Data Centre Sustainability: A Decade of Pioneering Green Tech at Interxion

By Lex Coors, Chief Data Centre Technology & Engineering Officer, Interxion


With global attention on the impact of climate change, businesses will continue to play a leading role in making progress towards more sustainable practices. In fact, corporate sustainability initiatives have continued to grow in popularity, with one report showing that 86 percent of S&P 500 companies published sustainability reports in 2018 (a 10 percent increase since 2014), and another noting that 72 percent of companies mention the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in their annual corporate or sustainability reports.

Just as consumers prefer to support companies with sustainability initiatives, on the B2B side, demonstrating green practices can be a notable business differentiator for vendors across all industries. And, while the data centre industry, is typically known for being power guzzlers, at Interxion, we believe that we’re actually uniquely positioned to pioneer green technology for a more sustainable future.

Interxion has always been a leader in improving energy efficiency through technological innovations and operational behaviours. In fact, we launched our Energy Strategy Group in 2013 to help create, monitor and maintain internal programmes that ensure energy efficiency remains a core component for all engineering and operations activities within our company.

Over the past decade, we’ve developed a sustainability strategy to help manage our energy consumption and find new ways of becoming even more energy efficient – which is one of the many reasons we’re a leading data centre service supplier in Europe. We have pioneered unique energy-saving designs, harnessing everything from arctic winds to underground aquifers to reduce our facilities’ carbon footprint. Some of Interxion’s first-of-its-kind energy efficiency designs include:

  • Groundwater and seawater cooling systems
  • Reusing excess heat to warm nearby residential households
  • Seawater cooling
  • Leveraging air-free cooling systems

As a result of Interxion’s Energy Strategy group, we have met our goal to be 100 percent powered by renewable energy since 2017, completing our liquid and hybrid liquid cooling designs, and have improved our power usage effectiveness (PUE) metric across our entire European footprint.

Helping develop these innovations in data centre design and management – including improving the power ratio efficiency between server load and transformer load, and the industry’s first-ever modular approach to data centre architecture – has been a highlight of my career.

That’s why I’m honoured to be included in Data Economy’s inaugural “Climate 50 – The World’s Top Most Influential Climate Leaders In Data Centres And Cloud” list. The Climate 50 showcases 50 individuals “leading the data centre industry through charting new innovations or breakthroughs, sheer investment or business acumen, exceptional entrepreneurial skill sets, expertise and experience, reach and overall achievements.”

I am pleased to be part of such wonderful company within Data Economy’s first biannual Climate 50 list, in the coming years I am looking forward to furthering our company’s sustainability success through our liquid and hybrid liquid designs that will further improve the sustainability of the data centre industry.

To learn more about Interxion’s sustainability initiatives, click here.