Sustainability

People and planet are our passion

At AQ Compute, every job is a green hire. The team itself is comprised of highly knowledgeable experts who share the passion and culture of ‘people, planet, and profits’. Everyone in our team understands current climate issues and takes responsibility to learn the ensuing complexities, focusing on solving problems to alleviate cascading environmental impacts for our clients. AQ Compute’s Sustainability Leadership masters the skills of tradeoffs to maximize data center performance, lowering the costs of operations and minimizing environmental impact to achieve a sustainability-forward standard operating procedure for our data centers. We relentlessly push the innovation envelope to solve the greatest existential problem being faced by humanity.

 

This is a journey.

UN SDG

“AQ Compute’s sustainability leadership exemplifies data center design, build, scale and operations. We take a systematic and holistic approach to achieving resilience and carbon neutrality for our clients.

The crisis of climate and biodiversity combined with the crisis of social and economic justice are the push and incentive to stay the course of sustainability. According to the IPCC, research has breathed new life into climate protection in utilizing an evidence-based framework and good science.”

Susanna Kass, Member of Climate 50, Top 50 Most Influential Climate Leaders in Data Centers and Cloud, Data Center Advisor, UNSDG-EP

AQ Compute is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.

AQ Compute takes a systematic and holistic approach to achieving resilience and energy efficient operations for data centers and the ICT sector.

The UNSDGs that we are prioritizing are:

AQ Compute takes ownership of making affordable renewable energy for all projects by purchasing renewable energy and ensuring new renewable power is installed for our data centers.

Through our membership with Cleanhub, we encourage respect for human rights and continued engagement on the ground in Asia to support real social impact and drive social change. We want to improve the dignity and living standards of people working in the waste management sector, and we are strongly committed to social justice and environmental protection in Asia.

Through our data centers, we support the digitalization of the economy, essential for the modernization of other industries and the path to sustainable development.

Our aim is to match each MW consumed by our data centers with an additional MW of renewable energy generation.

AQ Compute delivers net positive impact by incorporating sustainability practices to protect the environment, to promote social benefits to the citizens of our communities and to mitigate climate change impact.

AQ Compute is supporting the ridding and cleaning of the oceans and beaches of the massive plastic pollution that they currently face.

UN SDG GOAL #7 – Renewable Energy

AQ Compute takes ownership of making affordable renewable energy for all projects by purchasing renewable energy and ensuring new renewable power is installed for our data centers.

UN SDG GOAL #8 – Decent Work & Economic Growth

Through our membership with Cleanhub, we encourage respect for human rights and continued engagement on the ground in Asia to support real social impact and drive social change. We want to improve the dignity and living standards of people working in the waste management sector, and we are strongly committed to social justice and environmental protection in Asia.

UN SDG GOAL #9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Through our data centers, we support the digitalization of the economy, essential for the modernization of other industries and the path to sustainable development.

UN SDG GOAL #12 – Responsible Consumption

Our aim is to match each MW consumed by our data centers with an additional MW of renewable energy generation.

UN SDG GOAL #13 – Climate Action

AQ Compute delivers net positive impact by incorporating sustainability practices to protect the environment, to promote social benefits to the citizens of our communities and to mitigate climate change impact.

UN SDG GOAL #14 – Life Below Water

AQ Compute is supporting the ridding and cleaning of the oceans and beaches of the massive plastic pollution that they currently face.

Aquila Group – Creating sustainable value through essential real assets investments

Aquila Group manages one of the largest renewable energy portfolios in Europe. The company also owns the largest small-scale hydropower portfolio in Norway.

Sustainability has always been part of Aquila Group’s value system and is an integral part of its investment strategies, processes, and management of its assets. Aquila Group has been managing its own corporate carbon footprint since 2006. By investing in clean energy and sustainable infrastructure, Aquila Group contributes to the global energy transition and strengthens the world’s infrastructure backbone. Aquila Group focuses on assets that will have a future in a society that faces the challenges of climate change mitigation and adaptation – long-term success is based on compliance with ESG principles.

We are benefiting from Aquila Group’s long track record in the European clean energy and sustainable infrastructure industry as well as from its broad expertise in establishing and managing long-term PPAs. With this strong background, we are able to control our own renewable energy supply.

Path to Net Zero

We are conscious of how important it is for our clients to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. We want to support them to achieve their ESG goals by relying on our products and services. We want to exemplify ESG and be the enablers of change.

