The twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) recently took place in Glasgow. The twelve-day UN summit brought together more than 190 world leaders and tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens, to discuss the climate emergency and their commitments.

This year’s event was largely centred on delivering goals set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to achieve net-zero by mid-century in a bid to keep temperature increases below the critical 1.5 degrees threshold. Hoping to achieve stronger international collaboration and mitigate the worst effects of climate change, the stakes were high. And like many businesses, we were monitoring the outcomes very closely.

What does COP26 mean for UK businesses?

The new sustainability disclosure requirements (SDRs) expected to be brought in by the Treasury, and now the subject of a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) discussion paper, will at first only apply to the financial services sector. However, they will eventually require data centre providers, and other UK businesses to report on their impact (and the impact, where relevant, of their products) on the climate and environment. The proposed SDRs also aim to consolidate and streamline existing climate reporting requirements and are intended to be more comprehensive than the TCFD framework. For some businesses, that means setting out their green credentials for the first time. However, Telehouse has been reporting on CO2 emissions as part of the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR).

In addition, moving forwards, organisations will have to ‘clearly’ justify their sustainability claims and polish their net zero transition plans to ensure they can substantiate their environmental claims. That will hopefully help businesses make informed decisions about which provider can help them to achieve their sustainability goals.

The climate crisis is perhaps the greatest challenge ever faced by businesses around the globe. Global institutions know all of us have an important role to play in tackling sustainability challenges, including climate change. This means pursuing sustainability objectives both in how we do business, in how we put our business to work for our stakeholders and progressing sustainable solutions within our own operations. In fact, many of these environmental and social impact of operations extends to the supply chain. Therefore the majority of the business are looking forward to work with their suppliers that share their values and commitments to make a positive impact in the communities where they operate. It is now the precise time to work  collaboratively to tackle climate change.

Our environmental policy

At Telehouse, we are committed to operations that help ensure a safe and sustainable future for our planet and its communities. We embed environmentally-sustainable colocation operations and are always striving to adopt the highest standards and behaviours to enhance energy efficiency, foster green procurement and reduce our carbon footprint.

It is important to us to operate a clean energy infrastructure. Therefore, all our data centres, including the upcoming Telehouse South facility, in the London Docklands campus, are powered by 100% renewable energy sources, including solar and wind. We also hold internationally recognised accreditations (ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System and ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management System) to drive a continuous improvement in energy performance and the efficiency of our operations.

We understand that the nature of our business can have an impact on natural resources and energy consumption. Thus, we regularly monitor and report our day-to-day operations, and make energy efficiency a key decision factor when designing, purchasing and implementing new facilities, processes, services and equipment. Our North Two building is certified to the BREEAM excellent standard and we pioneered the world’s first multi-storey indirect adiabatic cooling system.

To further support our sustainability strategy, we actively participate in voluntary standards, regulations and frameworks, such as the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact and the EU’s Code of Conduct for DCs, and many joint schemes, such as the European Union scheme for Emissions Trading and Climate Change Agreement.

Helping our customers go greener

Over the coming years, pressure will only increase to pull together to tackle climate change and meet government commitments to net zero. The journey is only beginning, and it will be those who put sustainability at the forefront of their operations who will succeed and generate competitive advantage for their stakeholders.

We have always been transparent about our energy consumption to enable our customers to identify their own emissions arising from outsourced activities. However, we also recognise that the industry needs to do more to help customers understand the energy impacts of digital activities.

As is the case for many UK businesses, we will continue to be transparent and provide the relevant information so our stakeholders can be confident we are taking actions to tackle the climate emergency. In the meantime, we will eagerly await the outcomes of the COP26, to see the commitments from governments across the globe and their strategies to address climate change and all the challenges that we face.

Contact us

Telehouse International Corporation of Europe, Coriander Avenue, London, E14 2AA
T: +44 (0) 20 7512 0550
E: [email protected]