Environmental responsibility

CSC is a pioneer in the sustainable development of ICT services and committed to promoting climate targets in all of its operations. CSC’s aim is to minimize the environmental impacts caused by its activities. Supporting the green transition not only means reducing the carbon footprint, but also achieving positive green growth in terms of climate impact.


In addition to the carbon footprint caused by the high energy consumption of the industry, the Finnish ICT sector's climate and environmental strategy also uses the term “carbon handprint”, which refers to, for example, energy-saving digital services and new technological innovations.


CSC 's impact on the environment is not only the energy efficiency of ICT and the utilization of waste heat from data centers, but also, in a broader sense, long-term activities through which CSC' s research infrastructures and tools provide researchers with the tools they need, for example, in climate change research. Watch the video: CSC Data Center - naturally in Kajaani.



Energy efficient data centers

CSC’s Kajaani data center is one of the most energy efficient in the world The energy efficiency of all data centers is, by international standards, good or very good, and development efforts in this respect will continue. The key to energy efficiency is that all consumed energy is used for related activities. The computing servers offered by CSC for Finnish research have a high utilization rate, and efficient use of resources is ensured, for example, by means of scalability tests. Read more: CSC's modern data center environment.

In 2020, a cooling solution was completed for the LUMI supercomputer in the EuroHPC data center, which is currently under construction in Kajaani. The solution will direct the waste heat of the supercomputer to the Kajaani district heating network. The solution produces one fifth of the district heating in Kajaani, without any carbon dioxide emissions. The electricity used by the LUMI supercomputer is generated entirely by renewable hydropower.

The energy efficiency of the Kajaani Data Center continued to improve in 2020 as the modernization work of the national data management and computing development project (DL2021) progressed. The advanced cooling solution of the Mahti supercomputer improved the energy efficiency of the data center.

The Sisu supercomputer was replaced by the warm-water-cooled Mahti supercomputer. According to measurements conducted at the end of 2020, the energy efficiency of the equipment was clearly better than that of CSC's previous supercomputer systems. As the Mahti supercomputer was launched in autumn 2020, its annual energy efficiency cannot be verified until the 2021 measurement results are obtained. In 2012, the PUE value of the Modular Data Center (MDC1), which was launched in Kajaani in 2012, was 1.03 in 2020, placing it in the top global rank.

The overall utilization rate of the Kajaani Data Center decreased in the middle of the previous year. With deployment of the Puhti supercomputer, the center’s previous Taito computing cluster was shut down and dismantled in 2020, slightly decreasing the utilization rate of MDC1. However, the utilization rate of Modular Data Center (MDC2) launched in 2014 increased as the IT load increased, thus improving the center’s PUE value.

In Espoo, the improved utilization rate of the Pohja data center improved the energy efficiency. The Pohja data center's PUE value in 2020 was 1.60.

   

 

 

Environmental responsibility for other activities

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of CSC’s employees transitioned to remote work at the end of March 2020 (over 90%). In the years preceding the pandemic, business travel was the second largest climate loader of CSC's activities after electricity consumption. However, the pandemic almost entirely eliminated business travel along with commuting to and from work.

 

The pandemic accelerated the digitalization of information work and its place-independence. In as early as 2020, CSC personnel surveys highlighted the desire of those engaged in global information work to increase the amount of remote work even after the pandemic. CSC launched planning work to find solutions that improve well-being at work in order to enable future multi-locational, digital work as well as to achieve climate-friendly impacts.

Opened in Kajaani in the second half of 2020, a new office space corresponds to the increasing number of staff with the EuroHPC data center. Additional space was also rented in Espoo due to an increase in the number of personnel as well as the increased need for additional space to ensure the prevention of viral transmission (social distancing). New work environment solutions aim at flexible rental agreements and space usage as well as environmentally-friendly choices.

Energy and water

In 2020, the electricity consumption of CSC's Espoo and Kajaani offices totalled 365.7 MWh, which accounts for 2.2% of CSC's total electricity consumption.

The company's largest environmental impact is from electricity consumption in the Espoo and Kajaani data centers. In 2020, the electricity used by CSC data centers and offices was generated entirely by means of renewable energy.

CSC is not a significant consumer of water. CSC's data centers use closed-loop water cooling, so the need for additional water is minimal. In evaporative cooled data center modules, water is mainly used for managing air humidity.

Environmental risks

The potential environmental risks of data centers are managed in accordance with currently valid regulations. No environmental damage was reported in 2020.

The main environmental risks of CSC's operations are related to the handling of fuel oil from gas mixtures, refrigerants and backup power generators used in data center infrastructure, as well as the disposal of decommissioned equipment. Data center maintenance contracts obligate suppliers to properly dispose of harmful substances and materials. If possible, refrigerants and extinguishing gases are recycled for reuse in connection with maintenance or repairs.

In its procurements, CSC complies with Hansel framework agreements, in which environmental aspects have been taken into account. The company's procurement guidelines provide instructions for examining environmental factors when planning procurements, during use and at the end of the life cycle.

The decommissioning of IT equipment is already agreed on in procurement contracts. Depending on the case, the equipment will either be returned to the manufacturer or recycled as agreed.

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