Yves Le Gelard

Tribune by Yves Le Gelard, published August 1, 2018

Renewable energy is of course one of the three main pillars of our strategy. Nevertheless, we are also going further and beyond: at ENGIE, we are taking action by working on our practices and developing efficient services to limit our clients’ digital pollution.

Our first lever for action is combatting “information overload”.

The numbers are mind-blowing: throughout the world, an employee receives an average of 120 e-mails each day. So as to limit surplus e-mails, at ENGIE we have decided to distribute a guide setting out good practices. One of our recommendations is to use the company’s social network which can limit the use of e-mails whilst promoting new, more collaborative, ways of working.

We are also working on ways of extending the service life of our equipment., The results are spectacular. We have reduced our energy consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases by almost 30% on the use of these digital tools.

Our second lever for action is to improve the energy performance of data centres

Data centres already account for 5% of global electricity consumption and that percentage increases every year. Our job is to design, operate, optimise them and supply them with energy as best we can. For example, in the Netherlands, ENGIE has designed and built a particularly innovative data centre for Interxion, one of the largest service providers for colocation data centres in Europe. As well as the supply of 100% renewable energy, ENGIE has developed a remarkable cooling system called ATES (cooling by transfer from the aquifer). ENGIE has also designed Merlin, Capgemini’s new data centre in Swindon in the United Kingdom. From an environmental and eco-efficiency point of view, Merlin is one of the most exemplary data centres in the world. Its current design allows it to save 3,950 tonnes of CO2 each year by comparison with more traditionally conceived data centres. . If all data centres were as efficient as Merlin, the reduction of CO2 would be equal to all the transport emissions for the United Kingdom and France combined. Also worth noting: at least 90% of Merlin’s constituent parts can be reused and recycled.

Last but not least : we are establishing long-term contracts with our biggest clients in order to associate directly renewable production capacity (solar, wind power, hydro energy) with their data centres. Our clients include some of the world’s biggest digital companies .

“We are living through an industrial revolution which two lungs are energy and digital, and each is inseparable from the other” - Isabelle Kocher

We, at ENGIE, are fully aware that energy revolution and digital revolution go hand in hand: the digital revolution needs the energy revolution’s solutions to become ecologically sustainable over the long term. This is an integral part of the harmonious progress that we at ENGIE are actively promoting.