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Understanding energy use and sustainability investments at the Denmark datacenters

In each building at every campus and datacenter, sustainability is a key priority for Microsoft across all phases of a project— from site selection to design and construction to operations and decommissioning.  Microsoft datacenters, including our facilities in Denmark, are key to our sustainability goals.

Carbon negative by 2030

For our datacenters in this region, Microsoft is procuring renewable energy. Microsoft has a power purchase agreement with developer European Energy, a Danish renewable energy developer, for the now-operational 27 MW Svinningegården solar project owned by Encavis. Once our new datacenter is operational, we plan to use an eco-labelled renewable fuel blend to power our backup generators to reduce carbon emissions.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the world’s largest green building certification program. LEED provides the framework for healthy, highly efficient, lower carbon emissions and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. New Microsoft datacenters are designed to be LEED Gold certified.

Power usage effectiveness (PUE) measures cloud energy efficiency. The calculation is total power consumption divided by IT power consumption. Lower PUE indicates more energy efficient datacenters, with a PUE of 1.0 being the best score. While PUE measurements are not available until the datacenter is operational, typically, air-cooled datacenters are designed to run at an efficiency rate of 1.16.

Waste heat

The new Denmark datacenters will use IT server heat as the primary heating source during the cold winter months.

In addition, the Microsoft datacenter in Høje-Taastrup will be ready to capture remaining IT server waste heat from day one and, where feasible, will transfer it to the district heating grid for use in the local community. Høje-Taastrup is a promising case given the close proximity to the municipality’s district heating infrastructure, and this will be one of the first datacenter locations globally where Microsoft utilizes this new waste heat recovery design.

Microsoft is furthermore in dialogue with the other two municipalities, Køge and Roskilde, to explore future opportunities to recover and utilize waste heat from the datacenter sites where feasible, as well as broader sustainability initiatives within the municipalities.

Water positive by 2030

The new Denmark datacenters, once operational, will be cooled using outside air and zero water all year. The datacenter will use water for winter humidification and will use rainwater harvest when available.

Microsoft designed the new Denmark datacenters for a water usage efficiency rate of 0.01 L/kWh.

Zero waste by 2030

Microsoft has a goal to achieve 90 percent diversion of datacenter operational waste by 2030. To reach this goal, we’re working closely with our waste haulers to optimize waste diversion programs across our global datacenter portfolio. Additionally, Microsoft has achieved third-party validated Zero Waste certifications for four datacenter campuses globally, and we are planning for zero-waste operations in Chile.

In 2020, we successfully opened our first Microsoft Circular Center in our North Holland datacenters, which is designed to extend the life cycle of servers through reuse and support a circular economy for the Microsoft Cloud.

We will open a Circular Center in Denmark when reusable assets are available, which is typically 5 to 6 years after the datacenter is operational.

Globally, Microsoft datacenters reuse 78 percent of our end-of-life assets and components; the remaining 22 percent of materials are recycled. Additionally, Microsoft is conducting research and development to reduce waste by determining new recycling solutions for used air filters and fiber-optic cables.