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Data centre, cloud leaders announce sustainability pledge

Leading cloud and data centre organisations, including Digital Realty, Equinix, Google and NTT have signed the new Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact

|Jan 22|magazine6 min read

The global data centre and cloud industry just took a huge step towards sustainable practice in Europe. On Thursday, leading players in the sector, including Equinix, Digital Realty, Interxion, Google and NTT, signed the new Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact

25 companies and 17 associations in total have signed up, making this the most significant and sweeping sustainability and climate reform action ever embarked up in the industry’s history. 

The pledge details specific steps these operators will take in order to make their data centres climate neutral by 2030. The Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact is a self regulatory initiative, monitored by the European Commission twice a year. 

The pact supports both the European Green New Deal - which is angling to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050 - and the sustainability-focused European Data Strategy

Signatories to the pact will need to set aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions between 2025 and 2030, including, proving energy efficiency with measurable targets, purchasing 100% carbon-free energy, prioritising water conservation, reusing and repairing servers rather than replacing them, and exploring new ways to reuse excess heat from their facilities. 

The full list of data centre operators and cloud providers to sign the agreement includes: 3DS Outscale (Dassault Systèmes), Altuhost, Aruba, Atos, AWS (Amazon Web Services), CyrusOne, Data4 ,DigiPlex, Digital Realty & Interxion, Equinix, FlameNetworks, Gigas, Google, Ikoula, Ilger, Infloclip, Irideos, ITnet, LCL, Leaseweb, NTT, OVHcloud, Register, Scaleway, and Seeweb. 

In addition, the 17 trade associations to sign up include: Association of Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers Europe (CISPE), EUDCA, the European Data Centre Association, Cloud28+, Cloud Community Poland, Danish Cloud Community, Datacentre Industrien, Data Centre Alliance, Dutch Data Centre Association, Dutch Hosting Providers Association, Eco - Alliance for strengthening digital infrastructures in Germany, EuroCloud Croatia, EuroCloud France, France Datacenter, Host in Scotland, IKT-Norge, ISPConnect, and TechUK. 

According to a spokesperson from Equinix, the pact “marks the first time the ind ustry has come together to solidify its commitment to ensure that European data centres are carbon neutral by 2030.” 

Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, commented: "Citizens across Europe use ever more technology to go about their daily lives and want this technology, also to help secure a sustainable future for people and planet. Today's pledge from important parts of the data industry constitutes a promise to society and offers a welcome first step towards achieving our common ambitions for a smart and sustainable future."

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