Data centre, cloud leaders announce sustainability pledge
The global data centre and cloud industry just took a huge step towards sustainable practice in Europe. On Thursday, leading players in the sector, including Equinix, Digital Realty, Interxion, Google and NTT, .
25 companies and 17 associations in total have signed up, making this the most significant and sweeping sustainability and climate reform action ever embarked up in the industry’s history.
The pledge details specific steps these operators will take in order to make their data centres climate neutral by 2030. The Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact is a self regulatory initiative, monitored by the European Commission twice a year.
Signatories to the pact will need to set aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions between 2025 and 2030, including, proving energy efficiency with measurable targets, purchasing 100% carbon-free energy, prioritising water conservation, reusing and repairing servers rather than replacing them, and exploring new ways to reuse excess heat from their facilities.
The full list of data centre operators and cloud providers to sign the agreement includes: 3DS Outscale (Dassault Systèmes), Altuhost, Aruba, Atos, AWS (Amazon Web Services), CyrusOne, Data4 ,DigiPlex, Digital Realty & Interxion, Equinix, FlameNetworks, Gigas, Google, Ikoula, Ilger, Infloclip, Irideos, ITnet, LCL, Leaseweb, NTT, OVHcloud, Register, Scaleway, and Seeweb.
In addition, the 17 trade associations to sign up include: Association of Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers Europe (CISPE), EUDCA, the European Data Centre Association, Cloud28+, Cloud Community Poland, Danish Cloud Community, Datacentre Industrien, Data Centre Alliance, Dutch Data Centre Association, Dutch Hosting Providers Association, Eco - Alliance for strengthening digital infrastructures in Germany, EuroCloud Croatia, EuroCloud France, France Datacenter, Host in Scotland, IKT-Norge, ISPConnect, and TechUK.
According to a spokesperson from Equinix, the pact “marks the first time the ind ustry has come together to solidify its commitment to ensure that European data centres are carbon neutral by 2030.”
, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, commented: "Citizens across Europe use ever more technology to go about their daily lives and want this technology, also to help secure a sustainable future for people and planet. Today's pledge from important parts of the data industry constitutes a promise to society and offers a welcome first step towards achieving our common ambitions for a smart and sustainable future."
Equinix: Digital leaders expect changes to working patterns
A global report released by Equinix has revealed that digital leaders expect long-term changes to the way people work.
As part of the report, the data infrastructure company surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers from several different businesses spanning 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. The study also highlighted the biggest technology trends affecting global businesses and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted digital infrastructure plans.
Talking about companies’ expansion strategies, Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Equinix, said: “Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in.
“Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organizations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world”, she said.
The report drew the following conclusions:
- 64% of the 2,600 digital leaders surveyed believed there will be “long-term changes to both how and where people will work in the future.
- 57% of global companies intend to expand into new regions despite the effects of the pandemic
- 51% of businesses worldwide say they have rearchitected their IT infrastructure so that it can meet the demands of remote and hybrid working. Digital transformation has also been accelerated due to an increase in businesses’ technology budgets.
How might digital transformation be affected post-pandemic?
COVID-19 has demanded that companies make several changes to the way that they operate, including digital transformation. According to the study, 47% of those surveyed reported that they have accelerated their digital transformation plans because of the Coronavirus pandemic. A further 42% of organisations said their budgets have increased to keep up with the growth of digital transformation.
Another change in adapting to the pandemic was to businesses’ IT strategies with six in 10 companies saying that it has been revised in response to the situation. 58% said they are looking to invest in technology to “improve agility’ post-COVID.
When asked about their priorities for their digital strategy, 80% of respondents said that digitising their infrastructure was of utmost importance, while 57% viewed interconnection as a ‘key facilitator’ of digital transformation.
"This increasing focus on digitization and expansion is one of the reasons why Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth. We completed 16 new expansions in 2020—our most active build year ever—and expect to continue to evolve Platform Equinix to support our customers as they continue on their digital transformation journey”, said Claire Macland.
Potential concerns disperse over expansion plans being halted by COVID-19
The study has also revealed that organisations’ previous concerns that the pandemic will negatively affect their business expansion plans have been lessened.
57% of businesses have said that they “still have plans” to expand into new regions and of that percentage, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to do so virtually instead of investing in physical IT infrastructure.
The full Equinix report can be found here.