Sustainability is a hot topic of conversation for colocation data center providers, but how far along are they on their sustainability journeys? That is a question that we, along with Forrester, set out to answer with a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Schneider Electric.

Forrester surveyed 1,033 colocation provider organizations across the globe to assess sustainability trends and practices. I’m excited to preview highlights from the new Forrester study, ‘Reimagine colocation strategy with sustainability front of mind,’ with you in this article.

Sustainability is good business

First, it’s clear that sustainability has emerged as a top priority for the colocation industry. As a group, colocation providers identified sustainability as their number two business priority ‒ right behind improving profitability.

Sustainability is also critical for colocation tenants, so colocation businesses that are further along the sustainability maturity path are seeing direct positive business results.

In fact, 84 percent of those who committed to early sustainability initiatives cite improved brand reputation as a benefit, and 82 percent have experienced increases in revenues and customer acquisition and/or loyalty. The gains in revenue and reputation are supplemented by direct OpEx savings that result from sustainability-driven efficiency improvements.

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– Schneider Electric

The secret to colocation sustainability success

What strategies and tactics have colocation companies adopted to make their sustainability programs a success? The Forrester study uncovered that strong sustainability partnerships are a key ingredient for successful companies. In fact, 96 percent of “high maturity” companies in the area of sustainability identified trusted partners as essential to achieving their sustainability goals.

Survey respondents also indicated that digitization of data center infrastructure was key to allowing them to gather data and track sustainability initiatives. Increased digitalization of infrastructure was the most frequent response when those surveyed were asked about their top sustainability priority for the next 12 months.

So, how do colocation providers figure out whether they are measuring up on the sustainability front?

Forrester established a sustainability maturity model to help determine where firms are in their sustainable evolution. The maturity model, detailed in the new study, includes criteria such as operational efficiency (and its impact on carbon emissions), level of corporate responsibility, sustainability commitments, and effectiveness at measuring environmental impact.

This model allows colocation providers to gauge where they are on the industry’s sustainability maturity curve and gain insight into what actions to take to achieve their sustainability targets.

Access the entire Forrester Consulting colocation sustainability study

To learn more about how colocation providers are managing the challenge of designing and running sustainable data centers, download the full ‘Reimagine colocation strategy with sustainability front of mind’ study. You’ll discover how respondents rank sustainability drivers and common challenges along the path to sustainability and gain access to additional study data.

Our team at Schneider Electric is passionate about helping colocation industry stakeholders drive toward more sustainable data centers. If you’re ready to take steps to improve sustainability at your own organization, we can help. Be sure to reach out to our Cloud and Service provider team to discuss opportunities to address your sustainability goals.