In 2021, digital infrastructure included seven million data centers worldwide, which represents 105GW of power capacity consuming 594TWh of energy. These numbers equate to 2.4 percent of global energy consumption, which is more than the electricity consumed by the entire United Kingdom.
Carbon emissions and energy usage are two major factors impacting climate change. Currently, there is no universal labeling system or mechanism to measure embodied carbon over the life of the materials used to build data center facilities or the products that fill them. Without one, the industry won’t be able to report carbon emissions and energy use accurately—or hold itself accountable.
With all of the energy its facilities and products expend, the digital infrastructure industry needs to go beyond renewable energy opportunities to take a leading role in tackling climate change and achieving planetary net zero. As a starting point for doing that, they need to adopt an industry-wide, open standard that every data center can use to report carbon use in materials and products, carbon intensity in power consumption, and individual progress in meeting these goals. The iMasons Climate Accord (ICA) reflects that vital initial step in bringing the digital infrastructure industry together to work toward a better, more sustainable future.
iMasons Advisory Council members met on February 22, 2022 to decide on one thing they could do together as an industry to battle climate change. The meeting was dubbed “Chez Belady”. Six hours later, the iMasons Climate Accord (ICA) was born. This agreement represents a historic and unprecedented collaboration between leading infrastructure companies committing to the common goal of reducing carbon in digital infrastructure materials, products, and power as a first step towards Net Zero. Through this collaborative agreement, the industry has a chance to compound the sustainability impact of each company and make the sum greater than the parts.