Sustainability Strategies in Colocation

Colocation is a fast-growing segment of the data center industry. But assessing colocation providers' sustainability performance is challenging. This report investigates and highlights sustainability innovations currently deployed by retail colocation companies worldwide.

Key findings:

  • Siting factors can make sustainability challenging; not all operators can use free air cooling, municipal waste-heat reusage, or low-carbon electricity grids.

  • Most operators anticipate mandatory sustainability reporting mid-term: those with strategies in place will best withstand regulatory and consumer emissions-reduction pressures.

  • Renewable energy certificates (RECs) and guarantees of origin (GOs) are central to most providers’ renewable energy plans — their variable effectiveness in limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions notwithstanding.

  • Data centers with the lowest water and energy consumption utilize free cooling, once through liquid cooling, direct liquid cooling (DLC) and / or in-row heat rejection to remove heat from the IT space.


Report Authors:

  • Max Smolaks, Research Analyst, Uptime Institute
  • Lenny Simon, Senior Research Associate, Uptime Institute
  • Douglas Donnellan, Research Associate, Uptime Institute

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