An annual report that aims to help IT leaders to lessen the long-term environmental impact of their data centre equipment purchases reveals that most data centre operators do not prioritise energy efficiency or ‘other’ green issues.

For their Data Centres and the Environment report, Supermicro surveyed more than 5,000 IT professionals. It found that almost 9 out of 10 data centres are not designed for optimal power efficiency – the cost of ownership and return on investment are the primary measures of success. Less than 15% of those surveyed said that energy efficiency, corporate social responsibility and environmental impact are key considerations for their facilities. 22% said that environmental considerations are too expensive to be considered a priority.

Despite Intel, as far back as 2009, discovering that CPUs work fine in warm temperatures, in 2019 the number of businesses that kept their facilities and servers below 24C increased 13%, now two-thirds of all respondents, needlessly wasting energy on cooling.

At the same time, the number of companies recycling decommissioned hardware has dropped rather than increased. Those partnering with a certified recycling company dropped by 14% from 2018 to 2019 and companies recycling hardware themselves dropped by 5%.

These are worrying trends in an era when the environmental impact of IT hardware is known to be significant. As Charles Liang, president and CEO of Supermicro states: “The 2019 survey findings establish again that consideration of the environmental impact for data centre equipment selection continues to be an IT industry challenge.”