Constantly improving the eco-efficiency of EBRC data centres

Since 2010, EBRC has been adhering to best practices in terms of environmental efficiency of its data centres. Its initiative in this area helped it earn the "European Code of Conduct for Data Centres 2016" at the Data Cloud Europe event held on June 7 in Monaco. An interview with Bruno Fery, Head of Datacentre Services at EBRC, about these environmental issues.

To limit the impact on the data centre's environment, the European Commission pushes operators to adopt a code of conduct. "EBRC, which has social responsibility in its DNA, adopted the best practices in sustainable development as early as 2010," says Bruno Fery.

EBRC set up data centres with a high level of performance in terms of technology but also ecology. It has coupled the development of its business to an ongoing policy to improve the energy efficiency of its infrastructure and its services. "It is true that we face significant energy requirements for the cooling of our infrastructure. But our approach allowed us to minimise the impact of our activities on the environment," says the Head of Datacentre Services.

The 4 levers to improve energy efficiency

EBRC's approach to limit its carbon footprint, which earned it the "European Code of Conduct for Data Centres 2016" of the European Commission, rests on several pillars:

  1. The purchase of eco-responsible energy : 100% of the electricity used by EBRC is hydroelectric.
  2. The implementation of eco-efficient technologies : like the Kyoto wheel (free cooling technology), solar panel installations or the use of rainwater to spray in the cooling towers. On the other hand, by bringing cold air directly to the servers, instead of cooling an entire IT room as was done in the past, EBRC manages to maintain optimal temperature using much less energy.
  3. The adoption of methods to ensure increasing energy savings. EBRC is ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 50001 (energy management) certified.
  4. Trained staff : EBRC has a team of twenty engineers ensuring the operational management of its data centres. All of them are continuously being trained, particularly in areas related to the environment and energy.

Eco-efficient data centres

"We tend to think that a data centre consumes a lot of energy. But if all these computer systems were scattered rather than concentrated in one place that is designed for this purpose and energy-efficient, the environmental impact would be much greater, explains Bruno Fery. Every day we strive to limit the impact of our operations on the environment."

Aside from that, the heat generated by the servers is recovered. Thus, the recovery of energy within the "Resilience Centre South" located in Kayl not only provides all the heat needed for the Business Continuity Centre of EBRC, but also the adjacent building that hosts the "sister" companies Editus and Intech.

"A societal approach that benefits the customer"

"Engaging in such an approach to social responsibility strengthens the commitment inside the teams and ultimately benefits the customer. We believe we have reduced our CO2 emissions by 10 000 tonnes per year. At a time when the taxation of emissions is being thought about, this matters. Our approach makes us constantly hunt for energy losses."

The price received in Monaco in early June rewards the work of our teams.
"But it in no way represent a final destination. It confirms that we are on the right track. This is an ongoing project, which must be constantly reassessed to enable us to go further," concludes Bruno Fery.

Article published on IT Nation website, June 2016