Beyond the EU EED – Sustainability Regulations Impacting the Data Centre IT Infrastructure of CIOs

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I highlighted the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive and its impact on CIOs, data centre owners, and operator in my last blog. This directive is part of a growing web of sustainability regulations facing the data centre industry, which I will focus on here.

In the documents included in the E.U. Energy Efficiency Directive, the E.U. Commission is aligning with existing regulations and initiatives for data centres and buildings that contain data centres. In Europe, Germany, France, and the Netherlands have enacted legislation aimed at reducing the energy consumption of data centres. In Australia and China, requirements for rating and building green data centres are in place. Similar regulations are expected in North America. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States ruled on a disclosure requiring large, publicly traded companies to report on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reporting for Scope 1 and 2 by 2026. Data centre operations can represent a significant part of these emissions.

IT Professional monitoring sustainability in the data center

Driving data centres to become more energy efficient

The common theme of these regulations is driving data centres to become more energy efficient. This action can be taken in multiple way including measuring, collecting, and publishing data relevant to the energy consumption, power utilisation, temperature set points, waste heat utilisation, water usage, cooling effectiveness, and use of renewable energy of data centres.

The data points collected will provide valuable insights for data centre operators to benchmark their performance, identify areas for improvement, and track progress towards sustainability goals.

Europe is leading the charge with the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive and Fit for 55 package with its goal of reducing E.U. emissions by 55% by 2030. As the European Commission approved the directive on March 14th, the time is now for organizations to comply, and, for many, complying will be considered a benchmark of success. And the first deadline has been pushed back to the 15th of September 2024, giving owners and operators a bit more time to collect the data needed to be reported.

Start bridging IT and OT data

Part of the latest publication from the E.U. Commission regarding the EU Energy Efficiency Directive lists the size categories of data centres ranging from 100kW to larger than 10MW. According to an IDC survey on data centres, “Rack density is rising due to the adoption of new technology like Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI). Distributed IT environments and server rooms may come into the scope of the regulations. Therefore, enterprises must look at both their data centres and their IT infrastructure and start bridging IT and OT data. A recent study by CapGemini found 43% of executives were not aware of their organization’s IT footprint. An IT footprint is the environmental impact of the resources used to house, power, and cool the IT equipment that runs our digital world.

An effective way to meet the directive

Owners and operators will need to maintain a resilient, secure, sustainable infrastructure and software is a key enabler. Data Centre Infrastructure Management or DCIM software is an effective tool to monitor, manage, plan, and model critical IT infrastructure and IT whitespace within a data centre. Schneider Electric is invested in supporting you with the evolution of its DCIM solution, EcoStruxure IT. New features were announced at the beginning of March, restating the company’s commitment to focus on sustainability by supporting customers in increasing visibility to metrics required to be reported to governments and improving their own infrastructure.  Learn more about our DCIM solution – EcoStruxure IT by visiting se.com/DCIM (link)

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