Self-Regulatory Initiative

Data centre operators and trade associations are committed to the European Green Deal, achieving the ambitious greenhouse gas reductions of the climate law, and leveraging technology and digitalization to achieve the goal of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. To ensure data centres are an integral part of the sustainable future of Europe, data centre operators and trade associations agree to take the following actions to make data centres climate neutral by 2030.

Energy Efficiency

Data centres and server rooms in Europe shall meet a high standard for energy efficiency, which will be demonstrated through aggressive power use effectiveness (PUE) targets.

  • By January 1, 2025 new data centres operating at full capacity in cool climates will meet an annual PUE target of 1.3, and 1.4 for new data centres operating at full capacity in warm climates.
  • Existing data centres will achieve these same targets by January 1, 2030.
  • These targets apply to all data centres larger than 50KW of maximum IT power demand.
  • In recognition of the European Commission’s interest in creating a new efficiency metric, trade associations will work with the appropriate agencies or organizations toward the creation of a new data centre efficiency metric. Once defined, trade associations will consider setting a 2030 goal based on this metric.

Clean Energy

Data centres will match their electricity supply through the purchase of clean energy.

  • Data centre electricity demand will be matched by 75% renewable energy or hourly carbon-free energy by December 31, 2025 and 100% by December 31, 2030.

Water

Data centres at full capacity will meet a high standard for water conservation, demonstrated through the application of a location and source sensitive water usage effectiveness (WUE) target.

  • By January 1, 2025 new data centres at full capacity in cool climates that use potable water will be designed to meet a maximum WUE of 0.4 L/kWh in areas with water stress.
  • The limit for WUE can be modified based on climate, stress and water type to encourage the use of sustainable water sources for cooling.
  • By December 31, 2040, existing data centres that replace a cooling system will meet the WUE target applied to new data centres.

Circular Economy

The reuse, repair and recycling of servers, electrical equipment and other related electrical components is a priority for data centre operators.

  • Data centres will set a high bar for circular economy practices and will assess for reuse, repair, or recycling 100% of their used server equipment.
  • Data centre operators will increase the quantity of server materials repaired or reused and will create a target percentage for repair and reuse by 2025.

Circular Energy System

The reuse of data centre heat presents an opportunity for energy conservation that can fit specific circumstances. Data centre operators will explore possibilities to interconnect with district heating systems and other users of heat to determine if opportunities to feed captured heat from new data centres into nearby systems are practical, environmentally sound and cost effective.

Governance

Beginning January 1, 2021 representatives from the data centre trade associations and companies that have signed the initiative, and the European Commission will meet twice annually to review the status of this initiative.

By no later than July 1, 2023, signatories will certify adherence. The initial period of measurement will cover January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. Following the first certification, adherence will be reported every four years.

Cloud Infrastructure Providers in Europe (CISPE) and the European Data Centre Association (EUDCA) will make the text of this initiative and the list of signatories publicly available on their respective websites or through a dedicated site. All trade association signatories, except for CISPE and EUDCA, will publish the initiative on their websites.

Download the engagements of the Climate Neutral Datacenters Initiative

Download the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact Self-Regulatory Initiative Policy Proposal