Pushed in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, what was already an increasing need for data centers has grown even larger. And as QTS points out in a new white paper, as the internet and our need for connectivity continue to expand, so will the data center market. That said, according to the report, the data center industry already rivals the airline industry in carbon emissions — a concerning statistic.
As the data center industry continues to grow, QTS notes that “the data center industry has an escalating responsibility to implement forward-looking initiatives that conserve energy and water, and minimize waste.”
The global pandemic has put it front and center the positive impact decreased emissions can have on the environment, as smog levels dropped as large portions of the population stayed home and businesses shut down.
QTS shares that the volume of energy the industry uses positions it to be a leader in promoting renewable energy and a series of resource efficiencies that can lessen the industry’s environmental impact.
“As key enterprises step up to promote sustainability, data centers can—and should—join their voices to pave a path for environmentally focused efficiencies and more sustainable years to come. Data centers without a future-looking sustainability strategy have may have a lot to lose,” QTS says.
Data centers, providing a location for organizations to house their equipment connect with the providers, partners and customers required to run their businesses, utilize a lot of power and other resources — and create a lot of waste.
“As a massive consumer of resources, the data center industry must follow suit and make changes within its facilities and its communities to conserve resources and protect the environment.” — QTS
The report states that the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a single large data center may require more than 100 megawatts of power capacity, which is enough to power 80,000 U.S. households. And there are more than 500 hyperscale data centers in the world, QTS points out.
And as the roles of data centers become increasingly important in out digital world, growth will cause the industry to consumer more resources and generate even more emissions.
QTS contends that data centers “need to make a public commitment to minimize their environmental footprints, invest in renewable energy, and devise long-term plans to continually improve their sustainable efforts.”
The report points out that to devise a comprehensive sustainability plan, data centers must address three environmental pillars of sustainability: power, water and waste.
Download the full report, “The Data Center’s Role in Building a Sustainable Future,” courtesy of QTS, to explore how data centers and the colocation industry can move us toward a more sustainable future.