An independent survey of senior data centre professionals from across Europe carried out on behalf of Digital Realty Trust has revealed heightened concerns about government regulation in the European data centre industry.
The survey, conducted by Campos Research, found that nearly 70 per cent of companies said they are extremely concerned or very concerned with the potential impact of green regulations on data centres. It also found that 60 per cent of companies surveyed already have green data centre strategies in place.
“This survey clearly shows that there is a high level of concern about the impact of green regulations on data centre facilities,” said Jim Smith, CTO of Digital Realty Trust. “While the new Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) regulations in the EU address a number of questions about the new rules, new concerns about how companies will achieve compliance have arisen. That uncertainty is reflected in these results in terms of how the new rules will impact operations, finance and customer relations.”
The survey questioned high-level employees at companies with either €500 million in annual revenues or more than 2,500 employees. Firms in the survey also had to be responsible for managing a data centre, implementing a new data centre, executing contracts for a new data centre or expanding existing data centres.
Other findings from the study included:
- 57 per cent of respondents felt there was now a clear definition of what constitutes a green data centre;
- Energy efficiency is viewed as the key criteria for a green data centre;
- While many respondents mentioned a green strategy as a factor in choosing a data centre provider, no company emerged as a green leader in the survey;
- Among companies that have a green data centre strategy, the qualities they seek include knowledge of current regulations and emerging green standards, experience building facilities with LEED or BREEAM certification, the ability to meet ISO 14001 and Green Grid standards; and
- 55 per cent of respondents said they would reject a data centre provider with no green strategy.
While energy efficiency was seen as the dominant characteristic of a green data centre, recycled materials, carbon issues and transportation were nearly equally important to those surveyed, who also included targeted cooling, efficient UPS and metering equipment on their “wish list.”
Companies that have already adopted a green strategy said the most important goal of their strategy was to reduce energy costs, although other benefits — climate change, customer image, cost of compliance and updating data centres — were also important. Despite the challenges facing the global economy, 58 per cent of respondents had increased their focus on green initiatives and 69 per cent said carbon credits were part of their strategy.