Aggreko has reaffirmed its commitment to more sustainable data centre construction with the launch of its Greener Upgrades.
The initiative will see Aggreko invest £30m in more environmentally-friendly temporary solutions before the end of the year, as part of the company’s wider decarbonisation strategy.
Within the next 10 years,
the business aims to cut the amount of diesel used in its fleet and reduce
local air quality emissions from its equipment by 50% each, with the eventual
goal of achieving carbon neutrality across all business operations by 2050.
Billy Durie, Global Sector Head for Data Centres at Aggreko, says: “With pressing climate commitments growing in the global conscience, data centre operators are leading the way in re-evaluating the environmental impact of their facilities. However, it’s important to recognise that this is something that goes beyond the realm of day-to-day operations.
“With the launch of Greener Upgrades, we’re trying to support contractors in their efforts to build more sustainably, by reducing both the carbon footprint and local emissions of data centre construction. Only by ensuring that the environmental impact of both construction and operation remains to a minimum can we enable the growth of truly green IT infrastructure.”
While a number of motions towards greener practice can be observed in Europe’s data centre market, the focus has predominantly been on increasing operational efficiency through the adoption of technologies such as free cooling and waste heat recovery systems. With the launch of Greener Upgrades, Aggreko aim to support the move towards carbon neutral data centre construction.
Statistics from the Digital Economy and Society Index’s (DESI) 2020 Report indicate that internet use in the EU continues to grow year-on-year, with 85% of Europeans surfing the web once a week – an increase of 10 percentage points since 2014. With demand showing no signs of slowing down, the construction of new data centres will be required to avoid placing strain on existing infrastructure.
Earlier research from
Aggreko showed that grid access was among the top priorities for British and
Irish contractors during the data centre construction phase. However, with
larger projects often taking weeks to establish a connection, temporary power
and temperature control is required in the interim.
The launch of Greener Upgrades follows the introduction of ultra-low emission Stage V compliant generators to the Aggreko fleet, which are compliant with the European Commission’s Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD). The MCPD forms part of 2013’s Clean Air Policy Package, with the aim of limiting the emission of certain pollutants from Medium Combustion Plants. Aggreko has also recently pioneered the use of hydro treated vegetable oil (HVO) as a drop-in fuel, allowing operators to reduce local emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
In the coming months, Aggreko is also set to launch an online estimation tool which will allow data centre contractors to calculate the reductions they can make in CO2, local emissions and fuel. This tool will enable operators to witness a projection of what may be possible before experts undertake a full assessment.
Billy concludes: “With this investment, we’re ensuring that data centre contractors are equipped with the tools and support necessary to build sustainably. This will prove a crucial development going forwards, especially when both growing demand for data and net zero targets are considered.”