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NOVEMBER 1, 2021

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How data centers are ticking the boxes in ESG

by Kali Persall

Widespread data center buildout has raised questions about persisting negative implications, which have nagged experts for decades. Operationally, data centers consume large amounts of electricity and water to run the building, servers and cooling infrastructure. Among the top concerns are increased emissions and greenhouse gases, growing strain on the power grid, and high capital costs associated with the expansion of data center capacity and construction of new facilities. Experts are optimistic, however, about how the industry is adapting to these challenges.

“While much of the focus has been on energy consumption, it’s also important to acknowledge the energy savings that are a result of the industry’s focus on the issue,” explains Michael Hochanadel, managing director and head of digital assets at Harrison Street. “For example, it’s estimated that these efforts have saved 620 billion kilowatt hours of electricity between 2010 and 2020, largely due to the rise

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