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iomart to sign EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres

19th November 2008 · Press Releases

Minister challenges IT industry to help fight climate change

Lord Hunt, Minister for Sustainable Development and Energy Innovation today welcomed the launch of the EU Code of Conduct for Data centres.

He went on to encourage data centre operators to adopt the Code, saying:

“If we are to tackle dangerous climate change, we need to reduce emissions and the decision businesses make play a key role in meeting this challenge. By signing up to this new Code of Conduct companies can save energy and save money too, which goes to show that what’s good for the environment is good for business.”

The UK is the first country in the world to set legally binding targets for reducing Greenhouse gas emissions. In order to achieve our ambitious target of an 80% reduction in Greenhouse gasses by 2050, we all have to play our part. Data centres are responsible for almost 3% of electricity use in the UK and this is expected to double by 2020. The Government’s work through its Market Transformation Programme (MTP) was instrumental in the development of the Code, which should help save 4.7 million tonnes of CO2 over the next 6 years. This is equivalent to taking more than a million cars off the road. Defra will be seeking compliance of the main IBM Data Centre deployed for Defra systems within the next 12 months.

The EU Code of Conduct was developed in close collaboration with the industry, including the British Computer Society (BCS). Signatories to the Code will be expected to implement the Code of Conduct’s energy efficiency best practice, meet minimum procurement standards, and annually report energy consumption. This might mean that companies decommission old servers, reduce the amount of air conditioning they use, or maximise the use of a server by running multiple applications.

Bob Harvey, chair of the British Computing Society Carbon Footprint group says: "The BCS believes that Code is an important step in developing an effective understanding of IT energy use and the development of best practice to improve efficiency. This is something that we as a professional body for IT professionals are working very hard to achieve and to support this, the organisation’s internal IT department is committed to adopting this code.”

British Telecom have been involved since the beginning of the Code of Conduct as contributor and reviewer. Roel Louwhoff, CEO of BT Operate said:

“Contributing, piloting and signing up to the Code of Conduct is part of BT’s strategy and commitment to energy efficiency and carbon reduction. The 21CN Data Centre transformation initiative within BT is in line with the best practices from the Code of Conduct and aims to reduce power consumption and increase energy efficiency across the data centre estate.”

Michael Tobin, CEO of TelecityGroup a leading network independent data centre operator in Europe, says: “TelecityGroup intends to become a full participant of the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres and believes that it represents a demonstrable commitment to our customers and shareholders to be highly efficient in our use of energy. Having already applied the Code’s best practices to our data centres in Amsterdam we are now looking at rolling out the code across all our geographies in Europe. TelecityGroup also believes that promoting the IT practices of the code to our customers in the capacity of an ‘endorser’ will further demonstrate that energy and cost efficiency is very much at the heart of our long term strategy and how we operate.”

John Higgins, Director General, Intellect said:

“The EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres is an important landmark in the high-tech industries response to the challenge of global warming. Through this initiative we will better understand which practices are most effective and provide improved capacity at reduced cost to the environment. Intellect wishes the programme every success and encourages public and private sector IT users to support it.”

Other organisations indicated their intention to become signatory to the Code of Conduct including iomart, Quest Software, and The Green Grid – a global consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centres – publically indicated its support.

Notes To Editors

1. The Code of Conduct on Data Centres is a European wide voluntary initiative aiming to develop energy efficiency performance standards for data centres. Participants will commit to implementing a subset of expected best practice and to annually report energy consumption. The Code of Conduct will be continuously developed and updated in consultation with stakeholders to follow technological development.

2. Over the next 6 years a successful implementation of the Code would allow UK businesses to save almost £700 million in electricity costs.

3. The Code of Conduct is owned by the European Commission, you can find the code here: http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/energyefficiency/html/standby_initiative_data%20centers.htm

4. The Market Transformation Programme (MTP) supports UK Government policy on sustainable products. Operating in the public domain it publishes, for public scrutiny and challenge, its current analysis of the issues, scope, priorities and policy options to reduce whole life environmental impacts of mass marketed goods and services. The programme seeks to drive competition and innovation through performance measurement, labelling and standards approaches, informing decisions on, for example, EU directives, voluntary industry agreements and government procurement. For more information go to: www.mtprog.com

5. BT worked with Defra’s MTP to pilot the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres on two sites which are representative both of its estate and the industry. BT plans to expand the project and adopt the best practices across the rest of its estate in the UK and Europe, and to be fully compliant with the Code of Conduct in the future.

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