Environmental responsibility

CSC is a pioneer in the sustainable development of ICT services and committed to promoting sustainable development objectives in all operations. Environmental management is integrated in the normal work of CSC's Management Group. We seek to minimise the environmental loading caused by our activities.

In 2019, the company’s greatest environmental load consisted of the datacenters’ power consumption and air travel. The following environmental principles govern CSC’s environmental responsibility:

  • CSC aims for energy-efficient solutions in its datacenters.
  • CSC seeks to save energy and natural resources and to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • CSC guides and supports its personnel in adopting environmentally friendly working methods.

Under the Energy Efficiency Act, major companies are required to perform a corporate energy review at four-year intervals. CSC’s latest energy review was commissioned in 2015, and a report on the next review will be published in 2020.

In 2019, all electricity used by the datacenters and office facilities was renewable. The majority of the services we provide have been virtualised, resulting in lower server electricity consumption and resource usage than if the services were implemented using a corresponding number of physical devices.

Energy-efficient datacenters

CSC’s Kajaani datacenter is one of the most energy efficient in the world. The Modular Data Center (MDC) introduced in 2012 achieved the world-class PUE figure (power usage effectiveness) of 1.02. The commissioning of supercomputer PUHTI in autumn 2019, which significantly increased the MDC’s usage rate and thus improved the PUE value, contributed to this achievement. The increase in the usage rate of a the second modular datacenter, MDC2, achieved as the new storage environment (ALLAS) was introduced, similarly improved the center’s PUE value. The figures for supercomputer SISU only cover part of the year (January–August 2019), as this computer was decommissioned in autumn 2019. However, it is worth noting that while SISU was operating in 2019, it had an extremely high usage rate.

SISU will be replaced in 2020 by MAHTI, a warm-water cooled supercomputer, whose energy efficiency will be even better than that of CSC’s older supercomputer systems. By international comparison, the energy efficiency level of all CSC’s datacenters is high or extremely high (Kajaani), and we believe that future upgrades will improve this situation further.  

In Espoo, the usage rate of POHJA datacenter improved gradually as a result of centralisation arrangements made in 2019. The trend in energy efficiency has been good so far, and CSC believes that even lower PUE values can be achieved in 2020.

As the energy efficiency graph shows, CSC remains on track for achieving the target (10%). The cloud service environments cPouta and ePouta were expanded further in 2019 to respond to growing service needs.  Measured by memory capacity, there was an increase of approx. 70% in the use of cPouta services, and approx. 25% in ePouta services.

Another important aspect of energy efficiency is ensuring that all of the energy consumed is used on significant operations. The computing services CSC offers to Finnish research have a high usage rate and we employ such methods as scaling tests to ensure the efficient use of resources.

All electricity used by our datacenters in 2019 came from renewable energy sources. CSC’s total energy consumption at the datacenters went down. The most significant factor in this was the decommissioning of one supercomputing environment in Kajaani in autumn 2019, as well as datacenter centralisation arrangements in Espoo in the autumn.

CSC datacenter energy consumption 2005–2019


Energy efficiency of CSC's datacenters

Energy efficiency of CSC's datacenters

A positive trend of space use in the offices of CSC’s experts continued thanks to the multi-use offices renovated in 2019 (1,600m2). Team work rooms as well as open-plan offices with work pods and conference rooms provide a better response to the way CSC employees work while optimising the usage ratio of the facilities. CSC has improved the efficiency of space use in its facilities. 

CSC adheres to the Hansel framework agreement procurement policy, in which environmental factors are also taken into consideration. CSC’s procurement policy also instructs employees to examine environmental factors at all stages, from planning to use and decommissioning.

Energy and water

Electricity consumption in CSC’s offices totalled 341.7 MWh in 2019. Electricity consumption per person continued to decrease and was clearly less than 1 MWh/person.

CSC is not a major consumer of water. A precise figure for CSC's water consumption in Espoo cannot be given, as the property does not have lessor-specific water meters. Our datacenters employ a closed loop water cooling system with minimal water requirements.

CSC's role in the Finnish and international research infrastructure requires networking and, therefore, travel. We have sought to reduce travel by encouraging the personnel to opt for teleconferencing and also promoted public transport use. Travel purchases concerning air and rail travel and accommodation services were centralised to a travel agent selected in a central government tendering process. Hansel framework agreements also specify environmental criteria for these service providers.

Travel at CSC increased in 2019 as absolute figures but not in proportion to the growing employee numbers.

Air travel in 2019 totalled 2,974,364 kilometres, which corresponds to emissions of 283,732 CO2e kg. This means 718 CO2e kg per CSC employee. The greatest share of this travel was on short-haul European flights (69% of flights), followed by domestic travel (28% of flights). 

There was also a year-on-year increase of over 20,000 kilometres in domestic rail travel, which totalled 138,607 km and resulted in emissions of 14.5 CO2e kg per person.  The expenditure on rail travel was EUR 13,311, and the average ticket price was EUR 29.45.

Personal car use also increased. In 2019, kilometre claims totalling EUR 19,472 were paid, which means 45,284 km in total. In 2018, these figures were 39,559 kilometres and EUR 16,615.

The expenditure on taxi travel decreased further to a total of EUR 85,645 in 2019 (EUR 91,989 in 2018). This includes expenditure on taxi travel both in Finland and abroad. It is likely that the increased use of personal cars and public transport were contributing factors to this decrease.

Materials and waste

In its procurements, CSC relies on Hansel framework agreements that take environmental perspectives into account. CSC’s procurement policy also instructs employees to examine environmental factors at all stages, from planning to use and decommissioning.

CSC aims to sort wastes as far as possible, and an effort is made to recycle any usable goods.

CSC primarily acquires furniture and ICT equipment for the personnel through leasing agreements, which saves resources and reduces environmental loading. ICT equipment is returned to the leasing company after two to five years of use. No hazardous substances are used in our offices.

Environmental risks

Potential environmental risks at datacenters are managed in accordance with current regulations. No environmental damage was reported in 2019.

The greatest environmental risks associated with CSC's operations relate to the handling of the gas mixtures, refrigerants and generator fuel oils used in the datacenter infrastructure, and the disposal of decommissioned equipment. Datacenter maintenance contracts oblige the suppliers to ensure that hazardous substances and materials are disposed of appropriately. Whenever possible, refrigerants and gas extinguishants are recycled during maintenance or repairs.

Clauses on the decommissioning of IT equipment are already contained in procurement contracts. Depending on these contracts, equipment may either be returned to the manufacturer or recycled separately.

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