At Cologix, we have set high standards for establishing environmental excellence. We want to help our clients grow – but we want to do so responsibly and while making a positive impact on the world around us.
When we formally began our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) journey in 2021, we set a goal of achieving 100% carbon neutrality and the use of 100% renewable energy by 2030. Efficiency is a must at Cologix, which is why we design, build and operate our data centers with the best practices and technologies available.
We also track our water and energy usage each month and our carbon footprint each year. Doing so allows us to monitor how efficiently we are operating our 40+ data centers – and how we can be more effective in doing so.
The right information
Cologix gathers our power usage (kWh) and water usage (gallons) straight from the utility companies as well as our own DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) system. Using this data allows us to calculate a PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) and WUE (Water Usage Effectiveness) for each of our centers. These metrics were created by The Green Grid, a nonprofit consortium striving to improve resource efficiency in data centers.
A PUE is a metric that measures how efficiently a data center is running. It is calculated by dividing the amount of energy coming into a facility divided by how much energy is billable. The lower the PUE score, the better. A PUE of 1.0 is perfect and means 100% of our power is billable and we don’t need to draw any additional energy to run our offices and cooling units. A 3.0 PUE is considered very inefficient. At Cologix, we design our centers to perform in the low 1.2s annually and at a peak of 1.35 PUE, which is considered very efficient.
A WUE is calculated by dividing the number of liters of water we use to run our data centers by the total of kWh we consume. A WUE of 1.8 is considered average – at Cologix, however, we keep our centers at around 1.2. One way we do this is by using free cooling rather than water whenever possible. Our SV1 location in Silicon Valley, for example, takes advantage of the mild climate by using a giant fan wall to bring in cool, fresh air. That air is filtered, dehumidified and washed before it is used to cool SV1.
Our carbon footprint
Cologix continues to grow, which means we will need to design, build and operate more data centers – while simultaneously reducing our carbon footprint, measured by the amount of metric tons of CO2 we produce annually. That means we need to be even more efficient with our power and utilize a mix of resources that produces the fewest amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
To this end, we keep a close eye on our carbon footprint and carefully measure our CO2 production. We measure this by taking our power consumption at each data center and multiplying it by our Carbon Emissions Factor (CEF) according to each regional utility grid where are data centers are located. In the U.S. we receive our CEF data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA); for our data centers located in Canada, we rely on Independent Electricity (IESO) in Ontario, the British Columbia Hydro Power and Authority (BC Hydro) in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Hydro-Québec Montréal, Québec.
Since 2016, Cologix has invested more than $20 million in environmental projects. Keeping a close eye on our usage ensures we are spending that money wisely and impacting the environment as positively as possible.
Our goals for 2023 include the implementation of a solid waste-tracking program and working with recycling vendors to better capture recyclable waste and bring it to the appropriate facility. And we are always working with our power providers to create cost-effective solutions that will allow us to migrate to the use of more non-carbon-emitting sources.
We have an ESG Committee and subcommittees that continuously drive initiatives to better plan, track and monitor our progress. In addition, we are launching four local ESG teams in our markets to allow our employees to create strong ESG interest and participation at their local level.
To learn more about Cologix’s roadmap to ESG excellence, download our 2021 report, Engineered For Scale.