iMasons Climate Accord sees over 70 data centre companies unite on carbon reduction

Posted: 4th May 2022

More than 70 leading digital infrastructure companies have signed the iMasons Climate Accord, a pledge that brings the industry together to accelerate carbon reduction. 

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

A decade ago data centres were an obscure and relatively small industry most people were unaware of never mind understood. 

Back then, KPIs centred around physical security, info security, temperature, and so on. Sustainability didn’t even enter the picture. So It’s impressive to see how far the industry has progressed in such a short period.  

Fast forward ten years and the industry has exploded. Data centres are now essential to the continued functioning of the world. They enable economies to stay productive and prosperous. 

Alongside the industry’s rapid growth emerged an understanding that they had an environmental responsibility. 

Despite being characterised by some media outlets as wreckless consumers of power, the data centre industry has done a great deal to drive down power consumption. 

Compute capacity has increased by over 500% while total energy consumption has risen minimally. Data centres are one of the largest consumers of clean energy globally. And companies all over the world are coming up with innovative new ways to solve energy consumption problems (low water or zero water base cooling platforms, for example). 

In many ways, the industry serves as a great example for everyone in the construction space, digital or physical. They take environmental problems seriously and do what they can to solve them. 

However, right now the planet is heading towards a climate catastrophe and the world is on a mission to limit the planet’s warming to 1.5 degrees by the year 2100. As a result, many countries have set net-zero targets for 2050, and even the data centre industry has realised it must do better faster. 

The iMasons Climate Accord 

On 25 April, iMasons announced its Climate Accord, a historic cooperative which unites leading digital infrastructure companies on carbon reduction. The pledge has been signed by over 70 organisations including Meta (formerly Facebook), Google, Microsoft and AWS. 

The pledge recognises that, as large consumers of power and materials, the digital infrastructure industry must take a proactive role in achieving net-zero. It also acknowledges that the industry is behind where it needs to be and that collaboration between organisations is key to accelerating its progress. 

Hyperscale companies shape the industry’s behaviour, so the accord’s sentiments will no doubt permeate into the rest of the data centre space rapidly. 

A common carbon accounting methodology 

At the heart of the accord is the need for a common carbon measurement methodology. The stated goal is to identify and establish an independent governing body to develop a standard methodology for measuring carbon emissions in data centre power, materials, and products.

It’s a noble aim. Currently, the industry relies on guesstimates or retrospective calculations which usually lead to overpayments. Plus, a common accounting methodology would enable businesses to leverage data to continuously reduce carbon at the design and operation stage.

Such a methodology needs to be accurate, auditable and scalable; it must work for data centres of every size, at speed, and in such a way that it can be audited by an independent body. 

How long will it take for such a methodology to be established? Who knows, but with such talented, creative and driven organisations working together, one would imagine a solution will soon be upon us. 

What is clear, however, is that they should be applauded for making the brave decision to unite for the greater good. It’s these kinds of decisions that make the battle against climate change one we can win. 

Talk to us about your data centre project

Blacktip Consultancy is currently helping some of the world’s leading data centre organisations get their digital infrastructure right. We have extensive experience and expertise in the space which means no project is too intimidating for us. So, if you want to talk to us about your project we want to hear from you. 

Email to start the conversation. 


A greener Blacktip: placing sustainability centre stage in 2022

Posted: 17th January 2022

We’ve recently been on a journey of discovery, along with our clients, about how to do better for the planet. In this article, our Business Development Manager, Eva McConnell, reveals the big misconception we had about our environmental impact and shares a few simple ways to start being more sustainable today.

In October last year, the WHO’s COP26 report declared that climate change is now the biggest threat to humanity – more dangerous than the pandemic.

Our clients’ priorities changed virtually overnight. Sustainability moved from an afterthought to the forefront of conversation. Carbon neutral and net-zero targets were set, and they turned to us to find out how IT & AV can help them reach their ambitious goals. 

Seeing our clients take such bold action led us to examine our own behaviour. Where were we falling short? And what were we going to do about it? 

Blacktip Consultancy is privileged to be working with some huge organisations that have the potential to change the world. Our decisions could have an enormous impact on the effort to fight climate change. 

Because we work with businesses larger than ourselves, we fell into the trap of thinking our own environmental impact was inconsequential. But we were wrong. 

Climate change requires everyone to act. Every business, big or small. And every individual, everywhere on the planet. 

At Blacktip, we’re determined to be on the right side of history. That’s why our new year’s resolution is to incorporate sustainability into everything we do going forward.  

If you’re looking to be more eco-friendly this year, read on. We’ve discovered some simple things that will help you build momentum and start making an immediate difference. 

Where do you start? 

Building sustainable commercial real estate typically requires a larger investment up front. And it takes time to see the results, though they are worth it, both environmentally and financially. 

In the meantime, here are some small actions you can take right now to be more sustainable. They’ll help you build momentum as you set your sights towards bigger goals. 

Swap emails for Slack

We were surprised to discover that text-based emails emit about 4 grams of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent). And an average year of emailing emits about 136 kilograms of CO2e, which is about the same as driving 200 miles in a gas-powered car[1].

So, we decided to ditch those long lengthy email chains for the faster, less formal and more environmentally friendly Slack app. In today’s remote working setup, teams need a way to communicate quickly. And Slack is the digital equivalent of turning to the desk behind you to ask a quick question. 

Be a little less social on social media 

Greenspector studied the carbon impact, consumption of energy and data exchanged across 10 popular social media platforms across the world — Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube. 

Greenspector, an energy company specialising in energy-resource efficiency, conducted an independent study on the carbon impact, consumption of energy and data exchanged across 10 popular social media platforms.

The results were shocking[2]. They discovered that TikTok — the worst offender — generates around 2.63 gEqCO2 per minute. That’s the carbon footprint equivalent to using 0.27 litres of water or 1.88 m² of land.  Reddit wasn’t far behind at 2.48 gEqCO2 per minute. Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat take the next three places, followed by Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter and YouTube. 

These figures paint a grim picture for our planet when you consider that each of us spends an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes on social networks every day.  

For many businesses, social media is an essential part of our marketing strategy and it’s a great way to stay connected to your network. Ditching it would be detrimental to business. However, we could do a great deal of good for the environment if we all spent a little less time scrolling and cut our number of posts down.  

Join 1% for the Planet

Only 3% of total philanthropic giving in the US goes to environmental causes. 1% for the Planet is on a mission to change that. Their global movement is inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through a simple premise: donate 1% of annual sales or salary to environmental causes. 

Head to to find out more. 

Consider setting up satellite offices 

At Blacktip, we have resources and people abroad trained in our way of doing things who we can contact to carry out tasks such as audits or site visits. 

Not only do these satellite offices save our London team having to travel hours to complete a task that may only take a few hours, they also avoid jumping on a plane, which cuts the emissions down.

Written by Eva McConnell / Business Development Manager