Digital Realty announces sustainability initiatives in Asia-Pacific

renewable energy

Digital Realty has announced two renewable energy initiatives in Asia Pacific that will contribute to its global carbon emissions reduction targets.

The company has signed a renewable electricity supply contract with leading energy retailer Origin Energy, contracting for wind power capacity that will see its multi-tenant data centre portfolio in Australia match energy demand with renewable sources from 2024.

Digital Realty’s data centres in Sydney will be matched with 100 per cent renewable electricity in January 2024 and its data centre in Melbourne will be matched with 60 per cent renewable in 2024 and increasing to 100 per cent from January 2026. Digital Realty’s uptake of renewable electricity in Australia is expected to reduce greenhouse emissions by up to 70,000 tonnes annually, contributing to Australia’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development efforts to 2030 and beyond.

Their renewable electricity supply is supported by the Stockyard Hill wind farm, located about 150 kilometres away from its Melbourne data centre. This is in line with its global approach to prioritise cost-competitive net-new renewable energy sourced within the same regions where its data centres are located.

“Digital Realty approached us seeking a renewable energy solution for their data centres in Australia and we were able to offer them a cost-effective option that matches their usage with wind power sourced from Stockyard Hill Wind Farm. We are pleased to help the company with its emission reduction ambitions,” said James Magill, head of Origin Zero.

In Japan, MC Digital Realty, Digital Realty’s joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation, will match the electricity used at the colocation data halls at its NRT10 and KIX11 data centres with 100 per cent carbon-free and renewable energy through the purchase of FIT non-fossil certificates from MC Retail Energy.

In support of Digital Realty’s ‘Carbon Neutral Roadmap’ for Singapore and as part of ongoing efforts to improve operational efficiency and optimise sustainability at its facilities, Digital Realty has also completed the installation of solar panels at its SIN11 data centre in Singapore. Renewable energy generated by the solar project will reduce use of grid power generated from non-renewable sources. This will help reduce demand for non-renewable electricity, avoiding more than 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the environment annually. A similar solar energy project is underway at Digital Realty’s SIN12 data centre and is expected to be completed in summer 2023.

These initiatives are part of Digital Realty’s global effort to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 68 per cent and Scope 3 emissions by 24 per cent by 2030, the aggressive science-based carbon emissions targets it set in 2020 with the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi). Across Digital Realty, more than 100 data centres are reportedly carbon neutral for Scope 2 and a dozen data centres in Europe have achieved carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

“As the leading data centre provider, we are in a privileged position to lead the global data centre industry in sustainable environmental performance,” said Jon Curry, vice president of operations, Asia Pacific, at Digital Realty. “These projects we are announcing are important milestones in our global transition to renewable energy and towards achieving our aggressive carbon reduction goals. Digital Realty is committed to minimising the impact of our data centre operations on the environment. We seek to continually improve the way we power and operate our data centres to support the evolving needs of our global customers to help them grow in a responsible and sustainable way.”

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