Our green data centre wins gold award for the fourth time

Bethany Reid
Monday 8 February 2021

The University of St Andrews has, for the fourth time, achieved the highest level of award for the performance and green design of its data centre. Following a rigorous re-assessment process last year, we have just been advised it has retained the GOLD award under the Certified Energy Efficient Datacenter Award (CEEDA) Scheme. 

Built at a cost of £2.4 million, the data centre was opened in 2011, with the aims of carbon reduction, reducing energy usage and costs and providing an efficient, reliable, and scalable facility. It only uses energy from renewable sources and the energy efficient design saves the University between £65,000 – £75,000 per year in electricity costs. The data centre has brought significant incalculable benefits, through significantly improved ICT system availability in a safe and secure environment. This has allowed for large-scale digital enablement projects to be completed over the last few years. 

Nic Morris, Head of Product and Strategy, CEEDA at DataCenter Dynamics commented: “Having read all of the reports that have been produced, I would say that the processes that the University had in place from the start and those that have been added and enhanced remind me of the process of continuous improvement that I have seen used previously on a manufacturing project – continually driving excess out of the system and also applying it to the processes themselves.” 

Last year, the Principal founded the Environmental Sustainability Board to oversee sustainability projects and initiatives across the University, chaired by Professor Sir Ian BoydThe Board will help the University achieve its ambition to become carbon neutral for energy use by 2035 

Exploiting digital technology will be a key enabler for many of these initiatives and our award winning, energy efficient data centre provides the perfect platform.  

All staff are encouraged to support the new Environmental Strategy by identifying innovative digital solutions that reduce travel, energy use and waste. Further opportunities for staff and students to get involved can be found on the sustainability web pages. 

Steve Watt, Chief Information Officer said: “We are absolutely delighted to achieve the CEEDA Gold standard again. We take our social responsibilities very seriously and developing an energy-efficient data centre is a small and important contribution to this agenda. We continue to be the only University in the world with this award, which is a very positive reflection on the skills, expertise and dedication of our IT Services and Estates colleagues”. 

 

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