The Depth of the Green Movement in the European Datacentre Market

Digital Realty Trust, Inc., a leading owner and manager of corporate and Internet gateway datacentres, is reporting new research data entitled, "How Green is Green?" focused on determining the depth of the Green movement in the European datacentre market. The release of this data follows the publication of a parallel study of the North American datacentre market. This European study is based on a recent poll of senior decision makers who are leaders in datacentres or influence significant decisions related to datacentre operations at large European companies. The surveyed companies come from a wide range of industries, a quarter of which are from financial related services.

Key findings from the research study and additional data points are provided below:

  • 60 per cent of respondents have a declared green strategy.
  • Firms with green strategy are largely holistic in nature and think their strategy must include both the facility as well as the equipment operating within it.
  • Datacentre carbon footprints are a key area of concern: over 60 per cent of respondents include the purchase of carbon credits in their overall green strategy.
  • Less than 50 per cent of respondents require vendors to have a green strategy.
  • Less than 35 per cent of survey participants know of a datacentre partner with a declared green strategy. The lack of clear vendor strategies leads to leniency.
  • The need for vendors to articulate a green strategy will only continue to grow in the next 13 to 24 months: over 60 per cent or respondents indicate that this need will continue to increase within the next two years.

"At the same time that we conducted this survey of European companies, we did a study of green datacentre trends in North America. There are some interesting findings that I believe have relevance to the European market. The North American survey indicates that forward momentum of green datacentre initiatives has stalled or even lost ground. The primary culprit appears to be the lack of clear industry standards for green datacentres," said Jim Smith, Vice President of Engineering at Digital Realty Trust. "European companies expressed similar concern about the lack of clear, practical industry standards, and that could be a harbinger of a similar green 'slowdown' in Europe. Companies are looking to the datacentre industry for leadership and clarity on how to define, design and operate a green datacentre. The industry must make this a key focus this year."

A number of additional findings from the research study are as follows:

  • Respondents feel that there are many potential standards bodies to choose from but there is still no clear leader. The key factor for this is that the definition of Green is not universally adopted.
  • No clear definition of 'Green' exists and multiple components are currently viewed as green. At the moment survey participants feel that coalescence is required around a defined set of principles. Almost 70 per cent see efficient power usage as the 'greenest' component.
  • Being "Green" will become an essential selection criteria for vendors within the next 24 months: almost 70 per cent of respondents indicated that this will be an important selection criteria in the next 24 months.
  • Green Strategy is expected to grow as a requirement for vendors in the next 12 to 24 months, forcing datacentre firms to articulate and clarify their green strategies.

"Digital Realty Trust takes great pride in being an industry leader in green datacentre design and operations. We are also committed to supporting industry-wide initiatives to increase datacentre efficiency," said Jim Smith. "One of the key ways we are doing this is by sharing energy efficiency data. We are the first company in the datacentre industry to do so, in response to customers and other end-user organizations who are seeking data and benchmarks that educate them about the energy efficiency of competing facilities and about how their datacentre can support their corporate green strategy."

Smith added, "We are also supporting industry-wide green datacentre initiatives by continuing to be an active member of The Green Grid, which is doing excellent work establishing standards and best practices for datacentre energy efficiency. We will continue to be a leader in applying LEED and BREEAM specifications to our building design and operations. Although these specifications are not designed specifically for datacentres, they have tremendous value for institutional building owners like Digital Realty Trust. These specifications provide a holistic view of how buildings impact our environment and a proven methodology for minimizing that impact."

To read the results of the North American study of green datacentre trends, visit the "News" section at Digital Realty Trust will also host a Webinar about the results of these green datacentre trend studies on Monday, 21st April, 2008. The Webinar, entitled "How Green is Green?" will be conducted by Bernard Geohegan, Vice President, Europe, who will provide additional data and analysis of these trends. To register for the Webinar, visit

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