The data center industry is in fast growth mode all over the world. A lot of new facilities are being built to cope with existing and future demands, many with focus on sustainability and green technologies. At the same time, older, and much less sustainable data centers are still operational and not contributing to the overall goals of reducing the industry’s environmental footprint. As the industry grows, more and more power is being used to handle the increasing flood of data, but as important as it is to build new and sustainable data centers, it is also important to take care of the older, less sustainable data centers.
This is such an example, Conapto were assigned by our customer to help them move their infrastructure to climate neutral colocation and at the same time to phase out their old, less sustainable data center and return the space to the real estate owner in its original condition so that it could be used for other projects. At the same time, it was important for us at Conapto to be able to reuse and recycle to the last straw.
A de-establishment plan was drawn up together with the customer. The plan included the actual restoration of the building, dismantling of infrastructure and recycling and reuse of all materials. All to make as green de-establishment as possible. Worn out equipment were recycled and replaced as far as possible so to supports a circular economy.
Peter Jonsson, DC-engineer at Conapto and responsible for the project, updated us on the approach.
“The move took place in smaller chunks on five to six occasions. The actual move began in spring 2021 and was to be completed by the end of October 2021 giving us the last two months for de-establishment and hand over to real estate owner before year end. It was a tight schedule and wasn’t made easier due to Corona-restrictions. We turned off power, cooling system, backup power, UPS system and deactivation of the entire data center. Dismantling of all infrastructure such as electrical switchgear, battery banks and reserve power generator. The diesel tank was emptied and cleaned. Shortly before, the 1500 kg diesel generator was detached and dismantled. Some could be reused, for example the generator could be sold, it was exported and sold to a customer in the Czech Republic. Another customer bought 13 server racks. We could charge for all metal switchgear and cable scrap. What went to recycling was worth 75–150 SEK for premium copper scrap.”
For us at Conapto, it was important to create an incentive to sort sources correctly to increase the value of recycling that could support a circular economy. Peter Jonsson is also responsible for the environment at all data centers within Conapto.
“I see the value in all the material and try to increase the understanding among the younger generation. There is a lot of wear and tear in this industry. I see it as my task to serve the next generation with the goal to reduce the impact on the environment.”
By helping the customer move from their own data center to climate neutral colocation, the customer has been able to reduce their PUE – Power Usage Effectiveness from 2.0 to 1.25, which means an annual saving on electricity costs of app. SEK 350,000 per year. In addition to reduced PUE, the customer reduces its CO2 footprint by 450 tonnes per year helping them pave the way for a greener operation and hitting their environmental goals.
In 2009, Conapto made the strategic decision to move towards a greener approach and has since then operated its data center facilities with 100% renewable wind- and hydro power compensated energy. Since 2021 Conapto uses Vattenfall 24/7 matching of consumption which shows production hour-by-hour using SmartUtility built on Microsoft Azure IOT. That combined with certifications such as climate neutral company and Fossil Free Data makes Conapto a leading supplier of climate-smart colocation services.