Schneider Electric develops plan to help reduce carbon emissions

French digital transformation company Schneider Electric has unveiled a new framework to help mitigate the impact data centres have on the environment.

In an announcement in April, Schneider said it had developed an approach with standardised metrics to guide operators, and the industry at large, with the goal of improving sustainability benchmarks.

Data centres are the backbone of today's digital world. They are also responsible for close to two per cent of the world's carbon emissions – that is, equivalent to emissions from the aerospace industry. To deal with an increase in digital bandwidth and electricity demand from the IT sector, the industry is demanding a holistic and standardised approach to environmental sustainability, the company explained in a release.

“The data-centre industry has made significant progress in increasing energy efficiency, but as digital demands increase, a commitment to driving long-term sustainability initiatives must grow. You can't know the impact of something you don't measure. Therefore, companies must establish clear and consistent metrics that account not only for efficient technology, but also for the consumption (or potential destruction) of natural resources such as water, land, and biodiversity,” said Rob Brothers, vice president, programme for IDC's data-centre and support-services programme.

Increasing pressures from investors, regulators, shareholders, customers and employees are also driving the need for better environmental-impact reporting in data-centre operations. However, many data-centre operators lack sustainability expertise and are faced with the daunting task of determining which metrics to track and which strategies to implement, the company noted.

Tracking and reporting on standardised sustainability metrics help drive improvements in internal team alignment and increase transparency to external stakeholders, including customers and regulators. The implementation of this framework also allows data-centre operators to take actions such as:

• Eliminate the difficulty of selecting truly impactful metrics to track.

• Improve communication and alignment with internal teams on sustainability goals.

• Act on data to improve operations.

• Enable regular and consistent reporting to external stakeholders (investors, regulators, potential employees, etc).

• Standardise industry peer benchmarking worldwide.

The Schneider Electric framework was developed by its Energy Management Research Centre, drawing on the expertise of ESG (environment, society and corporate-governance) experts, sustainability consultants, data-centre scientists and data-centre solution architects to take the guesswork out of measurement and reporting. The Energy Management Research Centre was established in 2002 and has developed more than 200 vendor-independent white papers and compensation tools freely available to the industry.

Schneider Electric – which operates in 100 countries, including Trinidad and Tobago – is a global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation and the world's most sustainable corporation in 2021, as ranked by Corporate Knights.

It works with leading technology companies and colocation providers to design, build, operate and maintain facilities. It is the only digital partner that offers solutions for energy, construction, IT and sustainability aspects of the business.


"Schneider Electric develops plan to help reduce carbon emissions"

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