Accounting for five per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, data centres and their polluting operations are now to come under increasing scrutiny from MetaVerse Green Exchange (MVGX) and Red Dot Analytics (RDA).
MVGX is a digital green exchange licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), whilst RDA is an industrial artificial intelligence (AI) pioneer and a deep tech spin-off from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.
Together the two have announced a strategic collaboration to enable greater sustainability in data centre development and operations.
Both RDA and MVGX will be working together to verifiably measure and offset the carbon footprint of data centres in tropical environments, driving data centre operations towards a sustainable future.
With digitalization taking place at unprecedented rates as businesses modernize operations, data centres today play a critical role in powering the infrastructure of organizations across the globe. It’s estimated that data centres account for up to five per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with cooling systems responsible for 40 per cent of all power consumption.
However, the energy expenditure of data centres is often neglected when companies and governments alike look to offset their carbon footprints in broader efforts to meet net-zero commitments.
In Singapore alone, data centres were reported to contribute seven per cent of the city-state’s electricity consumption which is still largely based on natural gas, prompting a moratorium on new data centre projects since 2019 amid growing environmental concerns.
While the moratorium is set to lift in Q2 2022 as part of a pilot programme, the Singapore government is introducing new efficiency standards in line with the country’s overall 2030 Green Plan.
With this in mind, RDA provides AI-powered enterprise solutions to strengthen the sustainability of critical data centre infrastructures, enabling businesses to more accurately track greenhouse gas emissions in their lifecycle management.
Backed by research developed at NTU, RDA leverages ‘cognitive digital twin’ technology to create a virtual replica of a real-world system that can ingest large quantities of data to simulate the effect of any changes to a system before they are deployed into the physical system.
With RDA’s DCWiz, its cognitive digital twin solution digitalises data centre operations and applies predictive AI-powered models to forecast energy consumption.
Commenting on the partnership, Red Dot Analytics chief scientist Dr. Wen Yonggang, who is also a professor and president’s chair of computer science and engineering at NTU, said: “For too long now, rapid technological innovation and changing consumer behaviours have come at the expense of the environment.
“While there are growing trends in the use of renewables or the race to produce more energy-efficient hardware, the truth is, we need to find ways to use energy in a more intelligent way and that begins with accurate measurement.
“RDA can solve one part of the puzzle and in working with MVGX, we hope to strengthen our value proposition by taking our clients one step further in their sustainability journeys.”
In addition, MVGX’s carbon management system, powered by its non-fungible digital twin technology (NFDT), will support RDA clients through the reporting, calculation, and validation process to credibly certify carbon neutrality with the British Standards Institution‘s (BSI) carbon footprint verification and PAS 2060 carbon neutrality verification.
These gold standards for carbon footprint validation have been established according to international management benchmarks. Powered by its blockchain technology, the carbon management system instils greater integrity, transparency, and trust into the carbon neutral certification process.
MVGX will designate RDA as one of its preferred data centre providers, encouraging its global client base to work with RDA to increase the sustainability of its data centre operations. Simultaneously, RDA will designate MVGX as its preferred platform for the financing of green data centres while encouraging its clients to avail of MVGX’s solutions to offset their carbon footprint in a verifiable manner.
Bo Bai, executive chairman and co-founder of MVGX, said: “As businesses work toward meeting their net-zero goals, they need to consider the entire scope of what they do and that begins, first and foremost, with the infrastructure that powers their operations.
“Today, data centres, while overlooked, are a core component of any online organisation and in working with RDA, we want to show that there is in fact a way to ensure that energy expenditure at every level, can in fact be accounted for and mitigated accurately.
“Backed by RDA’s high-quality energy measurement capabilities and our emphasis on high-fidelity, transparent reporting, we look forward to exploring collective opportunities to offer greener cloud services to businesses as they strengthen their sustainability commitments.”
MVGX’s carbon management system is supported by its carbon neutrality token (CNTsTM). Enabled by protocols and blockchain technology, CNTsTM combine the immutability of non-fungible tokens with real-time data updates, offering an immutable and continuously updated record of carbon performance.
CNTsTM address one of the most challenging aspects of the Paris Agreement (COP21) — namely, the ability to properly verify and track carbon credits — enabling carbon neutrality at scale and facilitating the global goal of net-zero emissions.
Amid growing recognition of the energy expenditure of data center operations, the introductions of solutions such as the carbon management system will be critical to ensuring accurate measurement, accountability and reporting, and compliance for digital businesses exploring solutions to mitigate their carbon footprint.