3 Reasons to Make Your Data Center Sustainable

    Alpesh Saraiya, Sr. Director Offering Management

    Data centers have become one of the world’s most valuable resources: they enable e-commerce, cloud computing and remote work and drive the global economy. Data centers help businesses across nearly every industry meet growing consumer demand. Data centers are also currently responsible for about 3% of the world’s electricity use – greater than most countries’ consumption -- and 2% of the total  carbon footprint — roughly the same as the entire airline industry — and these numbers are only expected to grow. While data centers are making great strides to reduce energy demands, including an increased use of renewable energy, more work needs to be done to build a sustainable future.

    To understand more about currently held beliefs surrounding data centers and sustainability, Honeywell worked with Data Center Dynamics to survey 100 data center professionals and a majority (58%) of the respondents believe that executive leadership has the greatest impact on data center efficiency and sustainability. For leaders who have been slow to make the leap, or are trying to justify investment, here are three reasons to do so.

    #1: Improve Operational Efficiency

    Seventy-two percent of respondents see improving IT utilization as having a high impact on energy efficiency. To maximize this efficiency, data center operators can optimize IT power, data center space and data center cooling, eliminate power inefficiencies, and use data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools.

    #2: Reduce Costs

    Nearly half (48%) of survey respondents believe that organizations pursue data center sustainability strategies because it makes economic sense — further dispelling the myth that it costs more money to be sustainable.

    In fact, energy consumption accounts for more than 50% of the operating cost of a modern-day data center. By incorporating sustainable practices such as asset monitoring, data centers should expect to quickly realize a reduction of overall operating costs. Data center managers can use analytics and real-time operating models to control energy bills. Using an integrated approach to building management can often achieve energy reduction of up to 15%.

    #3: Attract Top Talent & New Customers

    Outside of cost reduction and system resiliency, sustainability is good for business growth. In fact, the world’s most attractive employers have environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) scores that are 25% higher than the global average.

    Additionally, both prospective employees and customers are becoming increasingly aware of a company’s sustainability efforts. Eighty percent of respondents said that in three years’ time, efficient and sustainable best practices will be crucial in terms of attracting customers and winning business.

    For businesses looking to lead their industries, an investment in sustainable practices is simply prudent business strategy.

    Putting Sustainability First

    Data centers serve the online experiences that people depend on for work, entertainment and communications — but they require significant power to operate. As our digital world continues to grow and evolve, data centers should also evolve, but not at the detriment of our environment. Sustainability and energy reducing practices must be at the forefront.

    This is why last year Honeywell partnered with Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions. Through our collaboration, we are leveraging our experience in deploying technology into 10 million buildings worldwide to drive data center improvement in performance and energy efficiency.

    To read the full report, click here.


    1. Deloitte, Big data or low carbon?, Richard Pone, April 22, 2019 [Accessed June 25, 2021]
    2. Honeywell, Datacenter Dynamics, Sustainability: Attitudes and Technology Trends Report, Honeywell May 19, 2021 [Accessed June 25, 2021]
    3. ACEEE, Smart Buildings: Using Smart Technology to Save Energy in Existing Buildings, Jennifer King and Christopher Perry, February 2017 [Accessed June 25, 2021]
    4. Marsh & McLennan Advantage, ESG as a workforce strategy, Lingjun Jiang, 2020 [Accessed June 25, 2021]