Rack Centre becomes first IFC EDGE certified data center in EMEA

Rack Centre, an Actis majority owned data center and the leading carrier-neutral Tier III data centre in West Africa, has become the first International Finance Corporation (IFC) EDGE certified data centre in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Edge, an innovation of IFC, member of the World Bank group, is an international green certification system that focuses on empowering developers of residential and commercial buildings to deliver resource efficient buildings in a fast, easy and affordable way, enabling such developers and builders to quickly identify the most effective strategies to achieve energy saving, water saving and embodied energy materials.

The company says that the awarding of this green building certificate recognises the significant savings the center will achieve in energy and water use, incorporated as part of the design to expand the facility’s IT load from 1.5MW to 13MW. On completion of this expansion, Rack Centre is forecast to achieve 35 per cent more energy savings, which is estimated to avoid carbon emissions totalling 100 tonnes each year.

Founded in 2012, Rack Centre is the first carrier-neutral Tier III Constructed Facility Certified data centre in Africa and focuses solely on providing data center colocation services and interconnection between carriers and customers. At Rack Centre, infrastructure and operational efficiency billed as key drivers for maintaining 100 per cent uptime since launch in October 2013.

Actis first partnered with Rack Centre in early 2020 as part of its $250 million African data center platform investment. To ensure the data center could meet the rapid growth in demand for hosting capacity in Africa, whilst at the same time reducing its environmental impact and operating costs, Actis spearheaded a programme of green design philosophies and initiatives that hope to result in the data center achieving 35 per cent energy saving, 41 per cent water savings and deliver a 45 per cent saving in embodied energy in materials used.

By prioritising the development of Rack Centre’s sustainability practises, the African data center platform engaged with the IFC EDGE team on establishing an assessment tool specifically for data centres. Rack Centre are hoping to achieve these savings through a range of measures and green design principles, including switching from diesel to gas power generation, implementing water efficient cooling systems, implementing a low energy air circulation system, and sourcing local materials and services wherever possible. Switching its power source from diesel to gas power could potentially save more than $10 million a year in operating costs, reduce carbon emissions, and improve air quality.

Mr Ezekiel Egboye, Rack Centre Chief Operations Officer said: “Rack Centre has a track record of setting the standard for power usage efficiency in the region. Sustainability is at the core of what we do, a quest that permeates through all our actions. We are delighted to be the first to be certified in Europe, Middle East and Africa, which is really a continuation of Rack Centre’s firsts in Africa as it was also the first data centre to be Tier III Constructed Facility certified and has grown the most comprehensive interconnection and limitless peering ecosystem of over 45 carriers and ISPs, also bringing about interconnect efficiencies. It is an honour to receive this certification and another step in delivering sustainable digital infrastructure in the region.”

Jasper Lankhorst, CEO of Actis-Convergence Partners, pan African Data Centre platform, commented: “Sustainability is key to meeting the growing demand for digital infrastructure on the African continent. At Rack Centre, being the first data centre to secure the IFC Edge certification in Europe, Middle East and Africa, make us very proud. Our goal is to implement similar improvements across future investments made by our pan-African data centre platform to help the continent secure a low carbon data revolution.”

Vivek Pathak, Director for Climate Business Department at the IFC, said: “It has been a hugely rewarding process to work in partnership with Rack Centre to develop this EDGE assessment tool for data centres. We hope other data centre operators will follow in Rack Centre’s footsteps and take the necessary action on the digital economies environmental impact by becoming IFC EDGE certified.”

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