We hosted our third Around the Alliance session live on LinkedIn on Wednesday, 29 September at 15:00 CEST.
What was the session about?
In light of announcing our Open Data Hub earlier this year, we discussed why we need transparency for a more sustainable digital economy. Sustainability is built on trust and openness, and Transparency is a significant facilitator of trust, one that not only has the ability to boost perception but also promote innovation.
Thus, the value that transparency brings to companies today in demonstrating trustworthiness, helping consumers make informed decisions, and ultimately driving sustainability efforts forward cannot be understated.
- Transparency is not a defined term. We need to find a unified definition and build a structure and metrics around this.
- It’s also not defined what a data center is. We need to define a minimum threshold of what a data center is so policymakers and regulators know what exactly to regulate.
- All of the environmental reporting is voluntary at the moment. There is no legal requirement, so if companies report metrics voluntarily, they tend to choose the ones that make them look good.
- For the consumer, it’s really hard to tell if a company is really sustainable or just green-washing because of the lack of transparency.
- Being sustainable doesn’t mean being merely carbon-neutral. It's also important to consider scope 3 emissions, water and resource consumption, land use, and more.
- Data centers today don’t look that much different than 20 years ago. To facilitate a course correction toward sustainability, that needs to change – and fast.
This Around the Alliance session was moderated by our Director of Communications & External Relations, Michael J. Oghia, and featured three panelists with incredible insights into the digital sector and sustainability:
- Harry Knopf, CEO – High Knowledge GmbH
- Conor Molloy, Senior Project Manager – Bureau Veritas Group
- Cathleen Berger, Sustainability Expert
Content of the session
We kicked off the event with a few introductory words from Michael and short introductions of our three panelists, followed by a discussion facilitated by Michael and the audience. Below you can find the timecodes for the questions and topics we discussed:
- General introduction 2:08
- Introduction of the panelists 5:20
- Why is transparency not the norm already? 9:18
- How can business models be incentivized to become more transparency-friendly? 15:02
- What is the role of policy and regulation? 31:00
- What policy goals do you want to see more clarity about by the end of this year? 41:50
- Is it only about data centers or other topics as well? 47:13
- What kind of emitting carbon would you need to drive meaningful change in the digital economy and displace the use of fossil fuels? 47:47
- Do you see a real, direct added-value of sustainable digital infrastructure for those who have to deliver it? So that it can be integrated into business models? 54:07
- Closing words 58:29
We had a wonderful discussion with interesting opinions, lots of industry insights, and an engaged audience. You can watch the recording at the top, and a big thanks to Harry, Conor, and Cathleen for joining us as well as everyone that attended this event!
We are looking forward to our next Around the Alliance session on 27 October.