The Top 10 Most Sustainable Data Centre Companies


February 29, 2024

Pioneering Sustainable Technology: The Top 10 Eco-Friendly Data Centre Providers Promoting Green Growth. Data centres fuel the ongoing and future advancements in software, technology, and global business expansion, but they also have environmental impacts. To support the development of technologies, including generative AI, while minimising carbon footprints, these providers are prioritising sustainable, zero-emission operations. Here are the companies at the forefront of this eco-conscious movement.

10. Switch

Earning Greenpeace’s praise for environmental efforts is a notable achievement. Switch stood out in the Clicking Clean Report, receiving the highest score among peers, largely thanks to its commitment to renewable energy since 2016. Additionally, S&P Global awarded Switch its top environmental honour, highlighting the company’s compliance with social and governance standards.

9. AirTrunk

Since its inception in 2015, AirTrunk has emerged as a significant force in the Asia-Pacific data centre market. The company’s goal is to revolutionise the hyperscale data centre industry, catering to the current and future demands of top tech firms. A primary aspect of their operations involves improving water efficiency through various conservation strategies. Their dedication to sustainability is further demonstrated by their commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement.

8. EdgeConneX

EdgeConneX, a leading player in the data centre industry, aims to achieve carbon neutrality, eliminate waste, and balance water use in its operations by 2030, in line with its ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) objectives. The company is dedicated to creating a data centre infrastructure entirely fueled by renewable sources. Supporting this bold vision, EdgeConneX has obtained a substantial sustainability investment of US$1.7 billion in early 2023.

7. Ark Data Centres

Ark Data Centres, located in the UK, prioritises efficiency and sustainability in its operations. The company strives to minimise its environmental impact through a thorough environmental management system that underpins all its activities. Aligning with the European Green Deal, Ark is committed to ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, supporting Europe’s objective to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

6. Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain stands at the forefront of the data centre industry’s shift towards sustainability, operating exclusively on renewable energy, participating in carbon offset programs, and achieving low Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratios. The company has ambitious goals, aiming to reach net zero emissions and fully transition to clean energy by 2040, surpassing the Paris Climate Accord’s objectives by a decade.

As a signatory of the EU Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact, Iron Mountain pledges to attain carbon neutrality by 2030, showcasing its leadership in adopting green practices and setting an example for the sector.

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5. NTT Communications and NTT Anode Energy

In a joint venture in 2022, NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com—a part of the NTT Group) and NTT Anode Energy (NTT AE) introduced a green power solution for NTT Com’s data centre users. This initiative offers clients the option to power their operations with renewable energy, aiding in their decarbonization goals and reducing CO2 emissions.

This collaborative project supports global environmental initiatives like “Renewable Energy 100%” (RE100) and the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures by incorporating additional renewable sources through off-site power purchase agreements, thereby significantly improving clients’ ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) management approaches.

4. Equinix

As a frontrunner in data centre efficiency, Equinix prioritises green energy across its operations, powered entirely by 100% clean, renewable sources and maintaining high energy efficiency standards worldwide.

The company ensures that all new builds on its internationally acclaimed platform adhere to a sustainable path, aiming for LEED Silver (or equivalent) certifications. With an investment exceeding U$129 million towards these green initiatives, Equinix stands as a prominent proponent of eco-friendly data centre advancements.

3. Schneider Electric

As a frontrunner in the data centre industry and a beacon of Sustainability, Schneider Electric demonstrates the potential for harmonising sustainability with market competitiveness. Crowned the most sustainable company in the world in 2021 and leading PPA marketplace solution provider in 2022 by Guidehouse Insights, Schneider Electric is hailed as a key innovator within the sector.

At the heart of its sustainability drive is the EcoStruxure Smart Grid, pivotal in Italy’s leap to 40% renewable energy coverage. The company aims high with goals like delivering green electricity to 50 million people by 2025. Through its Schneider Electric University, it offers a Data Centre Certified Associate program focusing on Alternative Power Generation Technologies, underscoring Schneider Electric’s distinctive commitment to sustainability in the data centre realm.

2. Digital Realty

In 2021, Digital Realty, a global leader in data centre services, received the EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award for its dedication to energy efficiency, becoming the first data centre worldwide to achieve one gigawatt (GW) of IT capacity powered entirely by zero-emission sources.

The company also boosted its renewable energy use to 64%, a 14% increase in just one year, and added 118 megawatts (MW) of solar and wind energy to its power mix. Furthermore, Digital Realty has been proactive in green financing, issuing two green bonds and increasing its green bond investments to US$6 billion since 2015. It has achieved 100% renewable energy coverage across its US and European portfolios, with its operations in France reaching carbon neutrality.

1. Google Cloud

Google has been carbon-neutral since 2007 by offsetting emissions and focusing on renewable energy for its global operations. Remarkably, since 2017, Google has ensured its electricity use is entirely matched by renewable sources.

The company’s data centres stand out for their energy efficiency, employing cutting-edge cooling techniques and AI to reduce energy consumption. Google’s commitment to sustainability also includes eco-friendly building designs, ethical supply chain collaborations, and advanced water-saving measures like seawater cooling and wastewater reuse.

Google Cloud is committed to full transparency in its environmental reporting, aiming for round-the-clock carbon-free energy by 2030. This initiative not only reduces Google’s ecological footprint but also encourages broader industry shifts towards sustainable digital solutions.

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Published on 29-02-2024


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