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Lord Hunt, Minister for Sustainable Development and Energy
Innovation yesterday welcomed the launch of the EU Code of Conduct
for Data Centres. Over the next six years a successful
implementation of the Code would allow UK businesses to save almost
£700 million in electricity costs.
Data centres are rooms or buildings within which computer servers operate to provide a wide range of data services, from websites and financial transactions, to emails and online computer games.
Lord Hunt encouraged data centre operators to adopt the Code, saying:
"If we are to tackle dangerous climate change, we need to reduce emissions and the decision businesses make play a key role in meeting this challenge. By signing up to this new code of conduct companies can save energy and save money too, which goes to show that what's good for the environment is good for business."
The UK is the first country in the world to set legally binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In order to achieve the ambitious target of an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gasses by 2050, everyone must play a part.
Data centres are responsible for almost three per cent of electricity use in the UK and this is expected to double by 2020. Within the next 12 months Defra will be seeking compliance by the main IBM Data Centre used for Defra systems.
The EU Code of Conduct was developed in close collaboration with the industry, including the British Computer Society (BCS). Signatories to the Code will be expected to implement the Code of Conduct's energy efficiency best practice, meet minimum procurement standards, and annually report energy consumption. This might mean that companies decommission old servers, reduce the amount of air conditioning they use, or maximise the use of a server by running multiple applications.
The Government's work through its Market Transformation Programme (MTP) was instrumental in the development of the Code, which should help save 4.7 million tonnes of CO2 over the next six years. This is equivalent to taking more than a million cars off the road.
Bob Harvey, Chair of the British Computer Society carbon footprint working group, said:
"The British Computer Society welcomes the publication of a European code of conduct for data centre operators. We see this as a vital step forward for the industry in encouraging IT management and data centre operators to focus on the appropriate issues. This is one of the key issues for the industry today and in the future and it is something that the BCS, as a professional body for IT practitioners are working to support."
John Higgins, Director General of Intellect, the trade association for the UK technology industry said:
"The EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres is an important landmark in the high-tech industries response to the challenge of global warming. Through this initiative we will better understand which practices are most effective and provide improved capacity at reduced cost to the environment. Intellect wishes the programme every success and encourages public and private sector IT users to support it."
Several organisations have already indicated their intention to become signatory to the Code of Conduct including BT, TelecityGroup, IOMart, Quest Software and Microsoft. The Green Grid - a global consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centres and business computing ecosystems - also publically indicated its support.
The Code of Conduct on Data Centres is a European wide voluntary initiative aiming to develop energy efficiency performance standards for data centres. Participants will commit to implementing a subset of expected best practice and to annually report energy consumption. The Code of Conduct will be continuously developed and updated in consultation with stakeholders to follow technological development.
Organisations who have been involved as contributor and/or reviewer to the Code of Conduct include: AMD, APC, ASHRAE, Austrian Energy Agency, British Computer Society (BCS), British Telecom (BT), CEPE ETH, Chloride Power, CS Technology, Dell, DEST, EC JRC, eco, EEIOCG, EMC, EYP, France Telecom, Fujitsu, Gartner, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Intellect, Interxion, Japanese Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI), Keysource, Mace Group, Microsoft, Nokia-Siemens, Quest Software, Sainsbury's, SenterNovem, Storage and Networking Industry Association (SNIA), Stulz, Telecom Italia, The Green Grid, UK Market Transformation Programme (MTP), Uptime Institute, US DoE Industrial Technologies Program, US EPA ENERGY STAR, Verari, Vmware, Vodafone, Datacenter Dynamics, HSBC, and Deutsche bank.