The share of data centres in worldwide electricity consumption now reaches 2%, with a high, exponential growth rate. Data centre operation, but also production and end-of-life of the equipment, are hence relevant contributors to environmental burdens from emissions and resource consumption. At the same time, data centres contribute to the so-called “enabling effect” of ICT, i.e. of helping other industries to improve their environmental performence. Within this setting, the European Commission’s DG CONNECT has organised a workshop on “Green Data Centres: policy measures, methodologies and metrics” in context of the Digital Agenda for Europe. The invited experts from across the data centre industry and from data centre users have discussed the following questions and made related recommendations: Is there a lack of environmental policy measures and publicly available data on data centres? Is there a need of new metrics / harmonisation of existing ones on the environmental impact of data centres? Should the Data Centre, in the context of environmental policy measures/methodologies/metrics, be approached as a system or should it be approached as its individual components?
maki Consulting has developed the background report and presentation for this workshop and has subsequently prepared as rapporteur the freely accessible workshop report on its outcome.