EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
The data centre industry in general is making huge 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 . 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 .
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
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 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 . p
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 .
ANDREW GOMARSALL , EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN , N2S
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