Digital Realty added more than 154MW of renewables in 2020
Digital Realty is forging ahead with plans to bring its global emissions footprint in line with the commitments it made last year.
As part of its third annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, released last week, Digital Realty revealed that, in 2020, the international hyperscale cloud, colocation, and interconnection services provider cut its scope 1 and 2 (direct and indirect) emissions by 68% compared to 2018. It also managed to reduce its scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions associated with the company's extended value and supply chain) by 24%.
According to the report, these steps put Digital Realty, which operates a global portfolio of more than 290 data centres in 47 metros across 24 countries, in line with the science-based targets designed to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius.
"We took meaningful action to advance our ESG priorities in 2020, establishing ambitious climate impact reduction targets, significantly expanding our social justice efforts and enhancing the diversity of our Board," said Digital Realty Chief Executive Officer A. William Stein.
Last year, in support of its efforts to reduce global emissions in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement and the European Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact, Digital Realty added 154 MW of renewable power to its energy mix. The additional power brings the company’s total onsite solar and wind energy under long-term contracts to 556 MW.
In the US and Europe, 100% of Digital Realty’s sites are powered by renewable power purchasing agreements. And the company’s operational virtual power purchase agreements produced 698,662 MW of electricity last year alone, enough to meet the electricity needs of approximately 90,000 homes for one year.
This means that Digital Realty’s global portfolio is now 50% powered by renewables, with the company’s sites in APAC (where it is expanding heavily) dragging the side down. Nevertheless, in 2019, that figure stood at just 30%, rising in spite of the company’s total energy consumption increasing by 24% between 2019 and last year.
Stein added that, "We are doing our best to play a constructive, proactive role in advancing our objective of delivering sustainable growth for stakeholders, customers, employees and the communities we serve around the world."
Microsoft hyperscale plans prompt Lab3 New Zealand launch
Lab3, an Australian cloud migration specialist, has announced it is launching in New Zealand after being prompted by a surge in demand for cloud services and Microsoft’s investment into hyperscale data centres.
The company, which was founded in 2017, has appointed David Boyes as Chief Executive Officer and Rich Anderson as Chief Operating Officer. According to Companies Office records, Boyes and Anderson each have a 10% share in Lab3’s New Zealand business. Commenting on cloud migration, Boyes said: “Across New Zealand, in government and every industry sector, organisations are looking to migrate to the cloud to modernise their technology environments.” He added that the Coronavirus pandemic was fuelling a “ need to tap into the power of data, facilitate remote work and meet public expectations of a virtual world.”
Chris Cook, Group CEO of Lab3 said the business was "first and foremost about client success" which drives the company’s product innovation and motivation to expand into New Zealand. “We look forward to working closely with Microsoft to deliver more for New Zealand clients,” he said.
Microsoft’s New Zealand hyperscale data centre investment plan
Microsoft’s investment into a hyperscale data centre region in New Zealand meant the resulting facilities will aim to provide several organisations with access to the security and scalability of a public cloud without sending data offshore.
Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director of Microsoft New Zealand, said: “We’ve seen a tremendous acceleration in cloud migration over the past year as organisations have responded to global disruption and conversely, recognised the global opportunities a digital operation brings.
“Our research with IDC shows public cloud technologies are set to create 102,000 local jobs and add [NZ]$30 billion to the New Zealand economy over the next four years, so we’re delighted to welcome a partner of LAB3’s calibre to New Zealand, to help more organisations realise those gains even faster," she added.
Lab3’s clients include several fintech organisations, a global software vendor, Australian federal and state government agencies, and insurance and banking corporations. The company employs over 200 staff and has three advanced specialisations across migrations, Azure virtual desktop, and security.