Orient Magazine Issue 89 - November 2022 | Page 36

Today , many of us may not realise that our daily activities are indirectly tied to the enormous growth of data centers and contribute to its carbon footprint .
At work , we collaborate with our teammates and clients , whenever and wherever they are , exchanging data or making multi-transactions every day . At play , we stream and watch online videos , or immerse into the gaming realm . The amount of data we produce and consume is extraordinary .
In fact , it is estimated that over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day globally . With our intensifying demand for smarter , faster data , alongside the surge of edge computing and artificial intelligence , there is an unprecedented growth of hyperscale data centers globally and in the Asia Pacific region . APAC hyperscale data center market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7 % during 2022 to 2027 .
Yet against the backdrop of corporate sustainability and climate change , the pertinent question is how can we use technology advancement to develop and operate data centers in a safe and sustainable way ?
Challenges faced by hyperscale data center operators , owners , and tenants
Data centers consume an estimate 2 to 3 % of global electricity , which raises the concerns around their carbon emissions .
However , due to the classified nature of data centers , organisations must balance how they approach reporting locations and source of electricity to gauge its actual CO2 emissions . With the increasing demand for data , data centers face similar challenges as the aviation sector in managing their carbon reduction journey .
Increasingly , data center operators need to align with the sustainability strategy and policies of both the owners as well as the potential tenants of the data center . The key environmental , social and governance ( ESG ) and environment , health , and safety ( EHS ) considerations include addressing the availability and use of renewable energy , sustainable water management , the possibility of current and future land contamination , and the well-being of the community and workers .
The asks are further compounded with limited suitable sites , changing regulations , controlled permits , and the demand for zero harm , sustainable development , and operations .
It is vital to take on a smarter , collaborative , and integrated approach , from site selection to development and operation , to ensure time , cost , and energy efficiencies , while also enhance the company ’ s reputation and value .
This can only be accelerated with deep expertise and digitalisation to provide clarity at speed and scale .
Addressing ESG and EHS blind spots at speed and scale
Apart from the air and liquid cooling technology ( part of the HVAC suite of systems ), AI-enabled analytics , geo-spatial imagery , and compliance related tools , can be a game changer to empower informed decisions and enable multiplying effects for a sustainable future .