Digital Realty Continues Renewable Rollout to the US

After a successful deployment in Europe, Digital Realty expands its HVO solution to the US to address the environmental impact of data centre generators

Digital Realty has been making moves within the data centre industry in recent weeks.

The company has been partnering with the likes of Nvidia and Schneider Electric to advance AI and sustainability data centre initiatives to ensure a cleaner and more innovative future. Now, it seeks to expand its renewable generator fuel rollout to the US for a greater global market presence.

Its hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) is a renewable fuel that is a replacement for conventional diesel fuel in generators. By expanding these offerings into the US, Digital Realty will be using HVO in seven global markets that cover nearly 15% of its global operating portfolio.

A steadfast commitment to data centre sustainability

Digital Realty is one of the largest providers of cloud and carrier-neutral data centres, colocation and interconnection solutions.

Plenty of its data centres around the world are ready for sustainable solutions such as direct liquid cooing. This enables the company to better support its customers with new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) by offering them the infrastructure needed to harness its full potential quickly and sustainably.

The organisation is keen to continue expanding its global data centre operations in an environmentally-friendly way, having recently completed a full US$6bn green bond allocation to support its sustainable growth. Digital Realty’s green bond offerings have played a crucial role in supporting sustainable activities across 130 projects worldwide.

HVO is in use at more than twenty Digital Realty sites across Europe and has reduced the company’s fuel-related lifecycle carbon emissions by 90% in France alone. It has successfully built a successful deployment of the solution whilst maintaining operational efficiency and positive customer experiences.

The fuel can mix with conventional diesel to power existing generators and is now being deployed at Digital Realty data centre facilities in Hillsboro, Oregon and the Santa Clara and El Segundo sites in California. In doing this, the company will be able to avoid approximately 12,000 metric tons CO2 emissions.

"By expanding our HVO rollout to the US, we’re further expanding our commitment to sustainability, delivering tangible results in reducing carbon emissions while maintaining operational excellence,” says Aaron Binkley, Vice President of Sustainability at Digital Realty.

Pursuing significant carbon reductions

The expansion also aligns with Digital Realty’s ongoing global sustainability goals. In 2020, the company joined the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to pledge a reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions - meaning its direct and indirect emissions, by 68%. 

This is in addition to Scope 3 emissions, indirect emissions within the value chain, by 24% by 2030.

The company hopes that its use of renewable diesel fuels will work to significantly reduce the amount of carbon and fuel used in diesel generators, thereby reducing Scope 3 emissions further.

Aaron Binkley continues: “This is a significant milestone in our pursuit of solutions that address the environmental impact of backup generators at data centres. We are pleased to be adopting HVO in the U.S. for data centres and to be setting a new standard for data centre sustainability worldwide.”

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