Annual Report

2021

The Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA) is an independent Alliance of all stakeholders working across the digital sector. Our mission is to execute and deliver the SDIA Roadmap for a Sustainable Digital Economy by 2030. The Roadmap is implemented by our Community — enabling industry dialogue, collaboration, and the implementation of innovative sustainable solutions to transform business.

Executive Summary

2021 was a transitional year for the SDIA, moving from the conceptual and theoretical work of creating the SDIA Roadmap to the practical, real-world implementation of the Roadmap Activities in each of our Steering Groups. The year began with 2 Steering Groups and concluded with 9 Steering Groups running and actively working on sustainability innovation across several industries. In January, we had a small team that expanded and developed throughout the year, finishing with a strong team of individuals committed to the mission of building a sustainable digital economy.

Max Schulze
Founder
Daan Terpstra
Executive Chairman

From the Inside

Bringing the right people on board

Our ambitious goal is to assemble all shareholders in the digital sector, jointly creating and executing the Roadmap toward a sustainable digital economy. This requires a strong team committed to delivering progress. In 2021 our team expanded to include 13 new talented individuals.

Diversity accelerates innovation

We believe innovators create a better world. We empower those who inspire change, those who dare to invent the future, and those that make it real. We are a diverse team of people from different backgrounds, sharing a strong message with multiple voices. 47% of our team members are female as we look to balance representation.

An international team

Working fully remotely allows our team to be spread widely across the globe. The core of our team is located in Europe, although you can find our team members in 10 different locations from Iran to Canada, comprising 8 nationalities, and at least 9 languages.

We live our values through action

Our team is fast-paced, fun, and dedicated to creating a positive future. We have a long-term vision for sustainability balanced with milestone objectives as defined by our Roadmap, together with a clear understanding that actionable solutions get the job done.

SDIA Roadmap Highlights

In 2021 we focused on addressing 5 of the key metrics from the SDIA Roadmap. We made significant progress in the 5 of the Roadmap Activities, under which we opened 9 Steering Groups and we co-led 2 ongoing projects, namely CEDaCI and ECO-Qube.

The Alliance at a glance

A strong and fast growing multi-industry Community

Our thriving SDIA Community is the backbone of the progress we are making on our Roadmap to a Sustainable Digital Infrastructure by 2030. In 2021, we witnessed a phenomenal 200% increase in membership. The Alliance gained 56 new members and partners assembling together 646 individuals across the entire value chain, from the energy sector, to buildings, fiber networks, the data center industry, server equipment, and software applications companies.

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Steering Groups highlights in 2021

Our Steering Groups are the tools we use to advance our Roadmap to a Sustainable Digital Infrastructure by 2030.

Defining the environmental footprint framework for server-side applications
Defining the environmental footprint framework for server-side applications
  • Digital Carbon Footprint
  • Strategies for the integration of digital infrastructure & renewable energy
    Strategies for the integration of digital infrastructure & renewable energy
  • Consume Renewable Energy
  • Business case for excess heat utilization from data centers
    Business case for excess heat utilization from data centers
  • Leaner Cooling System/Data Center Heat Utilization
  • Building the Open Data Hub
    Building the Open Data Hub
  • Digital Carbon Footprint
  • Strategies for making hydrogen-based power generation a viable alternative
    Strategies for making hydrogen-based power generation a viable alternative
  • Zero-Pollution Backup Power and Cooling Systems
  • Building a Sustainable European Cloud
    Building a Sustainable European Cloud
  • Unbundling IT Hardware & Software
  • Business case for flexibility from data centers
    Business case for flexibility from data centers
  • Consume Renewable Energy
  • Norwegian Cloud Consortium
    Norwegian Cloud Consortium
  • Unbundling IT Hardware & Software
  • CO2-Intensity Map for Digital Infrastructure
    CO2-Intensity Map for Digital Infrastructure
  • Digital Carbon Footprint
  • Projects highlights in 2021

    To accelerate progress on the Roadmap we are co-leading 2 EU Projects, namely CEDaCI and ECO-Qube.

    Project Logo
    ECO-Qube
    Project Logo
    CEDaCI

    Over to our Community

    “I really like the idea that the SDIA looks at sustainability beyond just pure carbon. It takes a holistic view of sustainability, and the Open Data Hub Steering Group has the potential to really shape how we define the data that is going to be necessary to underpin the actions, the initiatives, and the innovation we need to make this industry sustainable. I think it will be really instrumental in how we can deliver that in the future. It's a really exciting place to be.”

    Ciaran FlanaganData Center Professional
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    “As a company, we believe in open collaboration, and also with the climate disaster at our doors, I think it's absolutely necessary that digital industry companies join the forces and come together and share experience in the SDIA Steering Groups.”

    Julia StreitMarketing & Sustainability Manager, ScaleUp Technologies
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    “I think there is no alternative out there at the moment that I can see anywhere and also the foundation is there - the SDIA Roadmap that SDIA set up. There is nothing else out there at the moment that has the same structure and strength. And I think that you have all the key stakeholders within the industry on board to make an impact.”

    Conor MolloySenior Project Manager, Bureau Veritas
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    At Legrand, we agreed on the importance of the SDIA’s work and contributing with our expertise. I have been involved over a longer period of time in standardization and innovations regarding sustainability, so it was a natural step to jump into the SDIA ecosystem. I have been actively involved in a number of Steering Groups and the Open Data Hub.

    Niek van der PasLead Data Centre Expert, Legrand

    SDIA looking forward

    The next chapter in our journey has begun. At the start of 2022, our founder Max stepped aside and I have been given the unique opportunity to take the SDIA to the next level.

    Steering Groups are key to the next chapter of our journey, creating tangible outputs and benefits for digital infrastructure as a whole, and our members specifically. Therefore, Max will focus his time and energy here; on unlocking business cases, providing technical solutions, government advisory, and financial models for sustainability. In 2020 we focused on developing the Roadmap, and in 2021 we refined our operating model, all ready to propel us forward in 2022.

    Delivering outputs adds significant value empowering our members to both contribute and benefit from them. And further, when we share those tangible solutions with the world. With Julie Chenadec focusing on our Community and Maria Morse on Communications ― the task of informing the world of what we are doing is in good hands.

    The SDIA exists to unlock the business case in sustainability. In 2021, our focus has been to get the foundation right, our next step is to build onward and upwards. I am enthusiastic to start this journey with you.

    Daan Terpstra, SDIA CEO