Our Commitment to Habitat and Biodiversity
May 20, 2021
By Mark Moloney, Director of Interconnection Solutions & Sustainability, CyrusOne
Many of our customers and partners will be aware that CyrusOne has committed to a range of global sustainability efforts, from pledging to become carbon neutral by 2040, to becoming a founding member of the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact, and most recently executing a €500 million green bond offering in Europe.
Alongside these important larger commitments, we’re also keen to ensure we’re making progress at a local level and looking after the environment and habitats surrounding our facilities. To this end, we made a formal pledge to ‘Habitat’ in our 2020 Sustainability Report, making it the fourth pillar of our promise to the environment, alongside water, carbon and energy.
Our commitment to local habitats manifests in several different ways across the world. This ranges from applying Host In Ireland’s DC’s for Bees Pollinator Plan within our bespoke landscaping and biodiversity scheme in Dublin and Amsterdam, to retrospectively establishing flowering planters and bee hotels in others. Where our portfolio doesn’t offer opportunity for planting and habitat creation, we strive to work with local non-profit organisations and communities to enhance biodiversity in local areas.
Our Dublin I Data Center campus in Grange Castle is an example of how a thoughtful landscape strategy and habitat can support biodiversity, promote local ecology and help protect and grow our bee populations. As part of the initial planning process for our Dublin campus, we developed a comprehensive ecology assessment, with our full landscaping design focused on creating three complimentary habitats: grassland, wildflower meadows, and pollinator-friendly wetlands with an emphasis on native plant species.
Within the campus itself, our team has planted native tree species, including a large selection of specimen trees complimentary to the local environment. We also helped to protect existing species and create native environments to allow sustained growth for future wildlife, following and adhering to strict wildlife requirements.
We have a newly created wetland area, planted with reeds and rushes, creating a habitat for breeding amphibians such as the common frog and the smooth newt. This provides a habitat for pollinating insects by planting marigolds and irises amongst the rushes.
The wildflower meadow is an essential part of our scheme, providing an abundance of flowering pollinator-friendly plants. We have also set aside an area for an orchard, within which we will plant trees under the Host In Ireland’s Orchard Scheme.
Green berms were created using waste earth excavated from the site, helping us reduce the amount of waste and integrate it back into the landscape. These berms are planted with woodland including oak and birch but also include wild cherry and bird cherry which provide both fruit and flowers as a wildlife food source. Underneath the trees, we have woodland scrubs which include guelder rose, rock rose and other pollinator-friendly plants..
The woodland creates an ecological corridor that ensures a direct link into the surrounding landscape and we’re actively trying to maintain all existing hedgerows and establish new ones where we can.
Finally, we’ve established climbing frames on the building to cover the full 15 metre height, to help provide support for deciduous and flowering plants such as clematis. The frames are fitted on two sides of the building, offering both an aesthetically pleasing look to the facility and also promotes pollinators.
We’re incredibly proud of the journey so far at our Dublin I site at Grange Castle and look forward to continuing its development as a pollinator friendly environment that ensures the future of our bees and other pollinators that are so vital to our planet. We believe small spaces can have a big impact and look forward to Dublin I paving the way for similar green developments in the future, both within CyrusOne and beyond.
To learn more about Host In Ireland’s Pollinator Plan, visit https://www.hostinireland.com/pollinator-plan
Editor’s Note (June 2022): Since we published this blog over a year ago we have seen the native plants and pollinating flowers established at our Dublin I Data Center continue to flourish as does other biodiversity around the facility. Earlier this year we were delighted to add a further 8 orchards alongside the wetland area and wild flowering meadow as part of our involvement with Host In Irelands Orchards Initiative. Then just a few months later we were truly honoured to be presented with the 2022 Datacloud Global Award for Sustainable Construction for the work we are doing in Dublin. We couldn’t be prouder of the work we are doing at CyrusOne supporting pollinators and look forward to bringing you more stories of how we are making a difference as new schemes are completed.