Sustainability to influence data center operators

Greenhouse gas emissions are issues the Philippines needs to address to be able to attract more data center operators as the growth of the sector in Asia Pacific is likely to be influenced by environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations.

According to a survey by Jones Lang Lasalles, 85 percent of data centre managers in Asia Pacific believe that sustainability will significantly impact their operations and decision making, confirming that the growth of the sector will increasingly be influenced by ESG factors.

“Addressing concerns surrounding greenhouse emissions is a priority, especially when it comes to our energy and sustainability practices in the Philippines,” JLL Philippines Energy and Sustainability Manager Nix Garchitorena said.

However, only 28 percent of operators polled in the survey have visibility of their energy usage data, which would enable them to add transformational business value, maximise efficiency and reduce waste.

The survey, which shows a regional view of the future direction of data centres with respect to ESG strategies, was conducted across 505 data centre managers across Asia Pacific (70 percent run by enterprises and 30 percent  by service providers), 30 of which are located in the Philippines.

The demand for data centers has skyrocketed in recent years due to the widespread adoption of digital communication tools and ecommerce.

To fuel this growth, the amount of energy used by data centres doubles every four years and the sector now accounts for up to four percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

“Asia Pacific is arguably the most dynamic data centre market globally and strategies will need to adjust to meet the changing operating environment and increased ESG expectations. The sector urgently needs to address its expanding contribution to global emissions, so operators need advice along the entire real estate life cycle – from site selection to investment to facilities management – in order to address the sizable sustainability issues they face,” JLL Asia Pacific head of data centers Chris Street said.

JLL Philippines’ Director for Capital Markets Charlie McNaught said that the interest in the Data Center sector in the Philippines is not surprising.

“The country is home to 76 million internet users who spend an average of more than 10 hours on the internet daily. This provides a solid base to fuel data consumption which is expected to further grow as we anticipate greater data demand in the future on the back of wider technology adoption,”McNaught said.

“With the sector in the Philippines still in its early stages of development,it allows managers to plan in their development strategy to ensure their facilities are constructed and operated in line with current and future ESG expectations,” he added.