Start Campus’s Sustainability Guidelines: For the Planet

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Originally posted on Start Campus

We believe that Start Campus is in the forefront of establishing industry-wide sustainability standards with its commitment to developing green giant ecosystems — 100% green energy sustainable data centers. By prioritizing transparency and taking decisive action, Start Campus aims to inspire others in the industry and drive positive change on a local, national, and global scale.

Today, the rapid pace of global digital transformation and AI development is driving volumes of data creation, storage, and usage leading to surging demand for data centers. While much has been achieved to address the power needs of these facilities, a change is needed if we are to continue to power digital and energy transitions while at the same time meeting goals for net zero emissions.

As a leading data center developer committed to sustainable practices and 24/7 renewable energy power, we at Start Campus want to share insights into its elevated sustainability standards, policies and good practices through this four-part blog series, with the goal of creating needed awareness, encouraging widespread adoption of best practices, and influencing new industry best practices.

At Start Campus, we believe in actively designing, measuring, reporting, and continuously improving sustainability-related standards goals to effectively assess our environmental, social, and economic impact. This commitment ensures that we align with the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement and fulfill the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.

We take pride in being pioneers developing a comprehensive chain of connectivity embedded with sustainable initiatives at every step, fostering a collaborative ecosystem that drives holistic sustainability.
The Start Campus Sustainable Development Goals serve as guiding principles as we move toward global sustainability. To achieve these goals, we have established four Sustainability Pillars:

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  1. For the Planet
  2. For the Community
  3. For Start Campus
  4. For the Industry

For the Planet

In this first blog of our four-part series, we shed light on Start Campus’ Sustainability Guidelines and what sets us apart from other data center service providers whose efforts are limited to carbon offsetting by purchasing carbon credits from unrelated third parties. At Start Campus, we take innovative carbon offsetting initiatives right at our campus sites through a range of initiatives.

At our SINES Project, a 495 MW hyperscale data center campus, we have designed an energy-independent system powered exclusively by renewable energ y, and hybrid solar/wind parks supported by batteries and green power purchase agreements. This approach enables access to:

  • 100% green power 24/7 at competitive prices, allowing us to offer sustainable and cost benefits to our customers.
  • Boast an exceptional Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.1, ensuring optimal energy efficiency.

From the very beginning of the construction phase, we incorporated carbon modeling for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions scopes 1 (direct emissions), 2 (indirect emissions), and 3 (other emissions), going beyond industry norms that only address emissions scope 1 and 2. By utilizing state-of-the-art green concrete and recycled scrap metal in the construction of our SIN01 building, Start Campus has successfully achieved an outstanding 16% reduction in carbon emissions . These sustainability-driven initiatives not only benefit our own data center facilities but also influence the broader data center industry and supply chain, promoting the use of eco-friendly construction materials.

Biodiversity and Sustainability

Another key aspect of our sustainability focus is the restoration of natural habitats and the promotion of local biodiversity. We actively engage in planting, nurturing, and conserving native vegetation, as well as constructing water retention basins in strategic locations to promote endogenous species to thrive within our data center campus.

Collaborating with local universities, we identify suitable vegetation to support biodiversity while maintaining a net zero biodiversity loss. By purposefully placing shade-loving vegetation around our buildings and beneath solar panels, we optimize space utilization while creating carbon sinks. Over time, these carbon sinks will not only contribute to significant cost benefits, particularly with the anticipated rise in carbon tax, but also help us achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2025 (with a Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) of 0) and full carbon neutrality by 2028 at the Start Campus SINES location.

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