Microsoft is enhancing its commitment to sustainable practices by pursuing the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Gold certification for its entire portfolio of owned data centres.
The organisation will also be participating in the USGBC’s LEED volume programme.
LEED is the most widely-used system for rating how green a building is, and Microsoft is collaborating with USGBC to create a standardised set of design and anticipated performance criteria for its data centres.
This information will act as a ‘blueprint’ for Microsoft and other organisations to create and run more environmentally-friendly data centres.
“By building our new owned data centres and certifying our existing owned data centres to this standard, we expect to save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health,” said Christian Belady, general manager of Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure and Operations. “And we are proud to pave the way for other data centre providers to do the same, by using this more efficient model for achieving LEED Gold.”
“Our future is being driven by technology and Microsoft recognises the importance of creating sustainable datacenters that use fewer resources, are more energy efficient and healthier,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Microsoft’s commitment is highlighting the importance of bringing technology and sustainability together if we want to achieve a sustainable future for all.”
Microsoft announced in November 2016 that its Cheyenne data centre would be powered by wind energy. The organisation more recently signed a wind energy deal with electricity producer Vattenfall, which will see Microsoft purchase 100% of the wind energy generated from a new wind farm built close to its local data centre operations in the Netherlands.
“Today’s announcement represents a big step forward in standardising some of these innovative approaches and driving greener, more efficient data centres from design to operation to maintenance,” Belady added. “And we look forward to working with others who want to follow our ‘LEED’, and make the entire global cloud infrastructure more efficient.”