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Environmental performance of data centres - A case study of the Swedish National Insurance Administration

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Conference Paper

Honée, Caspar, Daniel Hedin, Jasmin St-Laurent, and Morgan Fröling. 2012. “Environmental Performance of Data Centres - A Case Study of the Swedish National Insurance Administration.” In 2012 Electronics Goes Green 2012+, 1–6.

There are indications of data centres being nodes for environmental impacts in IT solutions, but due to reasons connected to protection of business core assets, few open studies on such centres exist. This LCA case-study of the Swedish National Insurance Agency Data Centre in Sundsvall confirms and quantifies the significance of the environmental load posed by the data centre. The centre increases the IT carbon footprint by more than half (54%) relative to the institutes PC equipment fleet. In the operational phase, climate change contributions are more than double to that of PC use. Environmental impact stemming from embedded emissions in data centre capital infrastructure is significant (33%) given the relative short economic lifetime of the IT hardware. Even within the cold climate geographical zone, about a third (32%) of data centre supplied energy is consumed by air-conditioning thus offering opportunities to further leverage free cooling.

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