Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 82 - Page 33

EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
DAVID WATKINS , SOLUTIONS DIRECTOR , VIRTUS DATA CENTRES

Data centres are taking an aggressive stance on climate change , committing to tackle their own environmental impact . As a result , today ’ s providers are at the forefront of constructing some of the most sustainable buildings .

Maximising efficiency has always been a mainstay of VIRTUS ’ strategy , with protecting the environment being one of our top priorities . We were the first provider to commit to using 100 % carbon-zero energy , powering our sites solely with renewable energy from wind , solar and tidal sources since 2012 saving around 45,000,000 tonnes of CO 2 every year – enough to fill Wembley stadium five times over . We are also committed to decarbonising by 2025 .
VIRTUS strives to continually innovate and increase the efficiency of our services . Back in 2014 we were the first provider to deploy technologies like fresh air cooling , low energy indirect evaporative air solutions and highly efficient UPS ( Uninterruptable Power Supply ) systems that have the ability to hibernate parts of the system when they ’ re not being used to avoid energy waste through overcooling .
And it ’ s no exaggeration to say that environmental ambitions are built into every step of the design , construction and maintenance of our facilities . We introduce proactive sustainability and efficiency measures at inception and adopt the latest in building technologies , source materials sustainably and include features like exterior living walls . We also invest in comprehensive recycling schemes , recycling more than 94 % of waste across our business last year . But we want to do more and have set targets to improve year on year .
Our commitments are verified by independent accreditations and standards , with a number of our facilities rated BREEAM ‘ Excellent ’ ( standards that look at the environmental credentials of commercial buildings , verifying their performance and comparing them against sustainability benchmarks ), placing them in the top 10 % of UK non-domestic buildings . VIRTUS ’ LONDON4 facility is one of the most efficient commercial buildings in the UK and all of our sites are ISO14001 and ISO50001 accredited , recognising our commitment to the highest environmental standards . This means we are held accountable for not only maintaining the standards we hold now , but also that we are on track to further improve efficiency in the future .
As well as innovating , we also have a broad view of sustainability from the carbon impact of the physical construction of the buildings , to how we use natural resources such as rainwater harvesting to reduce sanitary water consumption and aquifers to access natural water resources . We work relentlessly to ensure our facilities are operated and maintained sustainably and are members of key environmental bodies and schemes , such as the Climate Change Agreement for data centres and the leading data centre body , TechUk , to ensure we are influencing and learning from the wider industry .
It ’ s no exaggeration to say that environmental ambitions are built into every step of the design , construction and maintenance of our facilities .
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