CyrusOne News and Blog

Our path to renewable energy through productive partnerships

October 13, 2022

Our renewable energy strategy’s primary goal is to meet our net zero carbon target by 2040 within the United States and by 2030 within Europe. Renewable energy procurement is an essential channel to meeting these goals because it includes the emissions from electricity supplied to customer equipment. Lowering our energy demand with increased efficiency can only affect our own support equipment, not our customers’ equipment. However, if we opt for renewable energy procurement in addition to increased efficiency, we can affect a larger percentage of our emissions. We follow a renewable energy procurement hierarchy to help determine energy planning and purchases, prioritizing projects that are additional (the project would not have happened otherwise), regional (contributing to the same grid where the energy is used), and bundled (where delivery of power remains “bundled” to renewable energy certificates).

Some of our customers are also procuring renewable electricity to cover their server activity in our facilities. CyrusOne is fortunate to have customers with ambitious climate goals. Many of our customers have reached carbon neutrality and/or are operating on 100% renewable electricity. This has not only supported our own climate goals but has motivated us to keep improving so that we can support our customers and maintain productive partnerships. In greenhouse gas accounting, it is ambiguous whether colocation data center operators or our customers (or both) should be responsible for reporting server and support electricity emissions. We account for these emissions in our own greenhouse gas inventory and procure this electricity because we consider the electricity to be part of the service we provide to our customers. However, some customers also take responsibility for the same electricity emissions because they have operational control over the servers, and thus include them in their greenhouse gas inventory. Although this may seem redundant, we would rather these emissions show up in two greenhouse gas inventories, rather than risk them being in none.

For the first time in 2021 we measured the renewable electricity we confirmed was procured by customers to cover their server and support electricity in our facilities. While we do not take credit for our customer’s efforts, it is important to recognize their actions and provide an accurate accounting in our greenhouse gas inventory. Importantly, this is not applying the same REC to two different megawatt-hours – it is recognizing the same megawatt-hour (covered by a REC) in two different inventories. Additionally, if our customers are already procuring renewable electricity to cover their server electricity in our facilities, it allows us to concentrate our resources and efforts where non-renewable energy is the primary source of electricity or to seek out higher-quality renewable electricity that meets more of our desired attributes. The table below illustrates renewables procured by CyrusOne, customer-procured renewables (renewable electricity we have confirmed was procured by our customers for their server electricity and cooling in our facilities), and renewable certificate procurement (which we currently don’t employ). The categories are summed together to equal the percentage of our total electricity that comes from renewable sources.Renewable Electricity Metrics Sustainability Report


We are currently collecting information on customer-procured renewables from 2018-2020, which we will include in next year’s Sustainability Report. Ultimately, sustainability is a team sport, and our mission is to be strategic partners with our customers to move their sustainability goals forward. We look forward to closing the remaining gap with more and better renewables in the future.