Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn I recommend visiting cushmanwakefield.com to read:%0A%0A {0} %0A%0A {1}

Data centre industry players leading the charge for tougher environmental impact measures

Amy Kathleen Kelly • 13/09/2022

Power usage does not provide the full picture of a data centre’s environmental impact; a Trinity of measurement including water usage and carbon emissions should be the new standard, according to a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield

AS DEMAND FOR data centres increases so too does their impact on the environment, but some industry leaders are calling for a more stringent ‘trinity’ of reporting guidelines to help minimise the environmental footprint of the growing asset class.

A new Cushman & Wakefield report, Energy, Water, Carbon: A New Trinity for Measuring Data Centre Sustainability, is calling for water consumption and carbon emissions to be measured in addition to power usage to provide a more holistic picture of data centres’ true environmental impact.

Power usage efficiency (PUE) – the traditional measure of data centre sustainability – is calculated by dividing the facility’s total power by the energy used by IT equipment. Carbon usage effectiveness (CUE)1 , measures the carbon emissions from a data centre while water usage efficiency (WUE)2  tracks how much water is used for cooling and other operational needs. 

The industry has made significant improvements to PUE over recent years; the industry average has dropped from around 2.5 in 2007 to 1.5 today. 

But the limitations of measuring power alone have become increasingly clear as the industry evolves, said webinar moderator and Managing Director, Data Centres & New Initiatives India at Cushman & Wakefield, Vivek Dahiya.

“Achieving a lower PUE is very dependent on the geography and climate of a data centre’s location. It is easy to achieve in the upper parts of the northern hemisphere but very difficult close to the equator where more power is required for cooling.” 

Mr Dahiya said that data centreoperators were gradually adapting to accommodate the increasingly stringent environmental standards of both investors and occupiers.

“Data centre investors, operators and occupiers each have their own ESG ambitions. The challenge for the industry now is to continually improve the baseline standard to ensure that all requirements can be accommodated under one roof. A colocation data centre is only as sustainable as its least sustainable client.”

Cushman & Wakefield Co-head of Sustainability Services, Greater China Alton Wong said that while some operators were aware of the CUE and WUE measures few had adopted them. 

“For as long as we see increasing digitisation of everything from banking to manufacturing to communications and media the demand for data centres will only grow. The only way to future-proof the sector is to ensure regulatory standards keep pace. The trinity is a step in the right direction.”

Mr Wong said companies that had set ambitious ESG targets were now looking for practical ways to hit them.

“The first step to reducing carbon emissions is to measure them. The Trinity of measuring carbon, water and power can provide a much more informed baseline from which improvements can be made.

“At the end of the day, sustainability is not just about one metric, it is about improving the impact that data centres have on the environment overall.” 

Notes

The report, Energy, Water, Carbon: A New Trinity for Measuring Data Centre Sustainability was created following the Cushman & Wakefield webinar Data Centres: Driving the Sustainability Agenda. A replay of the webinar is available here.


Carbon usage effectiveness is calculated by dividing the carbon emissions caused by total data centre energy by the energy consumption of the IT equipment

Water usage effectiveness is calculated by dividing the annual site water usage in litres (L) by the IT equipment energy usage in kilowatt hours (Kwh).

Insights

card image
Insights • Sustainability

Banking on Green Office Buildings in Singapore

Does sustainability pay? We think it does help performance.
Chee Kit Ho • 21/11/2022
Singapore Carbon Tax 2022 card
Research • Sustainability

Singapore Carbon Tax 2022

What Will The Singapore Carbon Tax Cost You?
Chee Kit Ho • 29/03/2022
Outlook22 Singapore
Podcast • Workplace

Outlook 2022 Singapore Podcast

Join our commercial real estate experts to discuss the top challenges and opportunities for investors and occupiers in Singapore. 
28/02/2022
Singapore Office Market Outlook 2022
Insights • Office

Singapore Office Market Outlook 2022

Following a strong recovery in office demand, reduced vacancies and rental growth last year, the Singapore office market is expected to further pick up pace in 2022.
Xian Yang Wong • 08/02/2022
Cushman & Wakefield Q2 Asia Pacific Webinar: Spotlight on Singapore
Insights • Investment

Cushman & Wakefield Q2 Asia Pacific Webinar: Spotlight on Singapore

As Asia Pacific begins to show signs of recovery from COVID-19, led by a rebound originating from China, what is the current status of the commercial real estate market and where is it headed?
Anna Town • 13/08/2021
data center
Research • Investment

Data centres in Southeast Asia poised for rapid growth

The rising demand for data storage in Southeast Asia holds significant potential commercial upside for data centre players. 
19/08/2019
With your permission we and our partners would like to use cookies in order to access and record information and process personal data, such as unique identifiers and standard information sent by a device to ensure our website performs as expected, to develop and improve our products, and for advertising and insight purposes.

Alternatively click on More Options and select your preferences before providing or refusing consent. Some processing of your personal data may not require your consent, but you have a right to object to such processing.

You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site or clicking on Privacy & Cookies.
MORE OPTIONS
AGREE AND CLOSE
These cookies ensure that our website performs as expected,for example website traffic load is balanced across our servers to prevent our website from crashing during particularly high usage.
These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced features. These cookies do not gather any information about you that could be used for advertising or remember where you have been on the internet.
These cookies allow us to work with our marketing partners to understand which ads or links you have clicked on before arriving on our website or to help us make our advertising more relevant to you.
Agree All
Reject All
SAVE SETTINGS