Originally posted to DP Facilities,

The need for the data center in our day and age is unavoidable, but the toll this dependence takes on global environments is unmistakable. In 2016, it was reported that worldwide data centers consumed around 3 percent of global electricity supply and accounted for about 2 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions — amounting to the same carbon footprint as the airline industry.

When put in the context of a strong growth in demand for data center services (Marketsandmarkets states that the data center colocation market size is expected to grow from $31.5 billion in 2017 to $62.3 billion by 2022) and an expanding amount of global data, this environmental issue grows bigger and more urgent. With businesses and individuals alike continuing to generate astonishing amounts of data and depending even more on the storage, access and transport of that data, the carbon footprint of data centers will continue to trend upwards if not disrupted.

The Great Environmental Pivot

Fortunately, action is being taken by the industry to redefine data centers for more ethical and efficient design and operation. Hyperscalers like Amazon, Google and Microsoft have committed to large-scale renewable energy initiatives, some even committing to achieving 100 percent renewables in a matter of years. On a more widespread scale, operators everywhere are shifting their sights to strategies that make cooling more efficient, reduce power consumption and more.

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