CyrusOne News and Blog

24/7 Ecosystem Services

October 25, 2022

As a colocation provider, we must keep our data centers running 24/7 to provide nonstop service to our customers. Climate change has introduced obstacles such as increased storm frequency and extreme weather events that require us to be more resilient than ever before. As our resilience in being tested, so is the environment’s. However, the environment faces additional threats to its resilience such as the loss of biodiversity. Just like a data center with redundant systems is more resilient, a more diverse environment or ecosystem is more resilient as well. For example, more species in a given area will yield a wider range of responses to disturbance events. Some may be affected more than others and may not thrive, but if there is a large variety of species it is likely that some will be able to absorb the disturbance and persist.

From a human perspective, ecosystem resilience is important because ecosystems provide a multitude of services that make human life better. Ecosystem services include necessities such as air and water filtration, decomposition of wastes, and pollination of our food supply. It’s impossible to assign a monetary value to many of these services. For example, the oxygen a forest provides or the enjoyment we receive through recreation typically do not hold market value. Cutting down the forest for timber, on the other hand, does provide market value but results in the loss of the ecosystem services the forest provided while it was intact. At CyrusOne, we understand the importance of resilient ecosystems and feel that we have an obligation to the communities where we operate to not only reduce negative impacts but invest in improvements. By implementing projects that support biodiversity, we can also help maintain and improve the resilience of nearby ecosystems so they can continue to provide services to the community.

We have completed habitat improvement projects at our Allen, Carrollton, Dublin, and Amsterdam facilities featuring a diverse array of native, climate-adapted vegetation that attracts migratory birds and pollinators. We also participate in Host In Ireland’s DCs for Bees program, an industry partnership to provide pollinator habitat at data centers. Pollination is a vital ecosystem service that provides both indirect and direct benefits. The direct value of pollination drives the reproduction of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, which in turn promote an array of other services such as food, filtration, and maintenance of soil stability. While we are still in the early stages of implementing habitat landscape improvement, achieving improved biodiversity at 100% of our sites is a central goal at CyrusOne and we look forward to sharing our progress.