Embrace Green and Keep Business Running

Have you ever wondered how a data center can be a benchmark in achieving environmental goals?

Until recently, the concept of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) was the prerogative of wealthy nations. Today it is everyone’s concern.

ESG policies are designed to promote sustainable business practices and reduce the negative impact of business activities on the environment and society. The main goal is to encourage businesses to adopt sustainable practices and mitigate the adverse effects of industrialization on the environment and society. Although implementing an ESG strategy may involve some upfront costs for the business, expenditures can vary depending on the specific policies and implemented practices, as well as the size and complexity of the organization. The responsibility for our future requires taking care of the environment and realizing that such a strategy is neither intended to stop industrialization nor to put an additional financial burden on companies.

Daticum, part of Sirma Group Holding, was among the pioneers in Bulgaria in ESG adoption and practical implementation. The company is one of the leading cloud providers in Bulgaria and the Balkan region.

The Group also supports the foundation of the Green Center, a regional think-tank for ESG strategies. Its mission is to promote and support developing policies and implementing the best practices on sustainable finance and energy.

Having an active position and real actions toward sustainable development of industry and society will ensure that adopting ESG policies can provide significant benefits, including improved brand reputation, reduced operating costs, increased employee satisfaction and retention, and improved stakeholder relationships, shares Georgi Tsekov, CEO of Daticum AD.

How has Daticum embraced ESG policies as a vital part of its business strategy?

We know that specific businesses like data centers can help implement the best ESG policies in several ways, developed around the following strategies:

  • Energy Efficiency: implementing energy-efficient practices to reduce the carbon footprint. We use energy-efficient hardware and cooling systems, adopt renewable energy sources, and optimize the use of power through virtualization and automation.
  • Waste Reduction: reducing waste by implementing circular economy practices. This includes recycling, reusing materials, and implementing closed-loop systems that minimize the need for new resources.
  • Social responsibility: engaging in social responsibility activities by supporting local communities, investing in employee training and development, and partnering with nonprofit organizations to promote social causes. Our company has participated in an ongoing green initiative to plant a forest near the capital city of Bulgaria.
  • Governance: we are implementing strong governance practices to ensure compliance with ethical and legal standards. This can include creating transparency around data collection and use, implementing robust cybersecurity practices, and promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle

In our business operations, we are confronted with matters such as the importance of waste reduction. It is a critical aspect of implementing ESG policies in data centers. The IT industry generates a significant amount of electronic waste (e-waste), packaging waste, and other types of scrap from the manufacturing, deployment, and disposal of hardware IT equipment. To reduce waste, our data center applies the principle of circular economy, which is most simply represented by the three R’s formula (reuse, reduce, and recycle), added Georgi Tsekov.

We implement the next main steps to tackle the problems:

  • Reduce: we are working with suppliers to reduce waste during the manufacturing process, like using environmentally friendly materials, reducing packaging waste, and optimizing the use of resources to reduce the overall environmental impact.
  • Reuse: this is a step further; we partner with companies that offer to refurbish old IT equipment and repurpose it for new applications. This can include using old servers for storage, repurposing network equipment for new applications, and donating refurbished equipment to schools or nonprofit organizations.
  • Recycle: we recycle our old IT equipment, including servers, storage devices, and network equipment.

Managing all piles of retired equipment is essential in implementing ESG policies in data centers. By adopting circular economy practices, we reduce the environmental impact, conserve resources, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is another critical aspect of implementing ESG policies in data centers. Energy consumption is a significant factor in powering and cooling the available IT equipment. Logically it results in a large carbon footprint and contributes to climate change. To improve energy efficiency, data centers usually adopt a range of practices, including:

  • Hardware optimization: optimizing hardware infrastructure to reduce energy consumption. This can include using energy-efficient servers, storage devices, and networking equipment that consume less power while providing the same level of performance.
  • Virtualization: using virtualization technologies to consolidate servers and reduce the number of physical servers required. This can result in significant energy savings and reduce the overall carbon footprint of the data center.
  • Cooling efficiency: optimizing our cooling systems is paramount to reducing energy consumption. Our company, Daticum, uses free cooling, which operates outside air to cool the data center, and optimizes the temperature and humidity levels in the data center to reduce the energy required for cooling. When the outside ambient temperature is below the desired set point, the air conditioning systems operate in a ventilation mode using the cooled agent from the environment. This system reduces electricity consumption as traditional compressors are not used. Climate conditions in Bulgaria allow partial use of free cooling technology even in the hottest months. Since day one of its operations, Daticum has used an advanced free cooling system without additional AC capacity.
  • Renewable energy: many companies adopted renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, or hydropower, and were able to reduce their carbon footprint. One of the ambitious projects of Sirma Group is building a photo voltaic solar plant, which aims to use the roof of the corporate HQ for autonomous energy production.
  • Automation: we are using automation to optimize energy consumption. This includes using sensors to monitor energy consumption and adjust cooling systems automatically.

By adopting these energy-efficient practices, our data center reduces its carbon footprint, lowers its energy costs, and contributes to a more sustainable future. It also offers customers cost savings by reducing energy costs associated with hosting IT infrastructure. We offer customers operational cost savings – they can reduce their own energy costs by using our hosting of IT infrastructure. This is the modern way for our clients to achieve their own ESG goals, added Georgi Tsekov.

Helping customers achieve their ESG goals by providing sustainable hosting solutions and supporting green initiatives puts innovative data centers as trendsetters that incorporate care for society and the environment as part of their values. ESG policies do not restrict industrial growth. None of them are intended to stop industrialization but rather to encourage businesses to take a more responsible approach to their activities and work towards a more sustainable future.