MONACO — Infrastructure Masons assembled a historic cooperative of over 70 companies to reduce carbon in digital infrastructure materials, products, and power. The iMasons Climate Accord (ICA) was formed by leaders in the iMasons Advisory Council. The ICA includes hyperscale companies AWS, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, which represent some of the largest digital infrastructure portfolios in the world, and over 40 colocation data center providers, product, service, and investment firms that fund, build, and operate the foundation and drive the supply chain.
“We established iMasons to unite the builders of the digital age,” said Dean Nelson, chairman and founder of Infrastructure Masons. “The ICA represents an unprecedented collaboration between leading digital infrastructure companies to accelerate our journey to carbon neutrality. Today, we are combining forces to compound the efforts of these firms to make meaningful and sustained progress toward that goal.”
iMasons Advisory Council members met on Feb. 2 to decide on one thing they could do together as an industry to battle climate change. The ICA was born from that meeting.
“AWS is committed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, and we are on a path to power our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 — five years ahead of our original target,” said Eric Wilcox, vice president, data center design engineering at Amazon Web Services. “We cannot do this alone and look forward to working with other forward-thinking companies to decarbonize. We are excited to join iMasons to reduce carbon emissions from digital infrastructure.”
Currently, there is no universal labeling system or mechanism to measure embodied carbon over the life of the materials used to build data center facilities or the products that fill them.
“We have matched 100% of our global electricity use with renewable energy since 2017 and are now working toward operating on 24/7 carbon-free energy as part of our goal to achieve net-zero emissions across all of our operations and value chain by 2030,” said Joe Kava, vice president, data centers at Google. “We are excited to help create an open standard for reducing the embodied carbon in data centers and work with equipment manufacturers to improve energy efficiency across the industry.”
It is essential to have industry adoption of an open standard to report carbon in data center materials and products, carbon intensity in power consumption, and a maturity model to report participant progress.
“Designing, building and operating efficient and low-emissions data centers is a core part of our sustainability commitments at Meta,” said Rachel Peterson, vice president of infrastructure at Meta. “We have set an ambitious goal to reach net-zero emissions across our value chain in 2030. And we look forward to partnering with iMasons and others in the industry to find innovative solutions that will reduce our emissions and our impact on the environment and help us all reach our sustainability goals.”
The next step in the iMasons Climate Accord is to identify and establish an independent governing body to adopt or develop a standard methodology for measuring carbon in digital infrastructure and ensuring transparency. The work from this body will influence market-based buying decisions to drive the industry to carbon neutrality as the first step to achieving planetary net zero.
“One of the biggest topics of discussion at COP26 was how a lack of reliable and consistent measurement hampers progress on the path to net zero,” said Christian Belady, vice president and distinguished engineer for datacenter advanced development at Microsoft. “We also know that while many companies are making valiant efforts to improve their carbon footprints, Scope 3 emissions continue to be the most difficult to control and reduce. We’re delighted to support such a valuable initiative to help bring both measurement and transparency to the data center industry.”
Collaboration is key to compounding the results from the commitments of each of the ICA companies and ensuring the sum is greater than the parts.