Equinix, Inc. has announced its commitment to reducing its overall power use by increasing operating temperature ranges within its data centres – the first such commitment by an operator of colocation data centres. Starting immediately, Equinix will begin to define a multi-year global roadmap for thermal operations within its data centres aimed at achieving significantly more efficient cooling and decreased carbon impacts, all while continuing to deliver the premium operating environment Equinix is known for. Over time, this initiative is expected to enable thousands of Equinix customers to reduce the Scope 3 carbon emissions associated with their data centre operations as supply chain sustainability becomes an increasingly important part of the overall environmental initiatives of today’s businesses.
IT equipment within data centres, including routers, servers and storage arrays, emit high levels of heat that requires data centres to be fitted with robust cooling systems to remove that heat. According to Rob Brothers, program vice president, Datacentre Services, IDC, “Most datacentres operate within restrictive temperature and humidity bands, resulting in environments that are unnecessarily cooler than required. Equinix will work with enterprises to change the way we think about operating temperatures within data centre environments and how the industry can ensure optimal service levels for mission-critical digital infrastructure, while improving data centre efficiencies. With this initiative, Equinix will play a key role in driving change in the industry and help shape the overall sustainability story we all need to participate in.”
Meanwhile, Sue Preston, vice president and general manager, Advisory and Professional Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), said, “As a long-time partner, we are pleased to see that Equinix is driving efficient data centre operations through smart, sustainable operating practices. Optimising data centre temperatures results in more efficient operations, benefitting businesses and the planet. Through the HPE GreenLake alliance, both HPE and Equinix offer a comprehensive, cloud-smart and sustainable customer solution.”
As a part of this new efficiency initiative, Equinix expects to operate its facilities closer to 27°C (80°F), aligning operating limits across its global data centre portfolio with the globally accepted boundaries of the A1A standards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). When combined with existing Equinix initiatives such as optimising the use of outside air temperatures to cool its data centres, this new initiative will contribute to the overall sustainability of its data centres through efficiency improvements measured through Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). PUE represents the total amount of power being used by a data centre divided by the power used to run the IT equipment within the data centre, providing an industry standard for data centre energy efficiency.
Additionally, Raouf Abdel, executive vice president, Global Operations, Equinix, said, “Our cooling systems account for approximately 25 per cent of our total energy usage globally. With this new initiative, we can intelligently adjust the thermostat in our data centres in the same way that consumers do in their homes. Once rolled out across our current global data centre footprint, we anticipate energy efficiency improvements of as much as 10 per cent in various locations.”
Also, Jon Lin, executive vice president and general manager, Data Centre Services, Equinix, said, “Data centres are critical to our daily lives, housing the equipment and interconnecting the businesses that fuel our digital lives – from online shopping to sending emails to streaming movies and video calls. As more than 10,000 businesses globally rely on Equinix’s digital infrastructure, it plays a critical role in their supply chains. This initiative, once deployed, has the potential to significantly benefit these businesses as they seek to reduce the Scope 3 carbon emissions in their supply chain to meet their overall climate targets. It marks an important step in our comprehensive sustainability program and our climate-neutral commitment.”
- Equinix was the first in the data centre industry to commit to becoming climate neutral, aligned to approved science-based targets, for emissions reduction across its global operations and supply chain by 2030.
- Equinix recently signed two new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in Finland for the creation of new renewable energy generation, bringing its total renewable energy capacity under long-term contract globally to approximately 300MW.
- Equinix’s renewable energy coverage has been over 90 per cent since 2018. In 2021, the company achieved 95 per cent renewable energy coverage.