European Data Centers Get LEED-Like Sustainability Rating

LONDON, United Kingdom — Although the leading green building certification standards, such as LEED and BREEAM in the U.K., can all be applied to data center operations, those ratings don't do a lot to help keep costs and greenhouse gas emissions down once the compute facilities are up and running.

And although groups like The Green Grid have developed a number of metrics to help green IT operations for IT managers and CIOs, green data centers remain a piecemeal affair.

A new certification, launched last month by the British Computer Society, aims to bring together the best practices for data center operations, and give owners a LEED-like rating as a badge of green quality.

The Certified Energy Efficiency Datacenter Award (CEEDA), is based on the European Union's Code of Conduct for Data Centers, and offers a Bronze, Silver and Gold rating for data centers.

"There are not a lot of best practice schemes that are specific for data centers, that will help operators improve their energy efficiency," Zahl Limbuwala, chair of the BCS's data center specialist group, told eWeek Europe. "We have the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centers, but the issue with that is that it is a self-certifying program. It doesn't attempt to see what the operator is doing onsite. We felt this represented a void in the market, for operators who are looking for accreditation on energy efficiency in their data centers, but which independently verifies the work they have done."

In order to land one of the tiered ratings under CEEDA, data centers must be evaluated by third-party auditors on six areas:

  • Data Center Utilization
  • IT Equipment and Services
  • Cooling
  • Data Center Power Equipment
  • Data Center Building
  • Monitoring

Each level of certification requires higher adherence to the criteria, with a Gold rating requiring, among many other achievements, a PUE of less than 1.5 for the 12 months prior to certification.

BCS has been promoting green IT to its members and the U.K. technology sector for some time; in 2009, the group launched a green education program for IT professionals, and earlier in 2009 was the first professional body to sign onto the E.U.'s Code of Conduct for Data Centers.

Full details about CEEDA can be found at www.ceeda-award.org.