Sustainable Practices Can Lead To Business Savings

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Sustainability will be ‘critical’ to businesses, bringing cash savings as well as carbon cuts, according to Capgemini

Technology specialist Capgemini says putting energy efficiency at the forefront of business will give long-term cost benefits to organisations.

According to Paul Anderson, programme director for infrastructure outsourcing at Capgemini, sustainability is set to become ‘critical’ to businesses, as it comes under increasing scrutiny from governments and regulators.

“It will be high on the agenda because of everyone becoming more aware of the requirements,” said Anderson. “In regards to business, for elements of sustainability and greening there can be massive savings and it will bring down the scale of their overall carbon footprint.”

‘World’s greenest’ data centre

A module being fitted inside Merlin
A module being fitted inside Merlin

His comments come ahead of the launch of Capgemini’s Merlin data centre, scheduled for 17 September, which has been branded “the greenest data centre in the world”. Located in Swindon, the facility will reportedly set a new global standard for energy efficiency, with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.08.

Offering 3,000m² of technical floor space, spread over 12 “modules”, the data centre uses a combination of fresh air cooling and evaporative cooling, cutting the amoung ot cooling energy required by 92 percent compared with a conventional data centre using chilled water, and 75 percent compared with a high efficiency modern data centre with free-air cooling, Capgemini says.

Capgemini also considered the global context, according to Anderson:  “We wanted to understand how everything was produced so that we were not using some resource from Africa which was not doing anything about the environment there, or the people and the community there.”

One of the first customers of Capgemini’s Merlin data centre will be the UK government’s Environment Agency, which will reportedly occupy two of the 12 modules.

Energy efficiency management training

Meanwhile, IT consulting company Dimension 85 has announced a schedule of training courses covering data centre energy efficiency management for IT professionals involved in the management of energy resources.

The company claims that the training courses will provide an insight into the emerging concept of energy efficiency management within the data centre and discuss the considerations that need to be taken into account when implementing a business-led energy efficiency management initiative.

“The IT industry is being tasked to understand energy issues, reduce their costs and meet corporate governance commitments but there are few resources available for them to learn the skills necessary to achieve these objectives,” said Philip Vandenberg of Dimension 85.

“This is the first of a range of specifically developed courses aimed at empowering organisations to address the diverse issues surrounding energy efficiency, and our approach enables attendees to obtain real vendor-independent guidance on data centre infrastructure and energy efficiency.”

CRC and PUE

With the introduction of the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme earlier this year, British organisations are increasingly looking for ways to improve their sustainability and using greener sources of energy to power their servers and help meet ambitious emissions targets.

In August it was reported that the first of two new data centres at Cobalt Park in Newcastle has been named as one of the greenest in the UK, after being awarded a BREEAM Excellent rating at the design stage. The facility, known as DC1, was assessed against a broad range of environmental impacts, including energy, pollution, land use and materials, achieving an overall score of 75.78 percent. The centre is also on track to achieve a PUE rating of less than 1.3, the company claimed.

The PUE score of a data centre is the energy delivered to it, divided by the energy which actually reaches the server racks – a score of 1 would mean no energy is needed for cooling the servers. Invented by the sustainable computing group the Green Grid, it has been proposed as a standard for green data centres. However, the Green Grid has warned that PUE should not be used to compare one data centre with another, since other factors apply such as the local climate and the computing load.

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