• Portman Partners

Vantage has goals of using zero carbon by 2030

One of the largest data centre users has decided to set some ambitious climate goals and is making carbon a priority.

Vantage data centres have taken the decision to follow some of its biggest customers by pledging to emit no carbon by 2030. The company has also acknowledged that they might not be able to reach the net-zero goal fully within this timeframe, so may have to resort to carbon offsets to fill in the gap.


The strategy of reaching the goal of net-zero includes investment in R&D technologies, for example, energy storage and power-backup alternatives to diesel-run generators to renewable energy procurement. Along with this, they aim to collaborate with data centre tenants to reduce their carbon footprint and ensure the building is supplying a chain of vendors whose climate goals are in line with their own. Not only this, Vantage is also looking to invest in carbon removal technology.


THE NEW NET-ZERO CARBON GOALS


There has recently been a shift in the way in which large data centre operators approach carbon emissions. The focus has shifted from offsets to true net-aero carbon. The operators are now increasingly acknowledging that just archiving carbon neutrality is not enough to reduce emissions.

In 2019, Google became the first company to pledge to power all of its offices and data centres with carbon-free energy by 2030 (Data Center Knowledge,2020). Google is not alone with this goal, with Microsoft making a similar net-zero pledge this year. Both companies have come to realise how complex of a problem this is to solve and that technologies are yet to be developed and the energy market is yet to have a restructure.


IT’S A LONG ROAD TO NET-ZERO CARBON


Vantage understands it will be a long road to become net-zero, within their strategy they are looking to solve the round the clock carbon-free energy puzzle. Senior Director of sustainability at Vantage, Amanda Sutton has said a lot of the focus will be on “partnering with utilities to invest in infrastructure that allows for storage of renewable energy”. It’s a matter of investing in developing the technology, not just installing enough batteries to sustain load overnight.


Vantage has an R&D budget but Sutton has said that the focus for R&D for them right now is around design and they are building a lot of facilities. Data centre developers have a strong incentive to improve their facilities to ensure they are optimising energy and water efficiency.


Vantage is part of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, which is an industry association which is made up of around 200 big companies who are working to change energy markets in the US to improve the access to renewable energy at a larger scale.


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This blog was originally published by Data Center Knowledge

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