Digital Realty Trust, Inc. has announced the industry's first program to provide clients with access to clean energy. Under the new Clean Start? Program, which is available across its international portfolio, Digital Realty clients that sign a qualifying new lease will automatically receive renewable energy certificates commensurate with the electricity consumed during the first year of the lease. This sustainability initiative comes as part of a broader effort by Digital Realty to encourage greener practices in the data center industry, with a range of new programs to be introduced in 2015 to report on and reduce environmental impacts.

"The Clean Start Program will redefine the way the data center industry approaches sustainable energy," said Aaron Binkley, director of sustainability at Digital Realty. "Our goal is to give clients an effortless path to procure clean, renewable energy for their data centers, and to take a leadership role in reducing the environmental footprint for the data center industry."

This global program, in which Digital Realty will procure renewable energy certificates (RECs) on behalf of its clients for one year at no additional cost to clients, is available to clients who sign qualified leases with a term of at least 12 months for space in any Digital Realty location on or after January 21, 2015. After the first year of the lease term, clients can choose to pay to continue receiving clean energy credits through the program, or opt out. RECs will be sourced near data center sites wherever feasible.

"Our clients want cost-effective access to clean energy, without the heavy lifting. With the Clean Start? Program, all clients signing eligible leases will be auto-enrolled in the program and will receive access to renewable energy certificates — for clean power generated by wind, solar, geothermal, or biomass power plants — without any incremental cost. We've eliminated the obstacles for our clients to make smarter decisions about energy consumption in the data center, which we expect will result in greater adoption of more sustainable practices," Binkley added.