With Power Comes Responsibility

Dick Theunissen


By Dick Theunissen

As data generation and consumption grow, data centres and their power usage grow too. The key to maintaining the critical balance between uptime and efficiency is unrelenting innovation in design and a consistent policy of early adoption of the latest industry standards.

Did you know that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone?

Managing “big data” is a serious challenge for businesses, and at the infrastructure level it raises another one: more data centres, consuming more and more power.

Innovation and cooperation will be vital to improving the sustainability of data centres, and as a larger provider we should be offering leadership in this area because we have the resources and the expertise.

Smart architecture like closed loop energy systems builds in efficiency from the start. Our latest Amsterdam facility (AM3), for instance, uses Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) in the ground instead of mechanical cooling, with excess heat used to warm nearby buildings.

Equinix High Power Density Cabinets in Cold Aisle Containment

Responsible sourcing is the basis for efficient operation. For example, sourcing green power minimises emissions impact wherever it is possible, as in our UK, Dutch, French and Swiss facilities, where we use 100% green energy.

Operationally, third party certification shows that you walk the walk as well as talk the talk. In the USA we use LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, while in Europe we work with ISO standards.

Most of our European data centres have now achieved ISO 14001 (environmental management) certification and we were proud to be the first data centre provider in Europe to achieve ISO 50001 for energy management, following this up by signing up to the European Commission voluntary Code of Conduct for data centre energy efficiency.

Every incremental achievement in this area counts. We need to show our customers the way forward by providing them with demonstrable energy and environmental best practices in a framework of continuous improvement.