The demand for the central processing and storing of data has increased continuously for many years and has been strengthened by new business processes dealing with digitalisation and the increasing networking of products. This trend is also reflected in the sales figures. According to data from the market research institute IDC, global revenue from the sale of servers doubled between 2009 and 2019 from 10 billion to 20 billion US dollars1. The constant increase in the global volume of data has an impact on the sales figures for data storage products. The storage capacity at cloud data centers is thus expected to increase by 29 percent annually between 2018 and 2023.2 It is anticipated that the importance of servers and data storage products will continue to increase substantially over the next few years.

When analysing servers and data storage products as a whole, it is clear that most of the greenhouse gas emissions occur during the use of these products. The usage phase for servers accounts for around 80% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, while this figure is around 90% for data storage products. In order to comprehensively evaluate the environmental burden caused by servers and data storage products, however, it is also important to focus on the consumption of raw materials. The situation is reversed in this area because more than 70% of the abiotic raw materials are consumed during production of the servers. 

1 IDC: Worldwide Server Tracker, https://www.idc.com/tracker/showproductinfo.jsp?prod_id=7

2 Hülskötter, Michael (2019): Multi-Cloud-Bewegung wird den Storage-Markt verändern. Published by the magazine “speicherguide”. Available online at https://www.speicherguide.de/cloud/multi-cloud-bewegung-wird-den- storage-markt-veraendern-24337.aspx

In the case of data storage products, the production process accounts for around 60% of the abiotic raw materials consumed.

Against this background, the aim of the Blue Angel is to reduce the overall energy consumption by servers and data storage products and improve resource efficiency. The impact on the environment can be significantly reduced by developing suitable and ambitious criteria for servers and data storage products. Saving energy in the operation of servers and data storage products pays off twice in the data center: On the one hand, there are the direct energy savings achieved by the devices themselves and, on the other hand, there is a reduced demand for cooling.

The Blue Angel environmental label for Servers and Data Storage Products sets high minimum requirements for the energy efficiency of servers, data storage products and power supply units, as well as for the elimination of pollutants in the plastic materials used in the products. In addition, the label requires the early adoption of the European Ecodesign Directive for servers and data storage products including the guidelines for energy and material efficiency, as well as compliance with the energy efficiency criteria and documentation obligations in the “Energy Star” label. The Blue Angel can thus be used to label devices that stand out due to their high energy efficiency, long service life and avoidance of environmentally polluting materials.

Benefits to the environment and health

  1. energy efficient
  2. save resources

 

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