We have invested heavily in measures to improve the energy efficiency of our data centres. This has resulted in a significant reduction in energy use and also the ability to offer our clients world class environmentally sustainable data centre services.
Our 2017 Target
To improve data centre energy efficiency and reduce the average PUE ratio to 1.5 by 2020
Between 2008 and 2014 we achieved a 21% improvement in data centre energy efficiency. This trend began reversing in 2014, driven by the re-balancing of our data centre portfolio. We expect to see our PUE decreasing again in 2017, with the closure of less efficient data centres and with several energy efficiency improvements made in late 2016 coming into effect. Since 2014 we have also achieved an 11% reduction in data centre energy use and a 26% reduction in related data centre emissions.
Delivering sustainable data centre services
Making up over 40% of our emissions during 2016, our data centres continue to be a significant contributor to our greenhouse gas emissions. They remain energy intensive because of the high concentration of IT equipment which both uses energy directly and generates heat which must be dissipated. We have invested heavily in measures to improve the energy efficiency of our data centres resulting in a significant reduction of our own energy use and an ability to offer our clients class-leading environmentally sustainable data centre services.
Our Merlin data centre
In 2010, we opened our Merlin data centre, one of the most sustainable data centres in the world. We took a 360-degree view of sustainability for this facility, including:
- Developing Merlin on a brownfield site to avoid unnecessary construction activity
- Constructing modules with 95% recyclable materials
- Using cleaner flywheel energy storage technology to replace environmentally damaging batteries
- Achieving an industry-leading Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.09 (PUE is a standard data centre efficiency metric, determined by dividing the amount of power entering a data centre by the power used to run the computer infrastructure within it)
- Powering the data centre through renewable energy
We continue to drive improvements that will increase energy efficiency at Merlin. Recently, differential pressure sensors were installed to improve the method by which the Building Management System controls the air flow and cooling delivered.
Merlin and our Bristol data centre (Toltec) have both been approved as meeting the requirement of the “EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres” in recognition of our efforts to reduce energy consumption while still delivering key data centre functionality.