Fredrik Jansson reflects on a sustainable history
The northern lights provided the inspiration for its visual brand, but data centre provider DigiPlex has been leading the way in sustainability throughout its history. Transform Magazine reports on the company’s brand and communications transformation.
The aurora borealis, or northern lights, occurs when charged electrons bombard the Earth’s magnetosphere at the high latitudes, resulting in heated energy that humans perceive as moving lights. The internet is visible to most people only as images on a screen. But behind that, its complex infrastructure is powered by the electronic signals that send packets of information around the world.
Its an apt metaphor, then, for a data centre brand to adopt the northern lights as part of its visual identity. Even more fitting for one that has a strong Nordic heritage. For DigiPlex, the visual expression of its heritage and positioning was but one part of a rebrand that sought to achieve no less than transforming the data centre industry itself.
“There are two things shaping the way we live today. One is digitisation. Everything that can be digitised will be digitised,” says DigiPlex’s Chief Commercial Officer, Frederik Jansson. “The second one is climate change becoming climate action. We need to change the way we live, act and behave to ensure we have a world left for our kids. Those two huge mega-trends converge inside a data centre.” DigiPlex is the data centre most poised to represent that convergence, considering its sites across the Nordics and its existing green energy model. The company has used hydroelectric power to fuel its data centres since 2000.
Cooling is one of the primary modes of energy consumption at data centres. Servers generate a lot of heat; cooling them takes a lot of power. “Data centres have been IT’s dirty little secret,” says Jansson. But DigiPlex also capitalises on the climate itself, relying on the frigid air in the Nordics to cool its centres. And, by 2022, the company aims to reuse enough of the waste heat generated by its data centres to power 15,000 homes, building circularity into the business model.
The commitment to sustainability has been in DigiPlex’s DNA but that wasn’t the case for others in the industry. DigiPlex had to express its points of difference to its audience and generate interest in a sustainable data centre. In fact, in a survey of Nordic businesses conducted by DigiPlex, sustainability was 27 out of 27 criteria regarding data centre selection. “We had to do a number of things,” Jansson says, “One was to find a way in which we could tell this story in a non-technical way so people could actually understand it.”
DigiPlex embarked on a transformational change programme that addressed not only the company’s brand, but how it communicated about itself and how it communicated about its industry.
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