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Understanding energy use and sustainability investments at the Netherlands 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 the Netherlands, are key to our sustainability goals.

Carbon negative by 2030

We are actively entering into purchase agreements for renewable energy, which helps propel the development of additional clean energy sources and over time reduces costs for everyone. By purchasing renewable energy, we are enabling a carbon-free energy future for communities.

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 being built are designed to be LEED Gold certified.

Power usage effectiveness (PUE) measures cloud energy efficiency. Lower PUE indicates more energy-efficient datacenters, with a PUE of 1.0. being the best score. The Microsoft North Holland datacenters were designed to run at an efficiency rate of 1.16 and had a 12-month weighted average PUE of 1.16 through February 2022. Microsoft has purchased 455 MW of offshore wind power and 180 MW of onshore wind power in the Netherlands to support our facilities.

Water positive by 2030

The new Microsoft Netherlands datacenters use outside air and zero water for cooling when temperatures are below 29.4 degrees Celsius, reducing cooling water use to less than 5 percent of the year. The new Netherlands facilities also use rainwater capture as an alternative water source that helps offset humidification water needs.

During 2021, the new Netherlands datacenters operate at an efficiency rate of 0.08 L/kWh. Microsoft designed the facility for a water usage efficiency rate of 0.01 L/kWh.

Microsoft’s water storage facility uses recycled water from the cooling system.

Zero waste by 2030

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.

By June 2021, we demonstrated 83 percent reuse of our end-of-life assets and components in the Netherlands which is above the Microsoft target of 78 percent. By 2025, 90 percent of servers and components within our regional datacenter network will be reused.

Additionally, Microsoft is conducting research and development to reduce waste by determining new recycling solutions for used air filters and fiber-optic cables.