Microsoft Azure: Infrastructure Masons' new data center embodied carbon project

May 03, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Infrastructure Masons, a body for large data center builders, has announced the formation of a new group, the iMasons Climate Accord (ICA), to establish a standard for data centers' embodied carbon. So far, some of the hyperscalers involved in the project include AWS, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, but a further 40 firms have also made the decision to back the group.

iMasons has explained that while many members have been making strides in the sustainability arena, with no "universal labeling system" to determine the amount of carbon consumed in a data center's lifecycle, it's more difficult to measure embodied carbon and Scope 3 emissions are often the most challenging category to address.

Speaking about the motivation behind such projects, Christian Belady, vice president and distinguished engineer - data center advanced development at Microsoft, said: "One of the biggest topics of discussion at COP26 was how a lack of reliable and consistent measurement hampers progress on the path to net zero. We also know that while many companies are making valiant efforts to improve their carbon footprints, Scope 3 emissions continue to be the most difficult to control and reduce."

Joe Kava, vice president, data centers at Google, outlined: "We have matched 100 percent of our global electricity use with renewable energy since 2017, and are now working toward operating on 24x7 carbon-free energy as part of our goal to achieve net zero emissions across all of our operations and value chain by 2030," he said. "We are excited to help create an open standard for reducing the embodied carbon in data centers, and work with equipment manufacturers to improve energy efficiency across the industry."

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