CyrusOne News and Blog

Allen facility lands Business Intelligence Group ‘Sustainability Service of the Year’ award

September 9, 2022

The Business Intelligence Group has awarded CyrusOne its “Sustainability Service of the Year” award for 2022, recognizing our exemplary water conservation and sustainability progress at our Allen, Texas, facility.

The Business Intelligence Group recognizes true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, business executives with real-world expertise judge the programs for Business Intelligence Group. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those whose achievements stand above those of their peers.

The Business Intelligence Group recognized CyrusOne’s innovative water-positive colocation services at our Allen data center in the Dallas region. Over the past few years, CyrusOne has worked hard to promote water conservation in the data center industry, where sustainability programs have long focused only on energy and carbon and many facilities save electricity by evaporating water for cooling. We believe this approach is short-sighted, as increased water stress is a major risk of climate change in many regions. That’s why Allen was designed with CyrusOne’s zero-water consumption cooling technology, allowing us to save millions of gallons of water annually in this drought-prone region.

However, we believe we should not only do “less harm” but also “more good” and make our impact on the environment a positive one – a goal which Allen exemplifies. At this facility we procure 100% renewable electricity, eliminating water consumption in the electricity supply chain. Going beyond that, we restore more water to the watershed than we use onsite and maintain thoughtful landscaping that provides habitat and water benefits to local wildlife. All of these efforts (water-free electricity, water-free cooling, and water restoration) come together to provide our customers with truly water-positive colocation services.

The first step toward water-positive colocation was to bring Allen into our net positive water portfolio alongside our two largest facilities in Arizona and Texas. To do this, we funded water restoration in the San Saba River in the Texas Hill Country through BEF Water Restoration Certificates®. We restored enough water to cover 120% of Allan’s annual withdrawal, and are committed to continuing these purchases each year.

While this takes care of our onsite water use, we also considered the water consumed to produce the electricity for our data center. Traditional electrical generation consumes large amounts of water, so any facility that relies on grid electricity is still responsible for significant water consumption. Starting in 2021, Allen’s electricity is supplied by Enel Green Power’s solar + storage project in Haskell County, Texas. Since solar power generation doesn’t consume water, the facility can be said to be truly net positive for water.

Not satisfied with just minimizing and offsetting our water use, we also implemented our first U.S. onsite habitat improvement project at Allen. The site now consists of islands of native plants clustered to provide food, shelter and nesting sites. The landscape also acts as a detention pond in times of flooding, while a small water feature supplies tear-round drinking water to wildlife. These benefits complete our water positive colocation service. As water is a regional issue, we used regional water restoration, regional renewable power and regional habitat to benefit the North Texas environment.

“All of the work done at CyrusOne is a valiant team effort involving many people, and we are very proud of this recognition,” said Kyle Myers, Vice President of Environmental Health, Safety, and Sustainability at CyrusOne. “We hope it sheds light on the importance of responsible water management as water scarcity increases in many regions as well as championing sustainable practices within our industry.”