What’s more important: AI or sustainability? part 2

Oct 16, 2023

The most important element of AI is data. Every organization looking to adopt AI operations across the business must ask important questions and address the state of their data. Is your data ready for AI and where does your data reside? What format, configuration and structure are your data in and do these formats support AI operations? Is it in the right location, on the right systems and if not, how complex will it be to move it? Moreover, how much energy is being used to power your data processing and AI operations and is it from a sustainable source? 

The world is not short of facilities that can process, train, analyze and manage your data – last year a report from Savills Data Centre Advisory EMEA found that there were more than 1,240 data centers in Europe, totaling 8.3 million square meters of space and approximately 8,300 MW of power capacity. More concerning, these data centers are projected to account for 3.2 percent of electricity demand across the EU by 2030, at a time when the whole of the region faces a potentially unstoppable energy crisis.

Understanding whether your data center partner can help deliver an AI solution that supports the business’ bottom line and truly meet sustainability and ESG credentials and targets will be critical to scaling your AI operations in a way that supports immediate and long-term demands. This is where the location of your data becomes a crucial factor — data processing and training AI models, for example, at sites that rely on fossil fuels will have a much greater carbon footprint than those using renewable energy. 

One way to truly remove carbon from AI operations is by housing AI systems in the Nordics. The Nordics are a safe bet for many of today’s global organizations looking to deploy innovative AI and high-performance operations and future proof their IT estates. From the abundance of natural resources and renewable energy to the political stability and safety of the region, the Nordics have the infrastructure in place to continue to power data centers and drive sustainable IT innovation through the global energy and climate crisis. 

As stakeholders, shareholders, policymakers, and the public continue to look under the hood of business more and more, organizations must consider the holistic impact of their technology and will need to be prepared in an environmentally responsible and accountable manner. Responsible IT must consider how closely your tech aligns to your company values and ESG policy, and whether it is future proofed in a way that will support today and tomorrow’s digitalization and innovation, while also protecting the environment for our future generations. 

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