Sustainability-focused energy and automation digital solutions provider Schneider Electric announced today the launch of a comprehensive framework for environmentally sustainable data centers, aimed at enabling operators to measure and mitigate environmental impact.

According to Schneider Electric, data centers are responsible for up to 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, equivalent to that of the airline industry. As demand for data center resources increases rapidly, the need to address the environmental impact of the sector grows.

Schneider Electric’s framework proposes five areas of impact to address with 23 key metrics in Beginning, Advanced and Leading categories. The five areas include energy, GHG emissions, water, waste, and land & biodiversity. The framework was developed by the company’s Energy Management Research Center, leveraging expertise from ESG experts, sustainability consultants, data centre scientists, and data centre solution architects.

Pankaj Sharma, Executive Vice President, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric, said:

“Environmental sustainability reporting is a growing focus for many data centre operators. Yet, the industry lacks a standardized approach for implementing, measuring, and reporting on environmental impact. Schneider Electric developed a holistic framework with standardized metrics to guide operators and the industry at large. Our intention with this framework is to improve benchmarking and progress toward environmental sustainability to protect natural resources for future generations.”

According to the company, tracking and reporting on standardized sustainability metrics helps drive internal team alignment improvements and increases transparency. The framework also allows operators to remove the difficulty of selecting metrics for tracking, improve communication on sustainability objectives, act on the data to improve operations, enable regular reporting for external stakeholders, and standardize benchmarking across industry peers.

Rob Brothers, Program Vice President for the Datacenter and Support Services Program at IDC, said:

“The data centre industry has made significant progress in increasing energy efficiency; however, as digital demands increase, they must remain committed to driving long-term broader sustainability initiatives. You can’t have an impact on what you don’t measure; therefore, companies must establish clear and consistent metrics that account for not only efficient technology, but also the consumption (or possible destruction) of natural resources such as water, land and biodiversity.”

Click here to view Schneider Electric’s Guide to Environmental Sustainability Metrics for Data Centers