Sustainable Construction: A Key Focus for Data4

Data4 has announced its endorsement of Igloo France Cellulose, a local company that produces cellulose wadding—a bio-sourced insulation material crafted from 90% recycled pa-per fiber, utilized for the thermal and acoustic insulation of buildings. This move aligns with Data4’s strategy to advocate for the advancement of carbon sinks and attain global carbon neutrality.

In addition to Quality and Adaptability, Sustainable Development stands at the forefront of Data4’s corporate strategy through its CSR program “Data4Good,” which formalizes the group’s commitments to people, the environment, and territories.

Recognizing its impact and responsibilities, Data4 is fully committed to combating global warming and contributing to global carbon neutrality by transitioning into a net zero-carbon company by 2050.

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions remains the Group’s top priority

The reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions remains Data4’s top priority. The compa-ny’s environmental strategy is founded on an ambitious trajectory for GHG emissions reduc-tion, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Since 2020, Data4 has con-ducted annual assessments of GHG emissions, facilitating a better understanding and moni-toring of its primary GHG emissions across three scopes, along with Life Cycle Analyses (LCAs) for various types of data centers to identify major environmental impacts.

Mitigating its environmental footprint, particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, remains Data4’s foremost commitment. Several concrete actions have been implemented over the years, including:

  • The adoption of “free cooling/free chilling” systems over the past decade, resulting in nearly 20% energy consumption reduction ;
  • The company has utilized “low carbon” concrete since 2022 for the foundations of all new data centers ;
  • From 2021, Data4 has pursued an ambitious waste treatment policy aiming to reuse/recycle/recover over 90% of the waste produced.

In addition to these established actions and others currently under consideration, Data4 has chosen to support the development of carbon sinks to sequester residual GHG emissions from Scope 3, particularly those associated with the construction of new data centers.

Sustainable construction, a major challenge for Data4

Sustainable construction poses a significant challenge, considering that data center construction accounts for a substantial portion of the company’s GHG emissions (between 50% and 70% of Scope 3 GHG emissions, varying from year to year). Thus, Data4 is strongly committed to sustainable and innovative construction.

To supplement its net zero carbon strategy, the Group has initiated a voluntary carbon contribution program and decided to support a local Vendée-based insulation manufacturer, Igloo France Cellulose, through CARBONAPP, a French operator of independent carbon contribution projects.

What is the added value of this insulation? The insulation provided by Igloo France Cellulose directly reduces the carbon impact of construction. Through photosynthesis, trees absorb and store carbon. When the tree’s wood is transformed into paper, the biogenic carbon it contains remains stored inside the fibres.

So, for several decades, this biogenic carbon remains stored in the insulation, without being released into the atmosphere through combustion, for example. For reference, 1 tonne of cellulose wadding (needed to insulate an area of 100m2) sequesters around 1 tonne eq CO2. The material can then be recycled.

This innovative solution has the potential to change the building and construction sector considerably. It meets the most ambitious energy performance criteria in the insulation materials market. What’s more, it is part of the circular economy, giving a new life to waste paper (unsold newspapers, production offcuts, etc.) in a process that has less environmental impact than converting it into recycled paper.

Data4 contributes to the industrial development of Igloo France Cellulose

Thanks to Data4’s commitment, the company is aiding in the industrial development of Igloo France Cellulose. In 2023 alone, Data4 acquired 17,500 CORCs (CO2 REMOVAL CERTIFICATES), which correspond to the sequestration of residual GHG emissions generated by the construction of new data centers in France.

These certificates will empower Igloo France Cellulose’s R&D department to explore new sources of waste paper fibers for cellulose wadding, as well as adapt tools and industrial pro-cesses at its French and European sites. This investment significantly supports Igloo France Cellulose’s growth targets, aiming for a 15-20% increase in volume over the next five years.