CyrusOne News and Blog

CyrusOne teams with Ramboll, NYU on SPARK competition to embed biodiversity and sustainability into data centers

September 20, 2022

The need for more, new and innovative solutions to improve sustainability and biodiversity in future data centers brings CyrusOne, Ramboll and New York University together for a think-tank style innovation competition during Climate Week New York 2022.

On Friday, 23 September, CyrusOne, global engineering, architecture and consultancy company Ramboll, and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering will partner on the SPARK competition, a one-day event connecting talented students from top universities with Ramboll’s leading partners, clients and communities.

The aim is to develop unique solutions for the data-center industry’s challenges. CyrusOne and Ramboll will bring in subject matter experts and thought leaders in biodiversity, data centers and sustainability to participate and work with the students. The intended outcome is to support and improve sustainability and biodiversity for future data centers.

How it works
SPARK is a highly interactive format that combines students’ fresh perspectives and deep knowledge with CyrusOne and Ramboll’s global experts to solve real-world challenges. The format also offers informal networking to help students meet and exchange experiences with these experts. This year’s competition seeks to explore the potential and interest of data center companies to develop sustainable, efficient and cost-effective data centers.

During the competition, students will work in groups of five with subject matter experts and company representatives to come up with the best design solution for best-in-class energy efficiencies, evaluation of building materials and biodiversity impact. At the end of the day, the teams will pitch their solutions to CyrusOne and Ramboll leadership and experts, who will then pick the winner with the most innovative and viable solution.

CyrusOne will be tasked with co-collaboration and creation of the problem statement; engaging with students during the event, providing feedback and answering any questions through sharing knowledge and expertise; giving a 10-minute presentation during lunch on how it works with innovation within the data center field; and taking part in the judging panel.

Future applications
CyrusOne looks forward to seeing the solutions student propose and perhaps one day applying them in future data centers. As part of our sustainability mission, we have focused on power, water and biodiversity issues. Recently, Business Intelligence Group awarded us the “Sustainability Service of the Year” award for 2022, recognizing our exemplary water conservation and sustainability progress and focus on biodiversity at our Allen, Texas, facility.

But 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 year-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.

For more on all our sustainability efforts, please read our 2022 Sustainability Report here.