When it comes to environmental impact, data centres are of course already highly regulated facilities, attracting scrutiny for a number of different areas of operation, but what is the impact of these regulations?
The physical premises are subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, which is important because nearly 50 per cent of the UK's energy consumption and carbon emissions arise from the way our buildings are lit, heated and used.
The Health and Safety at Work Act also applies to data centres as a place of work, and when it comes to life cycle management of the IT equipment the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations apply to the disposal and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment.
In the financial services sector for example the Sarbanes Oxley legislation, the Basel II protocol, and MiFID and FSA requirements all effectively add to the data centre’s storage requirements and these in turn impact on their ability to meet power and carbon emission reduction targets.
In addition to the building, IT and data regulation that effects the environmental impact of data centres there are a number of groups putting forward best practice and collaborating on improving standards.
As a result, the impact of the proposed EU Code of Conduct will be minimal for an industry that is already heavily regulated, and as a result has become adept at determining its working environment around such regulation
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