The European Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centre: Towards a Low Carbon Europe

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The European Code of Conduct for Data Centres programme is a voluntary initiative managed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s in-house science service. The Code addresses primarily data centre owners and operators, and secondly the supply chain and service providers.

  The energy saving focus of the Code of Conduct covers two main areas: 1. IT Load - this relates to the consumption of the IT equipment in the data centre. 2. Facilities Load - this relates to the mechanical and electrical systems that support the IT electrical load. Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 4.17.49 PM

The Data Centres Code of Conduct has been created in response to increasing energy consumption in data centres and the need to reduce the related environmental, economic and energy supply impacts. The aim is to inform and stimulate operators and owners to reduce energy consumption in a cost-effective manner without hampering the critical function of data centres. Providing a platform to bring together European stakeholders to discuss and agree voluntary actions which will improve energy efficiency following European conditions such as the climate and energy markets regulations.

Many activities have been initiated since the start of the programme in 2008 resulting to date in 220 Data Centres having requested Participant status and 184 Data Centres being approved as Participant. 73 organisations have at least one Data Centre approved as Participant. Participants can be located outside Europe: for example Ebay participates with a DC in Phoenix, Arizona

The core of the programme is a registration form, signed by the Participant, in which they commit to:
  • An initial energy measurement, and energy audit to identify the major energy saving opportunities.
  • An Action Plan must be prepared and submitted, once the Action Plan is accepted the Participant status will be granted.
  • Implement the Action Plan according to the agreed time table. Energy consumption must be monitored regularly, to see overtime progresses in the energy efficiency indicator related to the Data Centre.

The programme is totally voluntary, which means that companies are free to decide whether they want to join or not. If a participant can not act up to their commitment or minimum reductions in energy savings, they may drop out of the programme without any prejudice to rejoin when their situation changes.

IT professionals interested in promoting the Data Centres Code of Conduct and assisting its Participants are encouraged to register as Code of Conduct Endorsers. In return, the Endorsers get public acknowledgement for their efforts to support the Code of Conduct programme. Joining the Code of Conduct Endorser programme proceeds also through registration.

While the Commission does not provide actual funds for the energy savings (because they pay for themselves), it provides support to the Participants in the form of information resources and public recognition (plaques on building, advertisements, exclusive use of the logo, awards, etc.). Other benefits for Participants are:

  • they save money (they carry out the cost effective upgrades);
  • Participants that significantly reduce their energy consumption, will be eligible for the annual Data Centre Awards;
  • the list of Participants, including a description of their specific contribution to energy savings will be published widely (brochure, internet, etc.);
  • they can publicly claim that they are taking part in a European programme to reduce CO2 emissions, i.e. they can claim to be a "green or environmental conscious company";
  • they get free publicity regarding their participation from public authorities including the Commission;
  • Participants will be invited to a Code of Conduct Stakeholder Forum to review progresses and further develop the Code of Conduct;

To become a Participant in the Code of Conduct on Data Centres programme and to find more information on the programme please consult the following web page: conduct/data-centres-energy-efficiency

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