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Consultancy & Research

Plotting sustainability growth strategy for Asian data centre operator

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About the Project

ESC was contracted to support a leading developer and operator of hyperscale data centres to develop its sustainability strategy and decarbonisation roadmap. The company operates 19 data centres in 13 cities across Asia, with premises in China, Singapore, India, Indonesia, and Japan.

Our Approach

The first task was to conduct a  political, economic, social, and technological benchmark analysis (PEST) with a macro focus on environmental factors, to assess the client’s competitors’ performance in promoting sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint. A workshop was then conducted with the client’s core management team to gauge its corporate attitudes towards key international sustainability frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI); the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTI); the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP); and the RE 100 initiative among others. ESC used the findings to draft an initial list of 10 priority issues as inputs into the sustainability roadmap.


Our consultants also calculated the client’s corporate carbon footprint for fiscal year 2020 according to the internationally recognised  GHG Protocol. These calculations were used to develop a range of emission scenarios for the client, with its projected rapid expansion in the coming years being considered alongside its commitment to strict emissions reductions by the year 2030.


Based on these projected scenarios,  a  decarbonization roadmap was developed to help the client meet its emissions targets and facilitate sustainable growth. The roadmap illustrated a range of steps the client could take within the next one to three years to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and promote sustainability. Our recommendations outlined the steps necessary to make a successful transition to renewable energy sources and suggested certain international green initiatives – such as the RE100, the GRI standards, and the CDP – that the company should commit to publicly. Such steps would not only help the company reduce its carbon footprint, but also demonstrate its commitment to tackling climate change to stakeholders, competitors, clients and the general public. 


ESC produced a report on the client’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, both present and future, based upon several growth and operational projections, giving the client a clear benchmark by which to measure its future sustainability efforts. Strategic carbon reduction roadmaps for operations in four countries were developed by identifying country-specific decarbonization strategies to provide the client with a clear set of manageable steps to grow its business across Asia in a sustainable and ethical way.


With the help of ESC’s Sustainability & Climate Change consultants, the client has been able to begin to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of its data centres in an industry that has traditionally been extremely carbon-intensive.  On the back of our recommendations, the company has also been able to systematically integrate environmental considerations into its investment processes. We delivered value to the client by assisting it to plot a sustainable growth strategy, thus ensuring its long-term success through an alignment with broader societal goals.

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