Emerson Network Power has released “Recycling Ratios: The Next Step for Data Center Sustainability,” a new position paper to help data center staff address a key sustainability issue: reducing solid waste. In addition, an online calculator offers a resource for learning about the approach outlined in the position paper.

While metrics such as power usage effectiveness (PUE) measure the energy inputs and outputs of data centers, the new position paper outlines formulas for measuring the material inputs and outputs, including everything required to run a data center, from paper and toner cartridges to IT hardware and supporting equipment. Recycling Ratios provides a method for measuring efficiency over time as a data center evolves from startup, to an initial equipment refresh around year seven, through eventual relocation.

“With organizations such as the Sierra Club promoting zero-waste policies, companies need an easily understood metric for assessing whether materials are handled in an environmentally responsible manner – and a tool for measuring progress,” said Jack Pouchet, director of energy initiatives for Emerson Network Power. “Just as our Energy Logic approach helped companies focus on reducing energy consumption, Recycling Ratios provides data center managers with ideas on taking sustainability to a new level