WP#45 - Data Center Life Cycle Assessment Guidelines

20 November, 2012 | White Paper

Christophe Garnier, Schneider Electric ITB

Mark Aggar, Microsoft
Marc Banks, Deutsche Bank
Jay Dietrich, IBM
Bob Shatten, Individual Member
Markus Stutz, Dell
Emmanuel Tong-Viet, IBM

In response to the growing demand for environmental impact data, various standards organizations, industry consortia, and regulatory bodies have developed tools that share the same goal: accurately assess the environmental impact of a product or organization. Each tool focuses on a particular range of interest, designates applicable life cycle stages, and covers different product ranges. The individual tools all have their own particular requirements and limitations and, in almost all cases, provide gross estimates of the calculated impacts at best.

This white paper provides a framework for identifying and describing the elements necessary to assess a data center’s complete life cycle, taking all relevant environmental impacts into consideration. It focuses on defining applicable assessment boundaries and environmental concerns. It does not delve into all the economic and social aspects of sustainable data center operations, such as the use of “conflict” material.