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European Commission

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European Commission
Code of Conduct for Data Centres

promoting best practice energy efficiency

Why do we need the code of conduct?

The Data Centre is second only to aviation as the largest contributor of carbon emissions that cause climate change. The EU code of conduct for Data Centre represents an industry wide consensus on best practice to minimise the carbon footprint of Data Centre. In addition it is the perfect vehicle to adopting a strategic policy of improving energy efficiency within the Data Centre over the long term. Participants of the code include industry leaders such as Microsoft, IBM, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, Vodafone and Intel.

Already, the world’s 44 million servers consume 0.5 percent of all electricity, with Data Centre emissions now approaching those of individual countries such as Argentina or the Netherlands. In 2008, the total electricity consumed by Data Centres was 20 thousand-million MWh, which represents an energy bill of around €1.6 trillion. Compounding this, growth in electricity used by data centers between now and 2010 will be the equivalent of ten new power plants. Without efforts to curb demand, current projections show worldwide carbon emissions from data centers will quadruple by 2020.

What does the code mean to buyers of colocation and Data Centre services?

The code is an assurance of up-to-date best practice, energy efficiency and cost savings. Up to 60 to 70% of the cost of Data Centre space is energy. However, as much as 60% of the energy you pay for is spent on ancillary Data Centre systems such as cooling, UPS etc. Only the remainder is actually consumed by the IT equipment itself. Therefore if you choose a Data Centre that are accredited participants of the code you can be assured that best practice is being followed to minimise this wastage. This is better for the environment and helps keep your colocation costs to a minimum.

What does the code mean for Data Centre operators and owners?

Participation of the code is an opportunity to build on your existing skills, gain insight from the industry and to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to the climate change issue of Data Centre operation. In addition there is a tightening of standards, with the introduction of new carbon legislation, open market trading in carbon, and the EPBD directive all of which indicate the pressures that are mounting on energy reduction.

However, participants have already proven you will save money. Energy efficiency initiatives often have very short ROI’s or are even self-funding. It is also an opportunity for the industry to lead and demonstrate self regulation.

How can Colofinder help?

As Endorsers of the code, we encourage our Data Centre partners to sign up to the code and achieve participant status. We also advise our clients who are looking for colocation to choose an appropriate provider that offers a service sympathetic to the environment and one who adopts best energy efficiency practices. In addition, we have built a network of resources and Code of Conduct expertise throughout the UK and Europe to help both private and commercial Data Centres achieve Participant status. These are independently audited by us and a variety of programmes and services are available to assist in achieving participant status of the code and a long term energy efficiency strategy. These include energy specialists and low carbon consulting, using best of breed tools and skill sets for all aspects of Data Centre critical environments.

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