Data Centres rapidly grow to support the European digital transition (Governments, Businesses and Citizens),
In order to neutralise the transition’s impact on the environment, the various players in the sector have set up many initiatives and Data Centre operators have not been left out.
In this respect, EBRC is a true pioneer and has acquired legitimacy and know-how on these issues.
“As early as 2006, we launched an Energy Saving Program to improve the energy efficiency of our Data Centres," explains Bruno Fery. "Since 2008, we have been using 100% renewable electrical energy1. We have been implementing best practices to optimize the energy efficiency of the Data Centres by participating in the European Commission's Code of Conduct since 2010. We have held the 14001 (environmental management) and 50001 (energy management) certifications since 2011.”
New, cleaner technologies using rainwater or recycled water
In 2021, EBRC joined the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact. The objective of this pact, which brings together the main players in cloud infrastructure services and data centres in Europe, is to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. It is based on 5 pillars: energy efficiency, responsible green energy, water conservation, circular economy and circular energy system. “We are working hard to achieve this goal well before 2030,” says Bruno Fery. “By the end of 2025, all our Data Centres will be climate neutral thanks to the strong commitment of our management, our CSR policy focused on respect for the environment and our teams of expert engineers.”
EBRC uses new technologies to improve the energy efficiency of its Data Centres. When designing and modernising its Data Centres, EBRC favours free cooling and free chilling solutions.
In the EBRC Data Centre in Betzdorf, an air-cooling system, the Kyoto Wheels, operates with virtually no energy input for 85% of the year. In two years' time, conventional cooling systems will be replaced by machines with magnetic bearings, which offer up to six times higher coefficients of performance at average load.
The drinking water used to spray technical equipment such as cooling towers has been replaced by rainwater. EBRC's Data Centres in Kayl and Betzdorf each have a rainwater tank of 500 cubic metres. “We also have a project to use gray water, which is domestic waste water with low levels of pollution,” says Bruno Fery.
Recovering energy for better distribution
The circular energy system plays an important role in EBRC's climate neutral strategy. “Our big challenge is to recover the maximum amount of heat energy emitted by the IT equipment in our Data Centres for reuse rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. Once captured, this heat can then be re-used to heat offices in the Data Centres and/or injected into urban networks designed to heat agricultural greenhouses or adjacent buildings,” explains Bruno Fery. “Our Kayl Data Centre uses heat pumps to heat the entire neighbouring building, which houses several POST group entities (Editus, InTech, i-Hub).”
Carbon neutrality: EBRC aims for 2040, 10 years before the legal deadline
“We are also very concerned about the circular economy,” says Bruno Fery. “We recycle all personal computers, monitors and servers at regular intervals. They are repackaged and placed in schools in Africa and elsewhere. In exchange, trees are planted in Luxembourg. In this way, we are achieving two goals at the same time: recycling and carbon offsetting.”
And this is only the beginning! EBRC intends to take further action to offset its own CO2 emissions and finance projects to reduce other emissions or to sequester carbon. As with the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact, EBRC aims at becoming carbon neutral by 2040, ahead of the EU deadline of 2050.
“We are firmly convinced that we can achieve this goal,” concludes Bruno Fery. “The two awards from the European Commission for our two eco-efficient Data Centres "Resilience Centre Luxembourg West" in Windhof in 2011 and "Resilience Centre Luxembourg South" in Kayl in 2016, as well as the international "Uptime Institute Award for efficient IT", reinforce our ambition.”