Beyond energy efficiency – a holistic approach to data centre sustainability
04 September, 2017

4 September 2017

16:30 CEST / 15.30 BST

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The last decade has seen significant progress in data centres’ efforts to become more sustainable - Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) has become a commonly-used metric and data centre operators have become increasingly aware of energy saving opportunities within the data centre.

Data centre sustainability, however, is not limited to energy efficiency nor to the operational phase of facilities. Across its entire lifecycle, a data centre can negatively impact the environment in a myriad of ways which are not accounted for with metrics that focus solely on energy efficiency. Taking a holistic view of the data centre provides a more encompassing perspective of this environmental impact. This shines a light on new areas where data centres - and therefore our digital business practices – can become more sustainable and contribute towards the overall efficiency of the business.

In this roundtable, Sophia Flucker (Operational Intelligence) and Dr Deborah Andrews (London South Bank University) will provide an overview of a more holistic approach to data centre sustainability and will share information on the impending Technical Report 99-2, which further addresses these issues:

  • What environmental impacts are left invisible when an organisation relies solely on assessing energy efficiency?
  • What factors contribute to the embodied impact of a data centre?
  • How does an organisation begin to assess the environmental impact of a data centre across its entire lifecycle?




Sophia Flucker

Director, Operational Intelligence

Award Winning Young Mission Critical Engineer

Sophia has worked as an engineering consultant on a variety of projects in several countries, delivering data centre design, commissioning and risk and energy assessments. She has worked alongside operations teams to help clients to manage their critical environments. Her experience includes developing low energy data centre cooling solutions, creating analytical and reporting tools, leading teams and business development. Sophia won the prize for Young Mission Critical Engineer of the Year at the Datacentre Awards 2007. She has been an active participant of various industry groups on data centre energy efficiency and has published and presented work in this area.


Dr Deborah Andrews

Associate Professor of Design, School of Engineering, London South Bank University

Deborah has 20 years’ experience in the field of sustainable design and manufacture, which she integrates into research, enterprise and teaching activities at London South Bank University. She has led and supervised a number of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, TSB/Innovate, EPSRC and industry supported projects, the subjects of which include the development of sustainable design tools and services for a design consultancy, new product development tools for a commercial refrigeration manufacturer and the development of programmable thermostatic radiator valves. Current research includes work with iSTUTE, an EPSRC funded interdisciplinary centre looking at energy demand reduction in the UK; she is also leading  MRes and PhD research projects exploring the development of a circular economy and user behaviours in the commercial refrigeration sector (with the Bond Group), the British Blind and Shutter Association and the  design process itself. Deborah’s has also worked on a number of research projects related to the overall sustainability of data centres which includes both the embodied and operational impacts of equipment and resources.