Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Thematic Session

Day 1 | Tuesday 27th October | 10.00 - 12.30 & 14.00 - 17.00
Day 2 | Wednesday 28th October | 09.00 - 13.00 & 14.00 - 17.00
Day 3 | Thursday 29th October | 13.00 - 16.00
Day 4 | Friday 30th October | 09.00 - 12.30

The SDIA (Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance) will host a track on opportunity of creating net-positive digital infrastructure. As one of the key topics on the European agenda, it combines the Digitalisation, Climate Protection, Data Souveranity of the new presidency.

As the 4th industrial revolution – digitalization – is accelerating, we face a once in a decade opportunity. For the first time we can decouple economic growth from resource consumption. The digital economy can be the first one that creates economic value without consuming exponentially more minerals, more energy, and other planetary resources. In this track we will explore the various opportunities from heating districts and greenhouses with data centers, to using digital infrastructure as energy-flexibility systems and how the emerging European computing infrastructure will look like. We will demonstrate that the digital economy creates a viable & needed opportunity for sustainable digital infrastructure.

Detailed agenda of the SDIA track at SP2020



Day 1 | Tuesday 27th October | 10.00 – 12.30 & 14.00 – 17.00

Opening Ceremony

  • 10.00: Mohan Gandhi, Welcome & Roadmap teaser

SDIA Finance Workshop

This session sees NIBC and Phineo deliver updates on the sustainable investment environment, key trends, and how to scale and accelerate climate impact investing.

  • 14.00: Young-jin Choi, “What will it take to win the racetozero? How Impact Investing and the built environment can contribute”
  • 14.45: Pierre Alexandre Hughes-Daly, Digital Infrastructure – Market Update and Debt Financing Themes


Day 2 | Wednesday 28th October | 09.00 – 13.00 & 14.00 – 17.00

SDIA Technology Progressors Workshop

This session sees Bearing Point deliver the promise of smart green infrastructure, before Tmrow, the Greenweb Foundation and WestfalenWind detail software solutions that deliver on that very promise. 
  •  09.00: Anna Lyubina, Why do we need a sustainable digitalization – smart green infrastructure
  •  09.45: Trevor Hinkle, Bringing the Climate Impact of Electricity Back to Reality
  •  10.30: Chris Adams, Sustainability in the Software Layer
  •  11.15: Gunnar Schomaker, Gamechanger Virtualization – an innovation thriller on the data center playing field

SDIA Heat Recovery Workshop

This session focuses on the data centers’ ability to capture and reuse what was previously considered waste heat, thereby significantly reducing the carbon and energy footprint of the digital economy. Windcloud provides a glimpse into innovative use cases of captured heat, before Cloud and Heat deep dive into the technology required. Vattenfall rounds off the talk from the heat demand side, and why demand for heat is only increasing.
  • 14.45: Karl Rabe, Integrated energy the future of HPC
  • 15.30: Dr. Jens Struckmeier, Sustainable and secure data centers with heat recovery
  • 16.15: Dr Birger Ober, Heat Recovery in Practice – The Journey to a Carbon Neutral Future 


Day 3 | Thursday 29th October | 13.00 – 16.00

SDIA Initiatives Workshop

This session focuses on the initiatives undertaken by the SDIA. Head of Research Mohan Gandhi launches the SDIA’s Roadmap to a Sustainable Digital Infrastructure by 2030, before SDIA Chairman Max Schulze explains how we decouple economic growth from resource and energy consumption – the promise of the digital industrial revolution. The Open Compute Project explains how to measure data center carbon footprint, and innovative methods of reducing that footprint that can happen NOW! The SDIA’s COO rounds off the session with a view on the many different items that the SDIA is working on to deliver sustainability across the sector.

  • 13.00: Mohan Gandhi,  Roadmap to Sustainable Digital Infrastructure by 2030
  • 13.45: Max Schulze, A Sustainable Digital Economy: Decoupling Growth from Energy & Resource Consumption
  • 14.30: John Laban, Call to action: Measuring Data Centre Carbon footprints and how to decarbonise through innovations in the open collaborative commons.
  • 15.15: Lasse Schneppenheim,  Sustainability in Digital Infrastructure


Day 4 | Friday 30th October | 09.00 – 12.30

SDIA Hardware Workshop

This session focuses on the design philosophy of hardware and equipment inside data centers. London Southbank University present circular design principles and introduce project Cedaci – an industry communication tool. ITRenew explain how they’re revolutionizing hardware deployment, and Operational Intelligence provide an overview of the total environmental impact of data centers – a first step in understanding the impact of the industry. 

  • 10.00: Deborah Andrews & Beth Whitehead, Curving the Line – Circularity in the Data Centre
  • 10.45: Ali Fenn, Clouds are not Linear: Unlock the full power of sustainable IT infrastructure with circular economic models
  • 11.30: Sophia Flucker, Total Data center environmental Impact 


Chair of the workshops: Max Schulze
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