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Australian Sustainability Managers in the Dark About Reducing Data Centre Energy Consumption: Pure Storage Commissioned Research

Survey by University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures highlights the urgent need for sustainability initiatives to reduce energy and water consumption
Reducing Data Centre Energy Consumption

Sydney, Australia – July 18, 2023 — Pure Storage® (NYSE: PSTG), the IT pioneer that delivers the world's most advanced data storage technology and services, in partnership with The University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), today released a groundbreaking report which revealed an alarming lack of engagement from Australian businesses about the growing level of carbon emissions caused by IT and data centres.

The report, “IT and Data Centre Sustainability in Australia”, details attitudes among the more than 100 sustainability managers surveyed in April and May this year. The report exposes the reality that whilst sustainability managers believe they can’t meet their sustainability goals without reducing IT and data centre energy use, they don’t have the detailed data to make decisions.

Survey Highlights:

Technology plays a critical, growing role in driving sustainability initiatives: 77% of respondents agreed that organisations cannot reach their sustainability goals without significantly reducing IT and data centre energy usage.

Role of IT and data centres in sustainability still low: Over 70% of respondent organisations had sustainability of data centres on their radar but only 9% were fully considering it. Only 15% of respondents indicated sustainability issues were a critical consideration for their organisation in procurement for data centre service providers. 29% of respondent’s organisations did not consider data centre energy consumption at all. Only 22% of respondents thought their organisation pays sufficient attention to data centre energy consumption

Data centre operators need to improve the quality of sustainability-related data: Only 5% of respondents felt that the quality of sustainability-related data received from data centre service operators was detailed enough. 46% of respondents were receiving no sustainability-related data. In total, 59% of respondents either had insufficient, or no, sustainability-related data from data centre service operators.

Industry Significance:

IT and data centres contribute approximately 1 percent of global electricity consumption and up to 2 percent of global carbon emissions, (equivalent to the airline industry). According to the International Energy Agency, data centres and data transmission networks accounted for 0.9% of global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The growth in demand for data, including use of artificial intelligence, has the potential to increase the energy consumption of data centre services.

Australia is one of the most densely served economies by data centres per capita, and revenue in the data centre market is forecast in Australia to pass US$5 billion in 2023, with multi-billion dollar long term investment commitments made by some large providers. Australia is considered a global hub for data centre investments, due in part to geopolitical, data sovereignty and geographical factors. The market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% to reach US$6 billion by 2027.

The rapid growth of Australia’s data centre industry comes at a time of increasing climate risks, and an unprecedented level of focus from regulators, consumers and investors on how companies reduce emissions.  It should therefore be concerning that Australian organisations appear to not be taking the steps necessary to incorporate data centre and IT related emissions into account when managing their environmental, social and governance (ESG) and carbon emissions reduction programs. As data centre related energy demands rise, Australian businesses and policy makers need to avoid the risk of adding to the instability of the country’s energy grid, as has been the case in other jurisdictions that have a high density of data centre penetration.

 Executive Insight

“With data continuing to grow, energy and space efficiency must play a stronger role in IT and data centre technology selection.  IT leaders can and should play a bigger role in their organisation’s sustainability initiatives by improving their data storage strategies.” — Rob Lee, Chief Technology Officer, Pure Storage

“Data Centres are exposed to significant ESG risks that have largely escaped the attention of investors and sustainability managers.  Improved awareness of data centre sustainability is urgent as we move into a new era where businesses rely even more heavily on data in their businesses and depend on energy and cooling intensive data centres. There are real and increasing risks for investors, and regulators around uncertainty over how companies manage, account for, and act to reduce their emissions. With the use of data growing ever more exponentially, including with AI and data centres, it is important that organisations recognise the role their IT and data centres are playing in their emissions footprint. There are also implications for government policy makers.”

Gordon Noble
Research Director, Business, Economy and Governance, ISF and author of the report IT and Data Centre Sustainability in Australia

“This report is a wakeup call for both government and private enterprises in Australia that more attention needs to be paid to energy consumption in data centres. The pace of technology adoption will continue to accelerate but this should not compromise our attention to the environment.” – Amy Rushall, Area Vice President, Australia & New Zealand, Pure Storage

Learn more:

  • Read the full IT and Data Centre Sustainability in Australia survey and report 2023 here.
  • Check out Pure Storage’s new Energy Savings Visualizer, which enables organisations to calculate estimated electricity cost savings based on performance or capacity-optimised block, file, or object storage.

About Pure Storage

Pure Storage (NYSE: PSTG) uncomplicates data storage, forever. Pure delivers a cloud experience that empowers every organisation to get the most from their data while reducing the complexity and expense of managing the infrastructure behind it. Pure’s commitment to providing true storage as-a-service gives customers the agility to meet changing data needs at speed and scale, whether they are deploying traditional workloads, modern applications, containers, or more. Pure believes it can make a significant impact in reducing data centre emissions worldwide through its environmental sustainability efforts, including designing products and solutions that enable customers to reduce their carbon and energy footprint. And with the highest Net Promoter Score in the industry, Pure's ever-expanding list of customers are among the happiest in the world. For more information, visit

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