Data centres: preparing for net zero normal

As the global groundswell for sustainability grows ‘net zero carbon’ has emerged as not just a goal to pursue, but an imperative pursuit for business.

Data centres are one of the fastest-growing infrastructure asset classes—and a historically carbon-intensive one at that—so developing, owning, or leasing facilities with net zero credentials will be a key component of successful business planning into the future. 

The race to net zero

Depending on where in the world they operate, data centre owners and managers are in different phases of the journey towards net zero carbon.

Europe, including the UK, is perhaps the most advanced market, with major industry players announcing a mutual commitment to achieving climate neutrality for the data centre sector by 2030—an agreement known as the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact. The Pact has been sparked by the broader European Green Deal which aims to make the entire continent climate neutral by 2050.

In the United States, the Biden Administration has recommitted to the Paris Agreement, and its climate envoy John Kerry has flagged that the US will look to require trade partners to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability as well.

Here in Australia, governments and industry are starting to talk in the language of net neutrality. And while the mechanisms by which we might achieve emissions reduction targets and timelines aren’t as bedded down as they are in other markets, waiting won’t pay when it comes to data centres.

 

Net neutrality will become a non-negotiable

Carbon neutral data centres are being planned and built in Australia already. And while such credentials are currently chalked up as a ‘value-add’ for the businesses that use these spaces (and a competitive advantage for providers in attracting new tenants), it won’t be long before net zero data centres are a compliance requirement and standard expectation.

In our globalised world, legislative changes tend to lift best practice not just within the borders of the countries where they are applied, but beyond them as well.

For businesses operating in Australia but based in Europe or the US, it is likely that climate neutrality will be a non-negotiable for any local data centres that they lease, build or acquire.

 

It's time to prepare, Australia

With long lead times to deliver new net zero infrastructure capacity through a lifecycle of feasibility, business development, planning, design and construction, now is the time to act. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you get ahead of the net zero data centres curve.

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