Metrics for a comprehensive assessment of environmental sustainability
Setting goals and strategies toward greater sustainability requires data center owners and operators to adopt appropriate metrics to measure current performance – and monitor progress, as well as benchmark against standards and other companies in the sector.
For a comprehensive approach, these metrics should look well beyond PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) and consider environmental sustainability in its multiple facets. Schneider Electric’s white paper “Guide to Environmental Sustainability Metrics for Data Centers” provides guidance on this, by identifying 23 metrics belonging to the five categories of Energy, GHG emissions, Water, Waste, and Land & biodiversity (see the table below). Schneider recommends data center companies adopt a minimum set of these metrics, depending on the stage they are at in their sustainability journey (Beginning, Advanced, or Leading).
Since tracking and reporting these metrics is often not straightforward and may be overwhelming for some companies, the document provides further information to help choose the most appropriate frameworks and standards to cover all the metrics. Overall, Schneider has identified 17 frameworks and standards as the most relevant in the data center field, and which data center operators can use for guidance in target setting, reporting, and certifying.
Read Schneider’s white paper to know more about the metrics data centers can use for more comprehensive reporting on environmental sustainability.