Data centers have a unique role to play in helping to create a sustainable future. Since the operation of a significant portion of today’s digital technology is concentrated in some form of data center, these facilities rely on a lot of power. Therefore, data centers can have an oversized positive impact on environmental protection by utilizing natural resources efficiently and sustainably.
Many companies are somewhere in the process of developing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programs and policies that define the goals, activities, and metrics for each of these increasingly important areas of business. DC BLOX has also started marching down this path. We take our responsibility to the local environments of the communities that we serve very seriously. Although we have always focused on data center operational efficiency, we are formalizing the goals, programs, and actions necessary to ensure we achieve our sustainability objectives over time.
Data Center Sustainability and DEEP
There are a myriad of emerging government regulations and various industry energy efficiency guidelines that businesses can utilize to develop sustainability goals and programs. However, there are few industry-focused guidelines or resources that data center operators can turn to for help. One recently released program is the DEEP (Data Center Energy Evolution Program) launched by Informa Tech. The DEEP program was established to recognize, honor, and certify data centers that follow industry best practices for sustainability. The DEEP program was created and reviewed by dozens of data center experts. It offers a holistic view of data center sustainability that synthesizes the most relevant requirements from LEED, Department of Energy, Energy Star, BICSI, ASHRAE, AFCOM, Green Grid, and the European Code of Conduct for its assessments. It addresses not only the efficiency of electricity usage, but also carbon emissions, water usage, and e-waste.
The DEEP assessment evaluates adherence and deviations from industry best practices for each of the following areas:
- Electrical System – Considers the power generation source(s), backup power systems, power distribution, energy monitoring and management, and maintenance programs
- Mechanical System – Type, number and size of air-cooling systems, temperature sensors and monitoring, air and water usage economizers, HVAC power usage, and maintenance and optimization programs
- Airflow Management – Use of hot-aisle/cold-aisle containment, row and device temperature monitoring, potential airflow gaps/inefficiencies, and proper tonnage for cooling load
- Processes – Recycling program, DCIM / BMS solutions, PUE monitoring, reuse of heat waste, carbon footprint monitoring, environmental training, and a formal ESG program
DC BLOX DEEP Gold Certification
Though DC BLOX has always had an eye towards efficiency and environmental considerations, and believes that we are doing a good job, there is no substitute for having industry experts come inside to assess our performance compared to sustainability leaders. Therefore, it was decided that DC BLOX would pursue a DEEP assessment.
After experiencing an entirely professional and positive process, DC BLOX is pleased to report that we have achieved a DEEP Gold Certification for our Birmingham data center. This is DEEP’s highest-level award. The modern, repeatable design of all our data centers ensures that DC BLOX is doing our best to provide our services in an environmentally sustainable way across our markets. The DEEP certification will not be the end of our sustainability journey, but it represents a great beginning. Establishing a baseline of how we’re doing helps DC BLOX determine a path for improvement and enables our company to stay ahead of the curve as new regulations, customer requirements and enhanced technology emerge.
DC BLOX is a purpose-driven company. Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond our local data centers and customers, we understand it ultimately impacts the global community of everyone.
About DC BLOX
DC BLOX owns and operates interconnected multi-tenant data centers that deliver the infrastructure and connectivity essential to power today’s digital business. DC BLOX’s private network fabric and robust connectivity ecosystem enable access to built-in carriers, Internet exchanges, public cloud providers, and DC BLOX data centers to businesses across the Southeast. DC BLOX’s data centers are located in Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; Huntsville, AL; Chattanooga, TN; Greenville, SC with High Point/Greensboro, NC and a new cable landing station in Myrtle Beach, SC under construction. For more information, please visit www.dcblox.com, call +1. 877.590.1684, and connect with DC BLOX on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.