COP26 Partners, Digital Sustainability, and How Serverfarm Runs its Data Centers

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Clean procurement of digital services starts with low data center infrastructure carbon cost.

COP26 partners have clearly identified and communicated that true sustainability lies in measuring and removing the carbon cost of both their internal operations and those of their supply chain partners.

Clean procurement is a major part of any strategy for reaching net zero.

COP26 Serverfarm Sustainability

For many large companies clean procurement has already started. For others it is coming fast. In future every RFP will include carbon output reporting for any product or service procured.

COP26 partners GSK and Nat West have directly identified procurement processes as fundamental to meeting net zero targets. GSK says, “Our climate strategy covers the full value chain of emissions reductions across our own operations, our supplier base and emissions from patient use of our products.” Nat West is advising firms to engage Environmentally Friendly Suppliers by bringing ‘sustainable thinking into the decision-making process when considering investments, suppliers, and purchasing products and services.’

It says companies must ‘update procurement policies to include sustainability criteria. New frameworks to help companies understand and communicate a broadening array of environmental risks are taking shape.’

Clean procurement is being adopted in energy, finance, manufacturing, comms, and digital services.

Suppliers will be asked to prove their low carbon credentials through provable, accurate data.

“…the greenest data center is the one you don’t have to build.”

A sustainable digital future

For those buying and supplying digital services proving digital sustainability begins with infrastructure. For data center suppliers the implications of clean energy and carbon free procurement are profound.

Large and small end user customers (and the customer’s customer) will demand data on the carbon cost of digital services.

The supply of data center physical space, the infrastructure services provided and the output to internal enterprise operations, partners and the market will be measured against carbon emissions and new and evolving sustainability metrics.

Serverfarm’s believes the era of digital sustainability will be built on low carbon infrastructure and accurate data.

Serverfarm began its sustainability journey with an integrated approach. Firstly, by focusing on getting the most from existing physical infrastructure. In the built environment digital sustainability starts with reuse and modernization of existing data centers. It means exploiting the already embodied carbon in the cement and steel captured in existing buildings.

To prove that the greenest data center is one you don’t have to build we looked at the data on embodied carbon for our Serverfarm Chicago data center. To analyze the carbon savings potential from the reuse of the Chicago facility, Serverfarm asked independent consultant HKS to calculate the carbon cost of using the existing data center compared with that of a new build of the same scale. It found embodied carbon savings of 88% when compared with the material carbon cost of a new project.

Integration how?

As well as providing low carbon infrastructure Serverfarm delivers optimization of data center operations through its InCommand DMaaS platform.

InCommand DMaaS delivers minute by minute data on power, cooling and IT is providing real time actionable data on energy use, efficiency, and reliability for every type of data center and workload across on prem, commercial colocation and multiple clouds. 

InCommand provides visibility into all physical assets in IT, facility and data center environments. The data are presented as a virtualized service.

We combine professional data center expertise, using a constantly evolving software solution accessed through on a cloud hosted portal to deliver three major outcomes:

Predictability & change efficiencies,
Reduced facility & IT capacity needs
Informed choices on the most energy efficient locations for new workloads.

“Serverfarm is committed to working in partnership with our customers to deliver digital sustainability and net zero data centers.”

COP26 – finding long term solutions

There will be many milestones on the journey to net zero. The size and complexity of the challenge must be faced directly.

Serverfarm is a signatory to the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact. It will meet its commitments on PUE and contribute to the development of new metrics designed to make all data centers climate neutral.

Through infrastructure and operational data, Serverfarm is committed to working in partnership with our customers to deliver digital sustainability and net zero data centers.

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