Only 28% of data centres in Asia-Pacific know how their energy is utilised: JLL

EVEN though sustainability goals are becoming more important for data centres, only 28 per cent of them located in Asia-Pacific have access to key energy efficiency metrics, said real estate consultant JLL in a report on Wednesday (Jul 6).

Out of these 28 per cent, only 12 per cent extensively use sustainable energy and are able to assess its power costs across geographies and make data centres and workload placement decisions based on the best price or performance metrics.

The other 16 per cent are able to correlate energy spend with performance, as well as the business value achieved, and use this information to make decisions on future data centre investments. They also tend to invest in and rely more on alternative energy sources.

The report, which surveyed 505 data centres located across 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, also showed that 27 per cent of these data centres track their energy consumption in real time, while 31 per cent are able to view the power consumption in real time to eliminate energy-consuming infrastructure.

The remaining data centres do not know their energy efficiency and only track their energy consumption manually, which is then reviewed as a monthly expense.

"Over the next decade, enterprises must look beyond immediate onsite emissions, or those from energy supplies. Both new and legacy data centres must start to record the embodied carbon emissions (Scope 3 emissions) in their products, services and facilities," according to the report.

JLL's survey also found that 85 per cent of data centres agree that sustainability will significantly impact their operations and decision-making.

The sector is looking at how site selection based on environmental considerations, and circular economy principles can help reduce power consumption and maximise energy efficiency.

The report also revealed that 52 per cent of data centres surveyed include employee diversity and inclusion metrics in their sustainability reports.

Diversity and inclusion metrics, in fact, ranked third among the list of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations. Coming in first was reduction in energy use at 56 per cent, while investment in renewable energy sources came in second.

The report noted that the data centre industry still views ESG as an operational concern rather than one that profoundly impacts business decision-making.

"Bridging this gap in how ESG is woven in all aspects of the data centre business requires greater stewarding by investors," said the report.

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