Uptime Institute launches Uptime Institute Sustainability Assessment for Digital Infrastructure

New Assessment enables organizations to identify, document, track, and report on sustainability metrics & programs across their IT estate.

  • Wednesday, 17th April 2024 Posted 1 month ago in by Phil Alsop

Uptime Institute has launched the comprehensive Uptime Institute Sustainability Assessment, an assessment and award service that empowers organizations to clearly assess, benchmark, and demonstrate the sustainability credentials of their digital infrastructure to all their stakeholders, whether their applications are deployed in their own enterprise-operated data centers, as well as colocation data centers, or hosted by other third -parties such as hyperscalers or managed service providers.

Organizations that undertake the Uptime Institute Sustainability Assessment will be able to develop a clear view of their sustainability status and achievements to date across a wide range of independent and interdependent corporate functions and criteria, and then monitor and demonstrate progress over time, both internally and externally. The insights gained from the Assessment can be used to make continuous improvements in support of sustainability commitments while allowing participating organizations to be publicly recognized for their efforts in meeting globally accepted digital infrastructure sustainability best practices.

The Uptime Institute Sustainability Assessment identifies and reviews the steps that have been taken, and progress made, across all aspects of data center sustainability in 14 key categories and over 50 subcategories. This assessment can be used for a single location, or across a distributed hybrid IT estate. Key areas include IT equipment, energy and water usage, carbon emissions and waste, including reuse and recycling of end-of-life equipment, and span disciplines such as IT Operations and Management, Facility Operations & Management, and cross-functional areas such as clean energy and IT and facilities equipment procurement and corporate greenhouse gas reporting. The assessment scope uniquely balances the global requirement for more efficient and sustainable digital infrastructure, while also recognizing that resiliency and availability must not be compromised.

The introduction of the Uptime Institute Sustainability Assessment comes at a critical time for all organizations operating and outsourcing digital infrastructure. The increasing visibility of the data

center sector, partly due to the significant growth in aggregate energy use and carbon emissions within the sector, has led to increased scrutiny of data centers’ individual and collective environmental footprint and sustainability strategies by regulators, legislators, customers and investors alike, and calls for much greater transparency. Organizations are increasingly expected to have meaningful oversight of the environmental footprint of their digital infrastructure, have clear roadmaps covering all areas of data center sustainability and have defined actionable programs for continuous improvement.

Recent and repeated research by Uptime Intelligence suggests that many IT and data center operators are still at an early stage in this rapidly evolving and increasingly complex journey. According to Uptime Intelligence’s latest report, “Sustainability strategies face greater pressure in 2024,” fewer than half of digital infrastructure operators are compiling and reporting water usage (41%), only a quarter (26%) track IT waste or recycling, and only 23% compile and report all three Scopes (1,2, and 3) of carbon emissions.

To ensure the Uptime Institute Sustainability Assessment is comprehensive today and also anticipates future needs, Uptime Institute analyzed over 150 current and proposed standards, regulations and laws from around the world. Uptime’s global, multi-disciplinary development team worked with a sophisticated, representative consortium of over two dozen world-class enterprises and service providers which collectively have built and operate hundreds of data centers and have over 3 gigawatts of installed capacity in 38 countries.

Because it takes local and regional requirements, low carbon energy and green resource availability as well as climatic conditions into account, the Uptime Institute Sustainability Assessment is applicable around the world, setting the baseline for globally accepted digital infrastructure sustainability best practices. The outputs from the Assessment have been designed to be consistent wherever possible, with internationally accepted standards and current and emerging regulatory reporting requirements.

“As with the unique and groundbreaking production of the Uptime Sustainability Executive Advisory report series in 2021 and the Accredited Sustainability Advisor education course first introduced in 2022, this assessment has been designed to help data center owner-operators and service provider communities build, deploy, benchmark and manage impactful and practical sustainability programs that deliver tangible results,” said Ali Moinuddin, Chief Corporate Development Officer, Uptime

Institute. “The Sustainability Assessment will allow organizations to identify which sustainability initiatives can help reduce the environmental impact and operating expenses of their specific data center operating modality and deployment architecture without comprising the availability and resiliency of their mission-critical digital infrastructure.”

Since the first “Uptime Institute Green IT Symposium,” in 2007, Uptime has worked tirelessly to address the profound environmental and economic impacts of this ever more important sector, which now enables and underpins the way the world works. The Uptime Institute Sustainability Assessment is grounded in Uptime’s unparalleled depth and breadth of applied institutional knowledge, which has evolved over two decades of helping tens of thousands of organizations around the world identify, manage, and reduce the environmental impact of their digital infrastructure.