Reducing Environmental Impact

Data centers consume significant amounts of energy and water. We actively monitor and manage energy and water consumption and implement energy conservation measures. Our resource conservation efforts include:

  • Auditing existing facilities for operational enhancements
  • Making low and no cost upgrades
  • Investing in capital projects that generate substantial energy, water and cost savings and pursuing available utility incentives

Energy Conservation

Energy-efficient data centers have a lesser impact on the environment and cost less to operate. We address the performance of our data center portfolio by investing in our operating facilities to improve efficiency and reduce resource consumption, and in turn deliver cost savings to our customers.

Digital Realty seeks to continually enhance energy efficiency, improve PUE, and deliver a lower total cost of ownership. We utilize ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and ISO 50001 Environmental Management System frameworks to structure our activities, support legislative and regulatory compliance, and reduce emissions and carbon footprint. We benchmark and certify our portfolio properties in accordance with third-party verified energy efficiency frameworks including ENERGY STAR and NABERS certifications.

Data as of December 31, 2018

Waste and Water Conservation

We consider water availability, cost and alternate supply solutions to potable water such as municipally supplied reclaimed water where available. Similarly, we assess are waste generation and divert waste where possible. We benchmark our waste generation and water consumption in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and are a member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Waste and Water Challenge, committing to monitoring and improving waste and water efficiency.

Data as of December 31, 2018


Additional information about our efforts can be found in our ESG report.

Benefits of Energy-Efficient Data Centers

Have lesser impact on the environment by requiring fewer construction materials to construct while delivering industry-leading PUE

Utilize highly energy-efficient cooling systems that eliminate the use of water for cooling

Deliver increased asset value and lower operating costs

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Key Initiatives

Program Scope Performance

ENERGY STAR Benchmarking and Certifications

Benchmark 100% of properties in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and pursue certification for eligible properties

100% of properties benchmarked. 24 data centers certified in 2018

UK Climate Change Agreement Reduce non-IT energy consumption for UK scale portfolio by 14.8% and colocation portfolio by 14.5% by 2020 against 2011 baseline Achieved 10.1% for scale portfolio and 3.8% for colocation portfolio in 2017/2018 compliance period

PUE Improvement

Reduce PUE by 10% by 2020 against 2017 baseline

Achieved 6% PUE improvement in 2018

Meeting the Better Buildings Challenge

In 2014, Digital Realty became one of the first data center providers to participate in the Better Buildings Challenge, a U.S. Department of Energy initiative to reduce power consumption. Our goal was to make our buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2024 (against a 2013 baseline). By the end of 2016 we had achieved that target, several years ahead of schedule.

Today, we continue strengthening our commitment to energy conservation and expect to see continued progress across our portfolio as we expand our goals.


Digital Realty is the first data center REIT to become an ENERGY STAR Partner, supporting our commitment to measure and improve the energy efficiency of our data centers.

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