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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

ESG KPI “PUE” – reduced CO2 generation at data centers KPI

An important indicator for controlling our climate protection measures and the efficiency of our data centers is the annual “Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE img)” value. 

The PUE factor img is an indicator of the increased efficiency of the infrastructure in our data centers. The factor is calculated using the ratio between the total electrical energy consumed by the data center and the amount of electrical energy consumed by IT. We were able to reduce the average global PUE factor at our T-Systems data centers from 1.85 to 1.64 between 2011 and 2019. A reduction from 1.67 to 1.56 was also achieved for Germany between 2008 and 2019.

To reduce CO2 emissions at our data centers (DC), we are optimizing energy consumption at individual data center locations and improving processes throughout the global data center landscape. Our state-of-the-art data centers, e.g., in Munich or Biere, are set up for a PUE value of 1.36 and are therefore much more efficient than the average for German data centers, which lies at about 1.8. We are planning to reduce the PUE factor of our fixed-line network in Germany to 1.4 by the year 2020. For this value, we also forecast an additional reduction in the coming years. This will allow us in part to compensate for increasing energy requirements due to growing volumes of data and new features.

Data centers are becoming more energy-efficient

The “DC11@2018” program ran from 2013 to 2018. Its objective was to combine data center capacity worldwide with the latest IT technology and hence improve energy efficiency. The goal was to achieve an average PUE value of 1.4. To do this, data center space and locations were reduced and existing data center infrastructure was virtualized. This involved decommissioning several old data centers in Germany. At the Biere and Munich data centers and at other international data centers such as the Barcelona site in Spain, air conditioning was optimized.

However, we were not able to achieve the targeted PUE value of 1.4. At the end of 2019, the same figure was 1.64. This is in part due to the gradual shutdown of old data centers, which become less efficient during decommissioning as less capacity is used. Another reason is the commissioning of the newly built Biere data center (second construction phase), which initially produced low efficiency due to low capacity utilization. It is now in the ramp-up phase and efficiency is improving along with increased capacity utilization.

Data centers are becoming more energy-efficient

Additional measures were identified at the end of the “DC11@2018” program. As a result, the follow-up program “Data Center Next” was launched at the beginning of 2019 with the aim of further homogenizing the IT landscape and purposefully optimizing utilization of the data center infrastructure according to IT requirements in order to further improve efficiency. The program utilizes factors that have a positive influence on a data center’s PUE development, such as selective cooling and raising the temperature within the possible range, while taking into account defined limit values.

Our target PUE value for our highly efficient data center in Biere is 1.3. To achieve this target, it will be necessary to adhere to a prescribed temperature range, achieve a capacity utilization of at least 80 percent, and create an IT landscape that is as homogeneous as possible. By taking steps such as migrating data from inefficient data centers to Biere, we achieved a PUE metric there of 1.32 by the end of 2019. The data center was also awarded the respected LEED Gold sustainability certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).