Our ESG strategy is mainly based on a path to reach Net Zero emissions within the next years to tackle the main challenges that today’s world is facing around energy, emissions, water and waste. These are our ESG pillars:

  • Clean energy
  • Low footprint design and operation
  • Circular value chain
  • Social and Nature care
  • Transparency and Leadership

Clean energy

At AQ Compute, we believe that one of the first actions we need to undertake to reach Net Zero emissions is to ensure a clean power supply to our data centers. Our aim is to combine data center activities with developments in renewable energy.

We aim to leverage the renewable energy development capacity of our parent company, Aquila Group, to provide our data centers and clients with a truly clean energy supply. During the development of our strategy, we will focus on the needs of our clients:

We will offer secure and attractive long-term power purchase agreements (3-5-10+ years) 100% market-based renewable energy (*subject to clients’ needs) from wind, solar and hydropower and access to Energy Attribute Certificates.

  • Co-location of projects: We can co-locate renewable energy plants with our data centers, based on available land, creating direct clean power connections throughout Europe.
  • 24/7 hourly matched clean energy: We aim to leverage our energy activities and alliances with utilities and use large scale battery storage to achieve this milestone for our clients.

 

  • Grid demand mechanisms:  Our aim is for our data centers to be involved in short-term demand management operations and frequency stability measures, thereby contributing to a renewable energy dominated grid.
  • Heat reuse: We will select the right plots and involve utilities, industries, and communities to help decarbonize the heating sector. We believe the establishment of holistic concepts from the very beginning is vital.

 

Low footprint design and operations

Beyond industry best practices:

  • We will align and subscribe to the EU Code of Conduct on Data Center Energy Efficiency, the iMasons Climate Accord, and the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact, and embrace their main objectives: PUE<1.3; WUE<0.4 L/kWh; REF>75%.
  • We will incorporate a third strategic factor into our procurement decisions: environmental footprint. All equipment will be evaluated by its environmental impact and hypothetical cost of its later compensation through voluntary carbon credits.
  • We will build our data centers with the aim to achieve the highest sustainable building standards, considering the footprint of the civil works and building materials. We will incorporate wooden elements, prefabricated solutions, low impact concrete and high insulation for reduced energy loss.
  • We will carefully select high-efficiency equipment to achieve optimal PUE (power usage effectiveness) levels, while facilitating the implementation of innovative liquid cooling technologies designed to meet future needs. Our topologies are flexible and adaptable to meet different load configurations and varying temperature requirements. In specific high load areas, we can install advanced cooling systems to ensure effective heat dissipation and management.
  • We minimize water consumption as much as possible and aim for a cooling WUE (water usage effectiveness) of zero. To achieve this, we use closed-loop cooling systems and avoid adiabatic cooling.
  • We will use the excess heat generated by our data centers for our auxiliary rooms and equipment. In addition, we actively promote the use of excess heat by neighboring communities for various purposes. By promoting the external use of excess heat, we aim to contribute to better sustainability and resource efficiency in our surrounding communities.
  • We will continuously monitor our energy consumption in real-time to optimize the performance of our cooling systems according to the precise requirements of installed IT equipment.

Innovation:

We will research, identify, and apply the latest innovative technologies in:

  • Cooling: We study the usage of natural refrigerants; we look to use natural cooling sources such as underground cooling and will embrace direct cooling technologies to achieve higher densities and temperatures.
  • Energy back-up and storage: We are studying H2 fuel cells for both back-up and prime power, gas turbines with emissions capture, dynamic UPSs and NiZn batteries. We are also exploring future-oriented technologies that are being employed in other industries that we could incorporate into our data centers.
  • Materials: Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is experiencing an incredible evolution, and we envision its future usage in data centers; other building materials with incorporated absorbed carbon will also be relevant for us.
  • Carbon capture: Our research initiatives include examination of active removal on-site using the right plants and materials for our façades.

 

  • We will use hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) for our generator sets and draw up a plan to progressively replace them with cleaner technologies.
  • We will participate in industry technical initiatives, such as the ones driven by the OCP, to help community-driven innovation.
  • We aim to foster collaboration with research institutes and private research and development initiatives to position our projects as the data centers of the future. We are excited about the prospect of implementing “proof of concepts” in our data centers in collaboration with vendors and customers.

