Research

Powering change: Sustainability in the European Data Centre Sector

This paper looks at the surge in the demand for data, the role of data centres and the parallel urgency in the need to address climate change.

The common thread is sustainability and the environmen­tal impact of data centres and the questions that must be addressed today to ensure a sustainable tomorrow.

June 01, 2021

One of the key lessons learned from the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic has been the enormous dependence on the digital infrastructure. Almost every facet of our life has in some way been intertwined with digital technology. Data has in some way been the golden thread directly or indirectly impacting our lives in the past 12 to 15 months like no other time in our history.

In a strange and unexpected way, the pandemic has heightened the focus on two other phenomena, and these are potentially conflicting and diametrically opposed actors. Climate Change and the expo­nential growth in the Demand for Data.

Lockdowns across the World’s megacities saw a substantial change in air quality. Air pollution plummeted in Beijing, which is among the world’s most polluted cities, resulting in a 40% decline in NO2 and visibly clear blue skies over the city. COVID-19 has given us a physical reminder of the importance of sustainability and the urgent change that is needed.

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