The Global View

New EU code paves way for greener data centres

Europe’s recently approved “green” code of conduct for data centres paves the way for a new generation of providers that take energy efficiency and the use of renewables to ever higher levels, according to one industry expert.

“As we plan the first data centres under the new code of conduct we’re looking a new ways of doing things — this is ‘data centre 2.0,’ a leap forward in the way we use power and the efficiencies we deliver,” said Alex Rabbetts, managing director of Migration Solutions, a computer room and data centre consultancy and services company. “The next generation will be the greenest data centres yet.”

Rabbetts made his comments at this week’s Data Centres Europe conference.

The 2010 best practices policies for the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres sets standards for power consumption, energy efficiency, operating temperatures, environmental reporting and more. The document has so far earned the support of 96 businesses and endorsers, including Migration Solutions.

As the demand for internet and IT services has grown, so has the data centre industry’s energy and carbon footprint. In some cases, a data centre’s carbon emissions and energy use can be 50 times greater than that of a comparably sized office space.

“The greener data centre is the key issue for the industry today,” Rabbetts said. “It is vital that we have our own house in order so we are ready to play a significant role in the development of the growing number of environmental ‘smart society’ projects, incorporating smart  grid, smart cities and smart transportation projects, all of which rely on data processing and data centres for their success.”