction .
A few are already targeting Scope 3 emissions to make a serious start on decarbonising their supply chains : from the mining of precious and rare metals for use in PCBs to IT equipment assembly manufacture and final product delivery . Of course , this is a longer-term strategy and involves the engagement and cooperation of multiple parties .
However , to maximise the sustainability of their IT assets , data centre owners / operators can do more now in support of their net zero goals – for instance , by implementing more Circular , Zero IT Waste models . These will be geared to maximising hardware lifetimes to reduce overall embodied carbon , by ensuring IT resources are kept in use for as long as possible , maximum value is extracted while in use and materials are sustainably recovered and recycled at the end of their useful life .
Done well , such an approach can significantly improve facilities ’ environmental profiles and support their compliance with increasingly stringent ESGs . Further benefits will come from saving space rather than holding on indefinitely to equipment no longer required and the financial returns from the proceeds of pre-used assets .
A key part of enabling all of this is the ability to measure and track the IT asset life cycle including their sustainable reuse once decommissioned and disposal when beyond useful repair . Environmental impact reporting on the types and weights of decommissioned equipment being collected , how much of it is reused / resold and what percentage is recycled / disposed is becoming increasingly necessary . So too , recording how / where disposal was carried out and for what purpose recycled materials were used for .
Therefore , along with pioneering the sustainable recovery of precious metals from PCBs through bioleaching , we are continuously enhancing our sustainable zero-landfill commitment to IT asset reuse , recycling and disposal with science-based Environmental Impact Reporting . For example , to monitor and
TO MAXIMISE THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THEIR IT ASSETS , DATA CENTRE OWNERS / OPERATORS CAN DO MORE NOW IN SUPPORT OF THEIR NET ZERO GOALS .
clearly demonstrate how the customer aligns to the key UN SDGs ( Sustainable Development Goals ): SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production in support of a Circular Economy ; SDG 13 – Climate Action in support of decarbonisation and net zero targets ; SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation – reducing water consumption and the potential of causing water contamination from the metals and chemicals contained within equipment . This kind of powerful reporting will be a prerequisite for all data centres once Scope 3 becomes mandatory . �
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