Hard-to-abate emissions:

  • We do LCAs of our data centers and measure their real footprint.
  • We prioritize third-party certified carbon removal activities.
  • We plan to engage in forestry activities.
  • We are exploring artificial ways of removing carbon emissions, using techniques like biochar or mineralization.



Circular value chain

We will employ good practices and incentive programs for the lowest carbon, water, and materials footprints:

Suppliers:

  • We have integrated our principles into our tendering process and will select equipment based on its environmental impact throughout its life cycle.
  • We have introduced a third strategic factor in our procurement decisions: environmental footprint.
  • We have established requirements for our suppliers to quantify the environmental impact of their products and provide detailed EPDs (environmental product declarations). These EPDs must include metrics such as water and energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, material composition, production processes and non-carbon environmental metrics.
  • To ensure consistency and compliance with international standards, our requirements are based on recognized environmental standards such as ISO 14025, 14040, 14044 and 14046.
  • Our goal is to create an ecosystem of suppliers who share our commitment to sustainability and actively contribute to the promotion of environmentally friendly practices.

Clients:

  • We are committed to engaging our customers in our green ecosystem, where we promote and share the benefits of efficiency and a low environmental footprint.
  • We promote the use of equipment that meets the requirements of Energy Star and the EU Eco-design Directive.
  • We also favor servers with high energy efficiencies that comply with ISO 30134 guidelines. To drive sustainable practices, we will encourage our customers to reduce the presence of idle and “zombie” equipment and minimize gaps in racks to optimize resource utilization.
  • In addition, we will promote the extended life of servers and advocate for circular phase-out practices to ensure that materials are properly recycled and reintegrated into the production cycle.
  • By promoting these initiatives, we aim to improve the overall sustainability and efficiency of our customers’ operations.

Circular economy:

  • We will prioritize waste reduction and are committed to using non scarce materials, such as rare earth metals, responsibly. To achieve this, we strive to maximize the utilization of recycled and recyclable materials, and we will employ material passports to ensure traceability and accountability throughout our projects. Our goal is to minimize diversion rates and promote circularity in all our endeavors.

Social and Nature care

  • Sponsoring local and global natural ecosystems, linking these activities to the development of our data centers. We will engage on local social projects to generate an impact on local communities.
  • Incremental addition of new renewable energy capacity to compensate for the capacity used by our data centers.
  • Promotion of local employment and educational programs around the digital industry
    Health improvement via emissions avoidance through deployment of renewable energies, heat recovery and circularity, and emissions removal.
  • Our own working style and workspace need to be sustainable as well.

Transparency and Leadership

Measure

  • We measure precisely and transparently.
  • We create solid knowledge and demonstrate trustworthiness.
  • We define science-based metrics aligned with recognized standards such as ISO 30134, EN 50600, EN 303 470, ISO 14064 and targets aligned with public and private initiatives.

Report

  •  We are proactively preparing for compliance with the forthcoming European regulation to affirm that our data centers are sustainable based on the EU Taxonomy. This commitment to sustainability aims to avoid any form of greenwashing and to ensure that our data centers are officially recognized as sustainable assets and investments. In addition, we are preparing to comply with the new European Energy Efficiency Directive and related recommendations.
  • Our focus is on implementing transparent reporting practices in line with these regulations. As part of our commitment to transparency and accountability, we will report on our science-based environmental, social and governance (ESG) key performance indicators (KPIs) at least once a year.
  • This reporting will show how we are better achieving our sustainability goals year on year and contributing to a greener future.

We exemplify ESG

Giving back to the planet!

We have one planet for all time. A planet growing more connected day by day. We have the responsibility to take care of it, for us and for future generations. Our higher goal is to protect our planet by taking action with our commitment towards green data centers. We are looking beyond and aim to show loyalty to our planet, including:

  • Aiming to be the most sustainable data center operator in Europe.
  • Supporting innovation in data centers.
  • Supporting and being part of industry sustainability initiatives, such as the iMasons Climate Accord and the technical committees of technical societies.

 

“At AQ Compute we focus on delivering best-of-breed clean energy critical infrastructure to our clients while minimizing their ecological footprint throughout the data center life cycle, making positive impact through our design, innovation and technological advantages.”

Jaime Comella, Lead Data Center Architect, AQ Compute

More about AQ Compute's sustainability leadership