Digital driving down electricity and gas costs says Lendlease Co-CIO

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While digital transformation is fast-tracking business innovation it is also increasing energy loads in data centres, driving growth in electricity consumption and in carbon emissions.

Smart data centre design and sophisticated data analytics will help to counter that trend at Lendlease, according to its group Co-CIO, Harvey Worton. Its Podium platform, developed by Lendlease Digital is already enabling it to capture significant savings, Worton said,

“We were able to see reductions in electricity of about 34 per cent and gas of about 31 per cent. Just through the automated building and the Podium process and platform that we've put in place. So I think that's a fantastic outcome.”

Digital Nation spoke to Worton about the company’s commitment to net-zero carbon by 2025 and the role technology — and he as the Co-CIO — will play in achieving that goal.

Lendlease is collaborating with Google Cloud, with whom it recently announced a global data centre relationship to improve the efficiency of its buildings as well as create self-regulated, self-managed autonomous buildings.

Worton says that he feels the weight of responsibility in tracking and reducing the business’ impact on the planet.

“We now as CIOs are starting to be faced with questions such as how much energy does an industry deserve to consume? And is it clean and carbon-free energy?” says Worton.

While these are vexing questions, Worton says they are reflected in sentiments by Lendlease’s founder Dick Dusseldorp who said, “organisations need to justify their worth to society.”

As part of their sustainability commitments, Lendlease recently announced its relationship with Google Cloud, which Worton claims, will allow the business to run with 100 per cent carbon-free energy.

“Obviously moving from our current third party data centres, will help us to reduce our carbon footprint for Lendlease IT. I think the other big thing is Google publishes all of its energy scores. So we will know at any one time, how are we doing in terms of carbon consumption across regions across the globe.”

According to Tiny Haynes, Senior Director and Analyst at Gartner, approximately 30 per cent of workloads are sitting in the cloud globally, and that trend is set to accelerate.

“Cloud has many, many benefits. First of all, there's economies of scale. The cloud data centres are huge infrastructures. And as you get bigger, you get better economies of scale,” says Haynes.

“The cloud providers themselves are using a lot more of the greener fuel supply. So for example, the data centre for Google up in Hamina in Finland, is connected into a 100 megawatt wind farm.”

Haynes says that the major hyperscalers such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon are all investing in green initiatives for both cost savings and emissions reduction.

 

The video was produced by Josh Lundberg, Matthew Ryan and Tejas Bhat.

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