According to research conducted by data center energy management firm Schneider Electric, many parts of the IT industry are having difficulty reconciling their words with their behaviors regarding addressing sustainability.
The companies are trying to keep their IT sustainability statements in line with their actions
The company reached out to 3,000 participants from the colocation, cloud, and IT industry thanks to the assistance of Canalys, Forrester, and 451 Research.
The Future is Now: Preparing IT Infrastructure for Net-Zero Operations presentation was held online on Wednesday, 8 June 2022, in which Elena Fedotova, vice-president for secure power at Schneider Electric France, revealed some key findings from the gathered data.
It was also discovered that despite the many challenges, individuals from all groups face. They are all trying to keep their IT sustainability statements in line with their actions.
“The common thread you see here… is the sustainability action gap, [which] in simple words is the difference between what I say and what I do,” said Fedotova.
The VP also highlighted the replies received by colocation providers who took part in the poll, which said that customers were the number one driving force behind their sustainability journey, with just 43 percent having a comprehensive IT sustainability program in place.
This has to be addressed for the energy efficiency improvements that the data center industry has made over the last decade – shown by a decline in industry average Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) scores from 1.7 to 1.2 – to be exploited, according to Fedotova.
This will require monitoring a wider range of performance indicators currently used to assess and track the environmental effects of data centers, rather than operators remaining as narrow-minded as they are present.
For example, operators should examine their PUE data to track how much of the power supplied by their facilities is coming from renewable resources and, therefore, what proportion of the greenhouse gas emissions are produced by their operations. They should also keep an eye on how much water they use and how much electronic waste they generate.
According to Schneider’s data fed back to IT professionals who took part in its research, a reason for the IT sustainability action gap is that managing IT assets’ energy usage within their hybrid environments is too difficult.
To limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as per the Paris Agreement, operators, IT leaders, and service providers must address the sustainability gap. She warned that if there is any chance of meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, they must address this issue. There are countless options to improve IT sustainability. You can check how bots are helping corporate sustainability here.
“Despite the multitude of carbon pledges being signed by various players in the industry, we are still on the trajectory of 3.5 degrees Celsius of global warming,” added Fedotova.
Taking action now may help you avoid being caught in the future. Firms that talk about sustainability but do nothing about it could suffer a competitive disadvantage when competing for consumers and investors in the future, as well as trouble recruiting employees.
“The progress needs to happen, and it needs to happen fast, but the good news is we have all the necessary tools to bridge the sustainability action gap,” explained Fedotova.
The problem has grown, and the urgency of taking action cannot be overstated. There are steps that data center operators, colocation providers, and IT executives can take immediately to begin closing the sustainability gap. She advises CIOs to look for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their hybrid environments by focusing on improving multi-tenant data center facilities’ efficiency metrics beyond PUE.
“IT tech and solution providers [should] focus on co-creating training programs to help CIOs breach this sustainability gap…and the change needs to happen in the coming 10 years. We have the tools to make it happen. So, in my opinion, there is nothing that stands in our way,” said Fedotova. Sustainability is very important to leave a green world for future generations. Thus, we have to talk about the hard truths about the data sustainability amidst the big data craze.