Rack Centre, an Actis majority owned data centre and the leading carrier-neutral Tier III data centre in West Africa, has become the first International Finance Corporation (IFC) EDGE certified data centre in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
This prestigious green building certification recognises the significant savings the centre will achieve in energy and water use, incorporated as part of the design to expand the facility’s IT load from 1.5MW to 13MW.
On completion of this expansion, Rack Centre is forecast to achieve 35% energy savings, which is estimated to avoid carbon emissions totalling approximately 100 tonnes each year.
Actis first partnered with Rack Centre in early 2020 as part of its $250 million African data centre platform investment. To ensure the data centre could meet the rapid growth in demand for hosting capacity in Africa, whilst at the same time reducing its environmental impact and operating costs, Actis has spearheaded a programme of green design philosophies and initiatives that will result in the data centre achieving 35% energy savings, 41% water savings, and deliver a 45% saving in embodied energy in materials used.
Actis prioritised the development of Rack Centre’s sustainability practises and worked with the IFC EDGE team to establish an assessment tool specifically for data centres.
Rack Centre will achieve these savings through a range of measures and green design principles, including switching from diesel to gas power generation, implementing water efficient cooling systems, implementing a low energy air circulation system and sourcing local materials and services wherever possible.
Switching its power source from diesel to gas power will not only save more than $10 million a year in operating costs, it will also reduce carbon intensity and improve air quality.
Rack Centre is Actis’ eleventh green certified building globally and, as the first green certified data centre in Africa, comprises Actis’ fifth “first” in Africa, following the development of the first green certified commercial buildings in Accra, Douala, Lagos and Nairobi.
In 2019, Actis’ Garden City built Africa’s Largest Solar Carport System on its roof and Jabi Lake Mall is the first shopping mall in Nigeria to house a rooftop solar system.
Ezekiel Egboye, Rack Centre Chief Operations Officer, commented: “At Rack Centre, we have had a track record of setting the standard for Power Usage Efficiency in the region. Sustainability is at the core of what we do and a quest that permeates through all of our actions.
We are delighted to be the first to be certified in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Another first in the region, as Rack Centre was the first carrier neutral colocation provider in Africa to be Tier III Constructed Facility Certified, and has grown the most comprehensive interconnection and limitless peering ecosystem of over 40 carriers and ISPs, also bringing about interconnect efficiencies. It is an honour to receive this certification and another step in delivering sustainable digital infrastructure in the region.”
Kabir Chal, Director in Actis’ Africa Real Estate team, commented: “Meeting Africa’s ever-growing demand for critical digital infrastructure must be achieved as sustainably as possible. We are proud to have secured IFC EDGE certification for a data centre in recognition of our work with the team at Rack Centre.
“We plan to implement similar improvements across future investments made by our pan-African data centre platform to help the continent secure a low carbon data revolution. This is another example of our belief that values drive value, and how our sustainability practices deliver shared value for all our stakeholders.”
Vivek Pathak, Director for Climate Business Department at the IFC, commented: “It has been a hugely rewarding process to work in partnership with Actis to develop this EDGE assessment tool for data centres. We hope other data centre operators will follow in Rack Centre’s footsteps and take the necessary action on the digital economies environmental impact by becoming IFC EDGE certified.”
Actis, a leading global investor in sustainable infrastructure, is an official EDGE Champion and has been recognised by the IFC and other influential organisations for its work embedding sustainable infrastructure and practises in the fabric and operations of commercial buildings globally.
Building on this track record of green construction, Actis worked in partnership with the IFC EDGE team to understand how Rack Centre might benefit from the existing EDGE assessment tool, leading to the development of this novel standard for datacentres.
Actis is a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, which supports the goal of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner. The firm has committed to align its portfolio to Net Zero by 2050.