Green Data Centres Wait For Regulations

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Users are keen to know about sustainable data centres, but it looks like it might take regulations to push them to adopt a more environmental approach

Sustainable data centres are creating interest among potential users, but users may be waiting for regulations to force their hand before adopting them enthusiastically, according to feedback from an eWEEK Europe web seminar.

Attendees in eWEEK Europe’s webinar, Green Wash or Green Backs were asked what would drive them to adopt more sustainable data centre practices – a majority (over 60 percent) said it would be regulations, while smaller amounts voted for cash savings or environmental benefits.

The stick could be necessary to push IT managers to adopt better practices, the eWEEK panel agreed: “IT managers are conservative,” said Steve O’Donnell, managing director of Enterprise Strategy Group.

Best practices such as the EU Code of Conduct for data centres are not widely adopted, and this may eventually lead to legislation to enforce it, eWEEK was told last month by TelecityGroup’s Rob Coupland

A big boost will come with the end of the myth that green technology comes with a premium, said Dr Peter Wagget, emerging technology project leader at IBM: “Green technologies will be cheaper and will be adopted through pure competitive pressure.”

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“At the moment, companies are required to produce independently audited financial reports,” said Pip Squire, engineering director of data centre company Ark Continuity, which is opening a facility in Wiltshire that will ultimately use underground cooling to deliver very high efficiency data centre services. “If they have a carbon account, almost the same as their financial account, that will create more pressure.”

Financial pressure, carbon trading and corporate social responsibility will add up in the end to force companies to go down the sustainable route, said Squire.

eWEEK will be running a webinar on CRC issues and the impact of the Copenhagen summit, on 15 December. Our Green Wash or Green Backs webinar is also available for playback in our Events Channel.


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