Qantas Future Planet has revealed sustainability partnerships with two leading Australian data centre providers designed to help IT departments offset carbon emissions by reducing their electricity consumption.

NextDC and Fujitsu both revealed their new sustainability initiatives today in partnership with QFP.

Data centres are generating an ever-growing share of carbon emissions, accounting for more than two per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. And that figure is growing as digital transformation accelerates and as resource-hungry cyber currencies like bitcoin expand.

That makes energy efficiency an increasingly top-of-mind issue for many IT organisations as rising power costs, and a growing commitment to tougher ESG policies brings focus upon the way data centres operate. 

The problem is only going to get worse.

For instance, in a prior interview with Which-50, Gareth O’Reilly, Zone President and Managing Director, Pacific at Schneider Electric said business leaders and policy makers should expect to see the proportion of the world’s energy demands driven by data centres grow dramatically in the years ahead.

“Increasingly we could see data centres occupying ten per cent of global energy demand — up from today where they occupy two to three percent. We see data usage increasing exponentially, but we see the use of energy in data increasing as well. It is growing faster than any other market — so we could see this dramatic rise in energy consumption in data,” he said.

The Qantas Future Planet program provides an offsetting solution for customers working to reduce their environmental footprint

The purchase of carbon offset units assists in the prevention of greenhouse gas emissions by compensating for emissions production generated through the power used in electricity and natural gas use. 

According to David Young, Executive Manager Sustainability and Future Planet, Qantas, “The ICT sector is a significant electricity user and forecasts continued growth. Carbon offsets can help play a crucial role in mitigating the environmental impact of increased electricity consumption.”

NEXTneutral

According to Craig Scroggie, CEO of NextDC, “Today the data centre industry is supporting an enormous boom in technology and information creation, all of which are powered by computers and global networks that consume significant amounts of electricity. We remain focussed on the overall efficiency of our data centres, demonstrated through our NABERS 5-star efficiency ratings, and contributing to the global efforts in managing climate change.”

NextDC which says it is the country’s leading independent data centre operator announced the launch of their carbon neutrality program, NEXTneutral today. 

Purchasing carbon offsets under NEXTneutral, provides funding for ecological projects including wetlands and rainforest restoration, Australian habitat protection, and sustainable land management.

NextDC also says it is the first data centre operator in Australia to be certified as Climate Active, signifying that the company is accredited as 100 per cent carbon neutral. 

Fujitsu’s program

Fujitsu meanwhile also announced a carbon offset program for their customers as part of their sustainability commitment. The company says its partnership with Qantas Future Planet will assist Fujitsu in managing the energy-efficiency of its data centres and therefore minimising both environmental and financial costs. 

Fujitsu is also offsetting emissions generated by its fleet of 200 vehicles used by field engineers across the region. 

James Veness, Head of Portfolio, Data Centres, Fujitsu Australia, said, “Climate change is a real challenge that must be tackled with conventional and unconventional solutions. Data centre customers demand their suppliers demonstrate innovation and commitment to reducing their impact on the environment. Fujitsu is supporting customers who have committed to offsetting their emissions with this opt-in program.

“In turn, Fujitsu manages the energy-efficiency of its data centres close to minimise both financial and environmental costs for its customers.”

He said his company’s NABERS-rated portfolio achieves an efficiency of 35 per cent higher than the market average and is charting a course towards 100 per cent renewable energy in Australia. “The offset option gives Fujitsu’s Australian data centre customers a new way to further reduce impacts and help meet their own environmental targets.”

The NextDC and Fujitsu partnerships with Qantas Future Planet aligns with both companies’ plans to reduce GHG emissions, and to contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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