Water Risk Screening for Data Centers Points the Way to Growing a Sustainable Business
A multinational technology company identified the need to gain a greater internal understanding of water as a business issue across its operations. The client wanted to conduct a water risk screening of approximately 230 data centers to identify the medium- to high-risk locations and desired to use the results of the screening to align data center operations with corporate water stewardship goals and initiatives, as well as to help plan for future data center locations.
Antea Group executed the project with a methodical approach:
- Antea Group assessed exposure to water-related supply, regulatory, and reputational risks at data center locations with a high-resolution mapping and analysis tool.
- The locations were prioritized and ranked based on water stress and overall risk indicators.
- Regional water experts from Antea Group and the Inogen Environmental Alliance were leveraged to perform validation of the initial screening results and to provide additional insights on actual local conditions such as proactive governance, infrastructure challenges, and water quality issues.
- The data was then scored and organized into an interactive tool that provided a high-level visual of relative risk results across the global portfolio of data centers evaluated. The tool also allowed users to review a more detailed summary of key data with focus on an individual location.
- Finally, a report presenting the study’s business relevance, risk decomposition, and opportunities to embrace water stewardship was submitted to the client.
Antea Group’s water risk screening pointed the way to growing a sustainable global data center business by helping the client in these areas:
- realizing the business case water for stewardship,
- taking a high-level, first step towards understanding current and projected risk conditions at its data center locations,
- revealing particular locations that have a high potential exposure to water risk,
- supporting the client in the optimization of current ‘hot spots,’
- and identifying where future support would be necessary in the selection of best-fit locations for future expansion.
Right now, data centers are in a truly unique situation with regard to impacting global water solutions. Because they are so essential to business operations, owners have the opportunity to build a solid business case to invest in water stewardship, which positions data centers in a unique and exciting ‘watershed moment’ position. Download "Are Data Centers Facing a Literal Watershed Moment" here: