Powering Tomorrow: Where Data Meets Sustainability

Ankit Saraiya, Director at Techno Electric & Engineering Co. Ltd, delves into how Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles are woven into the company’s business strategies, aligning data center operations with broader ESG goals to optimize costs, reduce emissions, and foster energy efficiency. 

Data centers are emerging as pivotal growth, innovation, and sustainability engines in the rapidly evolving digital transformation landscape. These facilities are transcending their traditional roles to become central hubs for data storage, processing, and distribution, essential for the digital economy’s expansion. With the surging demand for digital services, cloud computing, and generative AI, data centers are poised to double their revenues by 2030, reflecting the speed at which businesses advance their digital capabilities.

In a recent conversation with Nisha Sharma, Principal Correspondent at CIO&Leader, Ankit Saraiya, Director at Techno Electric & Engineering Co. Ltd., shares insightful perspectives on the future of data centers, highlighting their critical role in the digital economy’s expansion and the integration of sustainability into their operations. 

Integrating sustainability into data center operations is crucial for achieving long-term environmental and economic benefits. Strategies include employing renewable energy, aiming for net-zero emissions, implementing sustainable materials, and balancing environmental stewardship with economic advantages. However, maintaining high reliability in eco-friendly data centers presents challenges, such as balancing energy efficiency with consistent uptime and managing the costs of green technologies.

Ankit Saraiya
Techno Electric & Engineering Co. Ltd

This conversation with Ankit Saraiya showcases the integral role of data centers in the digital economy. It reflects a comprehensive approach to sustainability, innovation, and corporate governance, setting a benchmark for the future development of the digital infrastructure industry.

CIO&Leader: How do you envision the future of data centers contributing to a digital economy?

Ankit Saraiya: As the demand for digital services, cloud computing, data analytics, and Gen AI continues to surge, data centers will become even more vital, serving as the central hubs for data storage, processing, and distribution. They are essential contributors to local development, education, sustainability, and innovation, transcending their primary function. The increasing contribution of digital services to the broader economy has been fuelled by the growth of the ICT sector, facilitated by investment in digital infrastructure, such as data centers. Data centers are the digital economy’s backbone, supporting greater innovation and environmental performance. They are expected to double in revenues by 2030, reflecting the unprecedented speed at which businesses are looking to progress their digital capabilities. We’re moving beyond mere storage hubs, becoming innovation powerhouses by not just storing data but shaping the very fabric of digital tomorrow.

CIO&Leader: What strategies are essential for integrating sustainability in data center operations?

Ankit Saraiya: Integrating sustainability in data center operations is crucial for long-term environmental and economic benefits. Several essential strategies can be employed, which include maintaining the availability of applications and data through redundant systems and off-site backups, implementing renewable and recycled materials in packaging, aiming for 100% renewable energy use, and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, assessing operations’ environmental and social impact, developing and implementing sustainability strategies, and using metrics to measure impact are vital to integrating sustainability in data center operations. This commitment to sustainability benefits both the planet and the business, as reducing environmental impact translates to lower costs and increased long-term resilience.

CIO&Leader: Can you discuss the challenges in maintaining high reliability in eco-friendly data centers?

Ankit Saraiya: As a Data Center company, we are passionate about building responsible, sustainable data centers without compromising uptime and reliability. It’s a tightrope walk, and the challenges are numerous. One of the biggest challenges is balancing energy efficiency and reliability. Eco-friendly data centers use renewable energy sources, which can be intermittent and unpredictable, making it difficult to maintain a consistent power supply. Another challenge is the cost of implementing eco-friendly technologies, which can be higher than traditional data centers. However, the benefits of eco-friendly data centers, such as reduced carbon footprint and lower energy costs in the long run, make it a worthwhile investment. 

Overcoming these challenges requires collaboration with researchers, technology providers, and policymakers to accelerate innovation, share best practices, and advocate for supportive regulations. It’s not easy, but prioritizing reliability and sustainability can build a future where the digital world thrives in harmony with our planet.

CIO&Leader: How does your organization’s engineering and construction experience influence your data center development approach?

Ankit Saraiya: With over 60 years of expertise in engineering, procurement, and construction, we have a strong foundation to build data centers that are sustainable, innovative, and future-proof. We prioritize efficiency, sustainability, and compliance with industry standards in designing and constructing data centers. This approach ultimately results in the creation of high-quality, environmentally friendly facilities. Furthermore, our expertise in construction enables us to manage the building process effectively, address any issues or change orders, and ensure the timely and cost-effective completion of data center projects. Our proficiency equips us to anticipate and navigate supply chain constraints and other unique challenges in data center construction, thereby minimizing risks and development delays.

CIO&Leader: In what ways are Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles shaping your business strategies?

Ankit Saraiya: We are committed to integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into every facet of our operations. We align our data centers to company ESG goals and design our data center projects targeted to optimize long-term costs and encourage emissions reduction, localization of material sourcing, and building energy efficiency. At TEECL, we firmly uphold a corporate integrity and governance philosophy centered around robust compliance, transparency, and independent Board oversight. By adopting ESG norms, we see a renewed opportunity to relook at digital transformation.

CIO&Leader: What innovations do you foresee in sustainable energy for data centers?

Ankit Saraiya: The innovations in sustainable energy for data centers are diverse and promising. Some of the top innovations include nuclear power, solar energy, battery energy storage systems, and precision immersion cooling solutions. These technologies reduce the environmental impact of data centers and contribute to energy efficiency and cost savings. Additionally, companies actively participate in initiatives to achieve climate neutrality for data centers, demonstrating a strong commitment to sustainability. By adopting these innovations, data centers can play a pivotal role in driving the transition to renewable energy and minimizing their carbon footprint.

Image Source: Freepik

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