Towards sustainable data centre operations in the UK

Jones, Peter and Hillier, David and Comfort, Daphne and Clarke-Hill, Colin M (2013) Towards sustainable data centre operations in the UK. Journal of Property Investment and Finance, 31 (1). pp. 89-100. ISSN 1463-578X

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Abstract

The purpose of this practice briefing paper is to provide an exploratory review of the sustainability agendas being addressed and publicly reported by the UK's leading data centre operators. Design/methodology/approach - The paper begins with a short discussion of the characteristics of sustainability and an outline of the origins and development of data centres within the UK. The paper draws its empirical material from the most recent information on sustainability posted on the UK's leading data centre operators' corporate web sites. Findings - The findings reveal that all the UK's leading data centre operators provide only limited information on their commitment to sustainability with the dominant focus being on its environmental dimension and with little attention being paid to social and economic issues. More critically the authors argue that these commitments are driven more by the search for efficiency gains, that they are couched within existing business models centred on continuing growth and that as such the UK's leading data centre operators are pursuing a "weak" rather than a "strong" model of sustainability. Practical implications - The paper suggests that leading data centre operating companies may need to extend their sustainability reporting and to introduce external assurance procedures. Originality/value - The paper provides an accessible review of the sustainability agendas being pursued by the UK's leading data centre operators and as such it will interest academics, students and practitioners interested in both sustainability and data centre operations and developments.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sustainable development,technological change, society, economic development, data processing, natural resources, social criticism & satire, economic growth, environmental economics, operating companies, computer centers
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business Research
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 22 May 2014 13:30
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2016 15:59
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/687

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