Realising Your Goals with a Sustainable Data Center

At NorthC, we aim to make a vital contribution to our clients' sustainability goals. By choosing a sustainable data center, we offer customers the opportunity not only to reduce their CO2 footprint but also to actively contribute to a better future for our planet. NorthC is committed to operating completely CO2-neutral by 2030, guided by four sustainable pillars.

Our Pillars

Benefits of a Sustainable Data Center

Aligned with the growing attention to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) regulations and the new EU CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), we believe that a sustainable data center is not just a noble pursuit, but offers customers concrete advantages:

  • Minimal environmental impact while providing the highest possible availability, performance, and connectivity.
  • Utilisation of sustainable materials, modular components, green energy, hydrogen, and residual heat exchange results in lower energy consumption, CO2 emission reduction, and the smallest possible ecological footprint.
  • Green energy sources serve as an alternative to fossil fuels, whose supply certainty will decrease in the future.
  • The scale of an external data center offers sustainability advantages over an in-house data center, from raw materials for construction to CO2 emissions from transport and packaging materials.
  • This scale also allows for more stringent conditions and sustainability requirements to be imposed on suppliers.
  • A sustainable data center indirectly aids in achieving the sustainability goals of the entire chain: customers, partners, and end-users.

Green Hydrogen

We are taking tangible steps to continually green our data centers, ensuring the CO2 impact of your IT infrastructure is minimised. Green hydrogen is pivotal since its byproduct is not CO2, but water (H2O). Our new data center in Groningen is one of the world’s first to fully carbon-neutralise its emergency power supply using green hydrogen. The new data center currently under construction in Eindhoven – the second in this region – plans to use innovative hybrid generators that can operate on both natural gas and hydrogen. Once the necessary infrastructure for hydrogen supply is established in the region, a complete switch to hydrogen is possible. We are committed to ensuring that our emergency power supplies become as CO2-neutral as possible in the coming years. We are currently investigating the feasibility of producing our own green hydrogen in the future, potentially harnessing solar and wind energy. This exploration aims to reduce our dependence on external parties for both our primary and emergency power supplies.

Green Energy

We already utilise 100% green energy to run our data centers. In the coming years, we aim to push for even more self-sustaining facilities and are therefore investing in generating sustainable energy ourselves. We’re exploring the potential that wind, solar, and green hydrogen have to offer, so that we can reduce our dependency on the grid in the future and generate more power ourselves. If we can produce our own energy in the future, this provides us with the capability to produce green hydrogen, which can then be used to power our new backup power solutions. This leads to a green chain where no piece of energy is wasted, and all resources are utilised most efficiently. Read more about this topic in our blog ‘A Sustainable Data Center? Absolutely.’

Residual Heat from Data Centers

Every bit of leftover energy is harnessed for meaningful use. Therefore, we use the heat produced in our data centers to heat the surrounding buildings. For example, our data center at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven is connected to the local district heating network, where we exchange cooling and heating with other companies. The second data center in Eindhoven, set to launch in September 2023, will also be immediately set up for the exchange of residual heat. In Aalsmeer, our waste heat warms a daycare center, a greenhouse, and a swimming pool. The largest residual heat project we’re currently involved in is Rotterdam Schiebroek. Over the coming years, as many as over 10,000 households there will be partially heated by the waste heat we deliver from our data center in Rotterdam. All of our new data centers are designed from the outset to share heat. We stand ready to distribute our excess heat whenever a local initiative emerges.

Modular Construction

All of our newly constructed data centers adopt a modular design. This means we only make assets operational when they are truly required, leading to significant energy savings. Elements like cooling, electricity, and monitoring are activated strictly when necessary. This modular nature also extends to the design of our racks. Empty spaces are filled with blanking plates, ensuring no unnecessary escape of cool air. Sensors that activate lighting only when essential, the continuous monitoring of potential areas of improvement, and the upgrading of assets to more efficient versions are all seen as our responsibility. Furthermore, we have started a pilot program for implementing A.I. in our data centers. This empowers us to refine the configuration and cooling of our data rooms, achieving greater efficiency and substantial reductions in energy consumption.

Interested in our sustainability initiatives or have a question?

We’d be happy to tell you more during a personal tour. You can also request a no-obligation quote.