Citigroup invests in green datacentre

Citigroup is investing €170m (£115m) in what it is billing as a “green” datacentre as part of an ongoing programme to reduce its environmental impact.

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Citigroup is investing €170m (£115m) in what it is billing as a “green” datacentre as part of an ongoing programme to reduce its environmental impact.

The bank is investing the money to build the datacentre in Frankfurt, with the aim of saving on expensive electricity consumption. The new datacentre will employ 40 people, and the company said it would cost no more to build than a traditional ‘non-green’ facility.

The location was chosen because of Germany’s “excellent electrical and data infrastructure, as well as its high security standards”, the bank said. It will serve Citigroup's Europe and Middle East region.

Estimates by the bank suggest that it will save a quarter of its electricity usage once its goes live with the facility in March next year – saving enough electricity to power 3,000 family homes. The datacentre will be built according to "gold standards" of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – standards that have been set by the US Green Building council.

The banking giant also said that 11,000 fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere annually once the new datacentre was up and running. Added to that, careful water handling at the site will save 46.5 million litres water annually.

Sue Harnett, Germany country manager at Citigroup, said the group was “well aware” of its responsibility to tackle climate change. She added: “Our new datacentre will be the largest outside of the United States, but you won’t know that from our electrical bills.”

As part of the bank's ongoing climate change programme, it wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2011.

The company recently overhauled its IT operations and cut costs, and is consolidating datacentres as part of this. In the restructuring, Citigroup will lay off 17,000 workers, 5% of the bank’s total workforce. It is also looking to make better use of existing technologies, to optimise its global voice and data networks, and to standardise its application development processes and cut the number of suppliers it uses.

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