Top 10: Sustainable Data Centre Companies

Data Centre Magazine highlights the Top 10 data centre companies leading the charge towards a more sustainable digital future

The world's growing reliance on digital technologies has led to a rapid expansion of the data centre industry. While these facilities are essential for powering the digital economy, their energy-intensive operations have raised concerns about their environmental impact. 

This month, Data Centre Magazine highlights 10 leading companies that are pioneering innovative approaches to sustainable data centre design and operation. From renewable energy integration to water conservation and waste reduction, these organisations are setting new standards for environmental responsibility in the data centre sector.

10. EdgeConneX

EdgeConneX

EdgeConneX, a prominent player in the edge data centre market, has made significant strides in driving sustainability across its global operations, first launching its Customer, People, Planet strategy in 2020. When it comes to sustainability, EdgeConneX has a goal of becoming a carbon, waste and water-neutral data centre provider in 2030, developing and operating a data centre platform powered by 100% renewable energy.

Revenue: US$100m​ (2023)​

Employees: 300+

CEO: Randy Brouckman

Year Founded: 2009​

9. Ark Data Centres

Ark Data Centres

Ark Data Centres is arguably the most efficient data centre company in the United Kingdom and has taken extensive steps to minimise its environmental impact.

By using advanced cooling technologies, Ark minimises both energy and water use. The company's design strategies involve using steel over concrete to decrease carbon output and incorporating living walls to enhance insulation and biodiversity. Additionally, Ark runs its facilities on 100% renewable energy and upholds extensive recycling practices, aiming for zero waste to landfill.

Revenue: £196m (US$244m, 2023)

Employees: 97

CEO: Huw Owen

Founded: 2005

8. Scala Data Centres

Scala Data Centres

Scala Data Centers is the leading provider of sustainable, hyperscale data centres in the LATAM market. The company is headquartered in Brazil and was the first data centre company in Latin America to use 100% renewable energy. 

Seeing sustainability not as a goal but as a principle, its ESG ambitions are based on the pillars of Race to Net Zero, Energy and Water, Social Responsibility, Ethics and Compliance, and Diversity and Inclusion.

Revenue: US$56m (2023)

Employees: 935

CEO: Marcos Peigo

Founded: 2020

7. Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain

Powered by 100% renewable energy, Iron Mountain Data Centers operates a global colocation platform that enables customers to build tailored, sustainable, carrier and cloud-neutral data solutions. The company has committed to achieve a 25% reduction of GHG emissions from Scope 1 & 2 energy sources from its 2019 baseline by 2025, at which time all new constructions of its multi-tenant data centre facilities will be certified to the BREEAM Green Building Standard. By 2030, Iron Mountain says all of its data centres worldwide will be climate neutral.

Revenue: US$495m (2023)

Employees: 27,000 (Iron Mountain)

CEO: William Meaney

Founded: 1951

6. Meta

Meta

Meta focuses on renewable energy, efficiency and eliminating waste in its data centres. Its data centres and offices have already reached net zero emissions and are supported with 100% renewable energy through its strategy of adding renewables to local power grids. 

Meta also says it will restore more water than it consumes globally in 2030. Its water stewardship programme focuses on minimising data centre water use by prioritising onsite water efficiency, supporting impactful water conservation, and restoration projects.

Revenue: US$134bn (2023)

Employees: 67,317

CEO: Mark Zuckerberg

Founded: 2004

5. Digital Realty

Digital Realty

Making sustainability a core component of its strategy, Digital Realty sustainability efforts encompass investing in onsite renewable energy generation, implementing advanced cooling and efficiency technologies, and designing data centres for material reuse and recycling.

Digital Realty became the first global data centre organisation to join the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2020, and aims to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 68% and Scope 3 emissions by 24% by 2030 as it balances innovation with sustainability.

Revenue: US$5.5bn

Employees: 3,664

CEO: Andrew Power

Founded: 2004

4. Equinix

Equinix

Equinix has set a goal to be climate neutral by 2030, backed by science-based targets, across its global portfolio and data centre platform. 

Equinix data centres are designed with high operational standards and energy efficiency in mind. The company has invested more than US$129m in energy efficiency upgrades, retrofits and improvements, and is constantly seeking new ways to innovate within its data centres – having committed to science-based targets to embed decarbonization actions across its business and supply chain.

Revenue: US$8bn (2023)

Employees: 13,000

CEO: Charles J. Meyers

Founded: 1998

3. Google Cloud

Google Cloud

Committed to operating carbon-free by 2030, Google is pioneering new sustainability innovations across its global data centre and office portfolio. The company aims to power its entire infrastructure with 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030, a highly ambitious goal that is driving significant investment in renewable energy projects and clean energy technologies.

Google leverages machine learning to optimise data centre cooling, using predictive analytics to fine-tune temperatures and airflow for maximum efficiency. The company also focuses on circular economy principles, designing data centres for disassembly and re-use of components.

An early adopter of renewable energy, Google has been purchasing 100% renewable electricity to match its annual consumption since 2017. 

Revenue: US$33bn (2023)

Employees: 54,000

CEO: Thomas Kurian

Founded: 2008​​​​​​​

2. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft has made significant strides in developing more sustainable data centre operations. As the world's second largest cloud computing platform, Microsoft recognises the importance of minimising the environmental impact of Azure’s global infrastructure.

At the heart of Azure’s sustainability efforts is a commitment to use 100% renewable energy to power its data centres by 2025. This involves expanding investments in wind, solar and hydroelectric power projects to meet the growing demand for cloud services. Azure has also implemented innovative cooling technologies, such as using outside air for cooling and capturing waste heat to warm local buildings.

Beyond energy, Microsoft focuses on water conservation, waste reduction and circular economy principles in its data centre design and operations. The company also leverages AI and advanced analytics to optimise resource usage, enhance efficiency and drive continuous improvements in sustainability performance.

Revenue: US$31.8bn (2023)

Employees: 181,000 (Microsoft)

CEO: Satya Nadella

Founded: 1975 (Microsoft)

1. AWS

AWS

With the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud, AWS’ scale allows it to achieve higher resource utilisation and energy efficiency than the typical on-premises data centre. 

Multiple studies conducted by 451 Research have found that moving on-premises workloads to AWS can lower customers’ workload carbon footprints by nearly 80% and up to 96% once AWS is powered with 100% renewable energy. AWS infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median of surveyed US enterprise data centres and up to five times more energy efficient than the average European enterprise data centre. 

AWS focuses on efficiency across all aspects of its infrastructure, from the design of its data centres and hardware to modelling the performance of its operations for continuous enhanced efficiency. The company returns 3.9 billion litres of water to communities each year from replenishment projects completed or underway, while, in 2022, 90% of the electricity consumed by Amazon’s data centres was attributable to renewable energy sources.

Revenue: US$90.8bn (2023)

Employees: 136,000

CEO: Adam Selipsky

Founded: 2006

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