Data centers can cause serious environmental damage — now unless we regulate them

With average adult spending 4.2 hours In one day of smartphone apps in 2020, addiction to technology has evolved beyond what we thought it would be. From ordering food to connecting with loved ones and glancing at the latest series, our data consumption is an integral part of our daily lives.

As a result, businesses are consuming more data than ever before, and this trend will continue to grow. But the way we love our technology can cause permanent damage to the planet.

Although the move to the cloud promises to solve many of the data overload problems, data centers are now Same emissions as the global aviation industry..

As COP26 ends, one of the biggest challenges that international leaders have been unable to address is to set stricter and clearer regulations for the exponentially growing cloud industry.

The truth about “carbon neutrality”

Many tech companies publicly claim to be “carbon neutral,” but the truth isn’t that clean.Many of them just buy Renewable energy certificate or REC Offsets paper emissions and does not provide the right ones transparency In the calculation of their emissions. And that’s a big problem.

Without clear, transparent and universal reporting standards, it is not possible to know the percentage of green energy used to power a data center and the percentage of REC offsets purchased.

REC is fine as a band-aid for emissions, but it’s not a long-term solution.

Since the damage of the climate crisis cannot be repaired after the fact, it is important to focus on building a data center that is actually suitable for the environment instead.

The lack of reporting standards not only means that we are missing records of greenhouse gas emissions, but also lead to gross over of other harmful factors.

according to Uptime Institute 2021 Global Data Center SurveyAlthough many people report on power consumption, the power and water resources needed to keep a data center cool are often not tracked or considered. Nor is it electronic waste created by the need for continuous server replacement.

For example, in a data center in the Netherlands 1 million cubic meters of water Equivalent to a year One-person household with 19,230 people..

Earlier this year, there was a report that residents of North Holland could experience it. Water shortage due to data center..I made this claim later Local government disputedThere is growing concern about the potential impact of increased water consumption due to data center growth on an unprecedentedly warming climate.

Can sustainability and technology thrive together?

Reliance on technology that enhances business and everyday life proves an increasing need for data processing.

Data consumption and sustainability may seem to be at the competing edges of the spectrum, but momentum is shifting to more environmentally friendly and more sustainable forms of cloud computing ideas. More and more consumers are demanding that companies play an active role in reducing emissions, and are spotlighting leading technology companies and cloud providers to address this issue.

Consumer awareness and activism are important to put pressure on businesses, but it is the government that needs to set stricter emission reduction targets and transparent reporting standards.

The European Union was a leader in this field with an ambitious green deal, including a request for a data center to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

As more companies seek ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, this could pave the way for EU-based data service providers to take the lead.

Throughout Europe, countries like Finland, which have made significant investments in renewable energy, are seen as examples of green technology innovators and are inspiration for those seeking greener energy consumption.In France, new legislation is putting pressure on cloud providers Reduce energy consumption..

Some cloud providers will further measure their impact.Cloud provider Scaleway Real data center efficiency Measures to provide customers with an objective view of their environmental impact. By doing so, technology companies provide consumers with the transparency and information they need to make the best choices for them.

However, for global data centers to be responsible for sustainability advances, there are clear and comparable criteria not only for electricity consumption and PUE, but also for other factors such as water consumption and e-waste reduction. Must be entirely present.

With new consumer pressure and data center legislation, companies need to be more pressured to choose a green cloud provider. At this time, companies are under pressure to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, but are not responsible for the emissions generated by the data stored on external cloud servers.

As of 2023, the new law requires EU-based companies with more than 250 employees to report on their environmental impact as well as on their financial results. Please note in particular.

While there are many concerns that world leaders must consider regarding climate change, data consumption continues to grow, but we overlook taking action to promote more environmentally friendly cloud services. It’s not something you can’t do.

There are several ways to do this.

  • Set clear and universal environmental reporting standards for data centers
  • Include water consumption, IT or data center carbon emissions, and e-waste in calculations
  • Providing data centers with incentives to invest in green technology adoption and research (especially new cooling technologies)
  • Responsible for emissions associated with external data and provide incentives to choose green data service options
  • Ban European water towers Data centers can cause serious environmental damage — now unless we regulate them

Back to top button