Ensuring the data center industry has sustainability as a top priority

Written by 

Andreas Sila

VP Data Center & Fixed Access Network


Data centers have made rapid improvements in their energy efficiency over the last few years. Between 2007 and 2020, the average annual power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio within the largest data centers dropped from 2.5 to 1.9, where operators aim to get their PUE ratio as near to 1 as possible. If current trends in efficiency of hardware and data center infrastructure are maintained, global data center energy demand could remain nearly flat through 2022, despite a 60% increase in service demand. Whilst the industry is beginning to make progress by adopting more sustainable approaches, there is more that can and needs to be done. The key to long-term change and a more sustainable future for data centers is to start at the beginning. Sustainability needs to be embedded from the very core and recognised at every level of the industry. To do this, it is essential that the entire industry is united in making it a priority and that solutions are selected and implemented with sustainability in mind.


As a member of Consortium of Onboard Optics (COBO), HUBER+SUHNER is playing its part by providing knowledge to optimize the power consumption of electro-optical connections and increase their efficiency. Our close collaboration with customers allows us to develop solutions and operational practices that make a conscious and long-lasting difference. 

We have specifically developed a range of physical layer fiber optic solutions and other equipment that are easily scalable, adaptable and future-ready to address specific customer requirements. As many data centers refresh their systems every two to three years, which produces large amounts of e-waste and costs the environment, we have created solutions that have a lower environmental impact. With modular fiber optic management systems and other passive optical infrastructure that are adaptable and grow alongside your data center needs, we are negating the need for constant upgrades and reducing the disposal of related out-of-date equipment for newer products. With sustainability in mind, we are contributing to a more efficient foundation for data centers.


Reducing power consumption is a key aspect of ensuring a more sustainable industry. We have developed all-optical switching technology so that customers can lower power needs. This replaces power-intensive optical switches that rely on optical-electrical signal conversion. To help combat the internal climate control needs of data centers, we have also decreased cable diameters to ensure optimal airflow, which in turn reduces power consumption.

To provide efficient solutions, our products are engineered with high density in mind to make the most of available space and infrastructure. A compact but highly impactful solution that allows existing fiber optic network infrastructure to be utilised is more economic and efficient, and avoids the expensive construction and disruption that comes with digging up the ground, or opening other structures, to install more fiber optic cables.



Working towards a more sustainable future for data centers does not need to be time consuming and expensive. Smart investments in the foundations will allow data centers to consume less energy today and into the future, with products that are adaptable, flexible and can grow alongside your needs.