People and planet are our passion
In AQ Compute, every job is a green hire, the company team itself comprises knowledge workers who share the passion of a people, planet and profits culture. Everyone understands the climate issues, takes responsibility to learn the complexities, and focuses on solving the problems to alleviate the cascading impact for our clients. The AQ Compute Sustainability Leadership master the skills of tradeoffs to maximise data centre performance, lowering the costs of operations, minimising the environmental impact to achieve a sustainability data centre standard operating procedure lifestyle. We relentlessly push the innovation envelope to solve the greatest existential problem being faced by humanity.
This is a journey.
“AQ Compute’s sustainability leadership exemplifies data centre design, build, scale and Net Zero 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, Head of Sustainability, AQ Compute
AQ Compute is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.
AQ Compute takes a systematic and holistic approach to achieving resilience and Net Zero operations for data centres and the ICT sector.
The UNSDGs that we are prioritising are:
UN SDG GOAL #7 – Renewable Energy
AQ Compute takes ownership of making affordable renewable energy for all projects.
UN SDG GOAL #12 – Responsible Consumption
AQ Compute maintains the commitment to match the addition for each MW of AQ Compute data centre capacity to incrementally develop new renewable energy generation projects within the Aquila Group.
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 in our communities and to mitigate climate change impact.
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. The company has been carbon neutral 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 how important is for our clients to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. We want to help them to achieve their ESG goals by relying on our products and services. We want to exemplify ESG and be enablers of the change.
Our ESG strategy is mainly based on a path to reach Net Zero within the next years to tackle the main challenges that today’s world is facing around energy, emissions, water and waste. These are our main planned actions, organised along these main categories:
- Clean energy strategy
- Net Zero design
- Value chain
- MNR (Measure – Neutralise – Report)
Clean energy strategy
At AQ Compute, we believe that one of the first actions we need to undertake to reach Net Zero is to ensure a clean power supply to our data centres. Our aim is to combine data centre activities with developments in renewable energy.
We aim toleverage the renewable energy development capacity of our parent company, Aquila Group, to provide our data centres and clients with a truly clean electrical supply. During the development of our strategy, we will focus on the needs of our customers:
- PPAs: We will offer secure and attractive long-term power purchase agreements (3-5-10+ years) via Aquila Clean Energy, 100% market-based renewable energy from wind, solar and hydropower and access to Renewable Energy Certificates. 14 GW developed or under development in Europe.
- Co-location of projects: We can co-locate renewable energy plants with data centres, 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 for our clients.
- Grid demand mechanisms: We want our data centres to be involved in short-term demand management operations and frequency stability measures, thereby contributing to a renewable energy dominated grid.
- Additionality: For each clean energy MW needed by our data centres, we will deploy one MW of clean energy within the same region to avoid depleting society of this valuable resource. We will offer signed agreements, so our clients can confidently claim that they are helping the grid to be more sustainable.
- Heat reuse: We will select the right plots and involve utilities, industries and communities to help decarbonise the heating sector. We believe in the establishment of holistic concepts from the very beginning is vital.
Net Zero design
Beyond industry best practices:
- We will align and subscribe to the EU Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency, the iMasons Climate Accord, and the Data Center Climate Neutral Pact, and embrace their main objectives: PUE<1.3; WUE<0.4 L/kWh; REF>75%.
- We will incorporate a third strategic factor to our procurement decisions: the environmental footprint. All equipment will be evaluatedby its environmental impact and hypothetical cost of its later compensation through voluntary carbon credits.
- We will build our data centres 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 minimise water consumption as much as possible and aim for a WUE (water usage effectiveness) of close to virtually zero. To achieve this, we use closed-loop systems and we avoid adiabatic cooling.
- We will use the excess heat generated by our data centres for our auxiliary rooms and equipment. In addition, we actively promote the use of excess heat by neighbouring communities for various purposes. By promoting the external use of excess heat, we aim to contribute to better sustainability and resources efficiency in our surrounding communities.
- We will continuously monitor our energy consumption in real-time to optimise the performance of our cooling systems according to the precise requirements of our IT equipment. We will prioritise waste reduction and are committed to using non scarce materials, such as rare earth metals, responsibly. To achieve this, we strive to maximise the utilisation of recycled and recyclable materials, and we will employ material passports to ensure traceability and accountability throughout our projects. Our goal is to minimise diversion rates and promote circularity in all our endeavors.
We will research, identify and apply the latest innovative technologies in:
- Cooling: We study different refrigerants such as CO2, ammonia and R718 (water); we look to use natural cooling sources such as underground cooling and we 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, H2 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 centres.
- Materials: Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is experiencing an incredible evolution and we envision its future usage in data centres; 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 gensets 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 and, 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 centres of the future. We are excited about the prospect of implementing “proof of concepts” in our data centres in collaboration with vendors and customers.
We will employ good practices and incentive programs for the lowest carbon, water and materials footprints:
- 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 recognised 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.
- 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 Ecodesign Directive.
- We also favour 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 minimise gaps in racks to optimise resource utilisation.
- 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.
Measure - Neutralise - Report
- We measure precisely and transparently.
- We create solid knowledge and demonstrate trustworthiness.
- We define science-based metrics aligned with recognised standards such as ISO 30134, EN 50600, EN 303 470, ISO 14064 and targets aligned with public and private initiatives.
- We want to be Net Zero by 2030 at the latest.
- We prioritise third-party certified carbon removal activities.
- We plan to use the forestry activities within Aquila Group.
- We are exploring artificial ways of removing carbon emissions, using techniques like biochar or mineralisation.
- We are proactively preparing for compliance with the forthcoming European regulation to affirm that our data centres are sustainable and comply with the EU Taxonomy.
- This commitment to sustainability aims to avoid any form of greenwashing and to ensure that our data centres are officially recognised as sustainable assets and investments. In addition, we are preparing to comply with the new European Energy 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 responsibilty 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 centres. We are looking beyond and aim to show loyality to our planet, including:
- Forestation activities
- Sponsoring local species
Engagement for the society
- Incremental addition of new renewable energy capacity to compensate for the capacity used by our data centres
- 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
Leadership and transparency
- We aim to be the most sustainable data centre operator in Europe.
- We support innovation in data centres.
- We support and are part of industry sustainability initiatives, for example, 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 minimising their ecological footprint throughout the data centre life cycle, making positive impact through our design, innovation and technological advantages.”
Jaime Comella, Lead Data Centre Architect, AQ Compute