By Marina Stedman
The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme league table, a UK government initiative to improve the sustainability policies of UK organisations, was met with mixed reviews when published by the Environment Agency yesterday. Based solely on approved Early Action Metrics, as opposed to real energy savings, it is difficult to discern exactly how green the 2,000 enterprises featured really are. Under the new carbon tax structure, rankings also do not take into account the fact that some organisations may have already started to improve their energy efficiency through major IT investment that has not yet been measured.
What is clear following considerable industry interest in the results, is the need for a more proactive strategy when it comes to improving companies’ carbon footprints. With the data centre representing up to half of all organisations’ carbon footprint, nlyte is urging businesses to consider dealing with this energy intensive aspect of their IT infrastructure sooner rather than later.
Many organisations are still struggling to lower their energy usage across the data centre environment, while maintaining business continuity and preventing escalating costs – but there is a way to unite environmental sustainability, business reliability, and cost savings in the face of this new legislation.
The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme league table makes a commendable effort to bring together the UK’s energy intensive organisations and work towards a greener environment. That being said, the table is not only complicated, but is attempting to compare apples for oranges, given the range of companies it plots. In ranking these enterprises, with entirely different business objectives, against each other – from hospitals to multi-nationals – the energy credentials mean very different things, and correspondingly muddy the water when it comes to energy efficiency.
What is most important is targeting energy within the business that is wasted unnecessarily. The hub of any organisation’s IT infrastructure, the data centre often poses the biggest opportunity to cut energy wastage, with its power thirsty hardware and rampant overprovisioning. An effective data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) strategy that allocates all power, cooling, and space specifically to each individual asset, can streamline the data centre ensuring assets use only the energy they need.
Ultimately, these rankings should serve as a wake-up call for businesses to not only reassess the energy saving processes within their data centre estate, but also the technology in place to support it – if indeed they even have any. Without this kind of mindset, organisations risk a sizable dent to their reputation and another year at the bottom of the rankings.