DCD London Panel Session

November 6, 2019

Deborah Andrews, LSBU hosted a panel session during the Data Centre Dynamics Event in London on November 5, 2019. This session entitled “The journey towards a circular economy” highlighted the need for circularity solutions for the Data Centre Industry and how CEDaCI can contribute to it.

Panelists from Google, Penguin Computing, Techbuyer and TechUK presented the key challenges that the industry currently encounters and their strategies to tackle this question.

Alaa Salama, Google is leading the sustainability programme for Google`s data centre operations across the world. “Refurbishment and recycling of hard drives are our first objective”, said Alaa Salama. We are a partner and a supporter, not a competitor for the companies providing hard drive equipment to the Google Data Centres, added Mr. Salama.

“The Short life-span of IT Equipment is the second major environmental impact caused by the Data Centre Industry after high energy consumption. CEDaCI is a great initiative tackling this question”, said Rod McAllister, Penguin Computing.

Astrid Wynn, Techbuyer highlighted that there is a lack of understanding and awareness about the refurbished equipment. “End-users do not know that there is a second – use market for the IT equipment, this must change” added Astrid Wynn.

Susanne Baker for TechUK, which represents 850 companies across the UK, believes the rate of second- use equipment will increase with the new EU regulation - Ecodesign requirements for servers and data storage. This regulation will enable the disassembly for repair and reuse of many components such as processor, motherboard, and PSU.

CEDaCI aims to extend product life through equipment reuse, as well as increase reclamation of what is considered Critical Raw Materials, reduce the use of virgin materials and waste, and minimise environmental impact. CEDaCI project members will provide technical assistance to 50 SMEs involved in any life cycle stage of the Data Centre Industry across Europe to help them adopt circularity solutions.