Data centers account for an ever-growing share of global electricity demand, something that Hewlett Packard Enterprise and its partners are trying to stem.

The Swiss Data Center Efficiency Label, which aims to encourage data centers in Switzerland to decarbonize and curb their energy consumption, was announced by HPE and industry association digitalswitzerland at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The alliance has founded the Swiss Datacenter Efficiency Association with Swiss academic institutions and industry associations.

The goal is to look at “all sources of energy consumption and energy supply, as well as the reuse of energy consumed,” Chris Wellise, HPE’s chief sustainability officer, said in prepared remarks at Davos. Current methods don’t “capture the overall energy and carbon footprint,” he said.

Ten initial users applied energy-efficient technologies and policies to achieve compliance with the criteria of the label. Energy use has dropped by as much as 70%, with five of the preliminary users utilizing 100% carbon-neutral energy sources. 

Data centers accounted for 2.8% of Switzerland’s power use in 2015, according to Swiss data. The growing number of data centers and related infrastructure increase the need for ways to measure and manage efficiency, and curb carbon emissions and energy demand. Benoit Revaz, director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, called them “the digital backbone of our society.”

The Swiss Data Center Efficiency Label is awarded for leadership in energy efficiency and environmental sustainability of data centers and IT infrastructure. There are plans to continuously update criteria of the label because of the fast pace of change in the sector.

  • On Wednesday in Davos, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney charged that the U.S. isn’t doing enough to combat climate change. President Donald Trump basically ignored climate risk while at Davos, but did attack the impeachment “hoax.”
  • HPE has said that being  a corporate leader in sustainability isn’t just socially beneficial,  it has been a profit generator.