Host in Ireland launches DCs for Bees Pollinator Plan
Happy Earth Day everyone. In recognition of the importance of our natural world - and the stomach-clenching rate at which humanity is turning it into a wasteland of un-recycled plastic and ash - we’re featuring the new roadmap released this week by Host in Ireland: the DCs for Bees Pollinator Plan.
Host in Ireland is a global strategic initiative that works to convince companies around the world to situate their digital and data centre assets in Ireland. As part of its mission, Host in Ireland is also the governing body overseeing the DCs for Bees initiative, a sustainability program that aims to make data centres part of the solution to the country’s declining bee population and subsequent biodiversity collapse.
“The time for living in a haze of denial and limited advocacy and awareness will only get you so far. What’s needed now is action,” states the opening paragraph of the DCs for Bees’ Pollinator Plan, a multi-step roadmap that lays out multiple ways in which data centre operators - some of the biggest landowners in the tech industry - can make their real estate friendlier to pollinators like bees.
The plan, “is focused on actions that any business in the data centre ecosystem can take, from the smallest supplier to the largest data landowners. It aims to create awareness and drive real action that can help to reduce, stall or even reverse the extinction of our bees.”
Data centre operators are urged to take steps like providing nesting habitats for pollinators, planting wildflower meadows, heritage trees, and clover lawns, and reduce pesticide usage. There are also suggested steps for how data centre operators can channel funds into local schools, or sponsor awards.
There’s plenty of discussion about what the data centre of the future will look like. Usually, these discussions revolve around liquid cooling, intelligent power management, and even quantum high performance computing hardware. But given the size of footprint that data centres occupy across the world, discussions should also be taking place about how these external spaces can not just minimise their impact on the environment, but actively benefit local biodiversity.
DCs for Bees has already attracted - like bees to a particularly inviting flower - 40 global partners from the data centre industry, including hyperscale operator CyrusOne.
“The specific plan of action in the DCs for Bees Pollinator Plan makes it easy to roll out across our company and gives our employees a tangible way to give back to our community,” said Matt Pullen, EVP and Managing Director – Europe at CyrusOne. “As with our broader involvement in Host in Ireland, being a part of a collective provides an opportunity to have a bigger, longer lasting impact. For something as important as Ireland’s biodiversity, we are very proud to be a part of this programme.”
DEWA, Huawei to build Dubai’s largest green data centre
Moro Hub, a subsidiary of the digital arm of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), signed an agreement with Chinese tech giant Huawei over the weekend to build a new hyperscale data centre in the city. Taking advantage of an abundance of solar power available in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the new facility will be 100% powered by renewable electricity generated by photovoltaic infrastructure located within the Emirates.
With the potential to reach a capacity of 100 MW upon full buildout, the facility is set to become the largest solar-powered, Uptime Institute Tier III-certified green data centre in the Middle East and Africa.
The project is part of the Dubai 10x initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and will support the Emirate’s goal of developing into “a city of the future, putting it 10 years ahead of other global cities,” according to Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of the DEWA.
The signing event, attended by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, and Mr Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, and signed by Marwan Bin Haidar, Vice Chairman and Group CEO Digital DEWA and Mr Jerry Liu, CEO of Huawei UAE - Courtesy of DEWA
Al Tayer added that the project, “meets our ambition to deliver sustainable digital transformation and anticipate and shape the future,” and “supports the UAE Centennial 2071 to make the UAE the world's leading nation and the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.”
The facility will, according to Al Tayer, also support Dubai’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions by 16% before the end of the year, as well as its goal of meeting 75% of the city’s power demands with clean energy by 2050, and “significantly aids DEWA’s progress towards sustainable development.”
Moro Hub already operates one green data centre in the Emirate, which came online in October of 2020. The facility was the first Tier-III green data centre to come online in the Middle East.
Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, was also present at the signing ceremony held on Saturday. He commented that the new association between Huawei and the DEWA, “allows us to strengthen our partnership with Moro Hub and take part in fortifying the UAE's sustainable development goals.”