The first datacenter in France with an high environmental performance

The latest Scaleway datacenter, a subsidiary of the iliad Group, incorporates an adiabatic infrastructure cooling process that eliminates the need for energy-intensive air-conditioning or refrigerant gas systems with a high carbon impact.

Main project's drivers for reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

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Energy and resource efficiency

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Energy Decarbonisation

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Energy efficiency improvements

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Improving efficiency in non-energy resources

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Emission removal

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Financing low-carbon issuers or disinvestment from carbon assets

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Reduction of other greenhouse gases emission

Project objectives

Faced with the strong and continuous growth of digital uses, particularly in the supply of Cloud infrastructures to companies, and in a logic of national sovereignty, iliad has made the dual choice :
1. To optimize the carbon footprint of its existing data centers
2. To innovate in order to minimize the climate footprint of all its future data centers

The Scaleway’s fifth datacenter project was set up on the site of a former postal logistic center in 2018.

With a surface area of ​​16,000 square meters, the DC5 based in Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône (Val-d'Oise, France) looks like any industrial warehouse from the outside.

The technology deployed in this data center is “unique in the world”. Developped for two years, the adiabatic cooling system deployed by Scaleway has been patented, so thath in the future it will be possible to convert other data centers in Paris, Amsterdam and Warsaw.

Everything, including the architecture of the place, has been tailor-made to accommodate such a cooling system. It took four years of R&D to resolve the many brakes that quickly imposed themselves on engineers: in particular the management of heat peaks, and especially regarding frequently summer heatwave waves.

When the outside air temperature exceeds 30 ° C, the adiabatic cooling technology comes into play. The system uses the evaporation of water to lower the temperature inside the room where the servers are working, allowing the room to be cooled by 9 °C with only 2 grams of water.

“The main challenge was to learn from this simple physics principle to industrialize it”, underlines Arnaud de Bermingham, Scaleway’s president and founder.

Emission scope(s)

on which the project has a significant impact

Scope 1

Direct emissions generated by the company's activity.

Scope 2

Indirect emissions associated with the company's electricity and heat consumption.

Scope 3

Emissions induced (upstream or downstream) by the company's activities, products and/or services in its value chain.

Emission Removal

Carbon sinks creation, (BECCS, CCU/S, …)

Avoided Emissions

Emissions avoided by the activities, products and/or services in charge of the project, or by the financing of emission reduction projects.

Scope 1 - Zero air conditioning (adiabatic process)

  • Quantification : Up to -40% energy consumption - Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.15 (vs.an average of 2.5 for French data centers) - or the equivalent of - 511 tons of CO2

Scope 2 - A supply of 100% renewable electricity (from hydraulic sources)

  • Quantification: 47 tons of CO2eq or the equivalent of -392 tons of CO2eq on scope 2 (-89%) 

Scope 3 - Extending the lifespan of the equipment

  • Quantification: A recovery rate and reuse of 74% towards a 2nd life - or the equivalent of - 8,880 tonnes of CO2 needed to remanufacture new equipment

More details on the complete project file to download

Key points

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Invested amount

Not disclosed

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Starting date of the project

April 2018

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Project localisation

Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône, Val d’Oise

Project maturity level

Prototype laboratory test (TRL 7)

Real life testing (TRL 7-8)

Pre-commercial prototype (TRL 9)

Small-scale implementation

Medium to large scale implementation

Economic profitability of the project (ROI)

Short term (0-3 years)

Middle term (4-10 years)

Long term (> 10 years)

Not disclosed

Illustrations of the project

The Scaleway’s DC5 datacenter equipped with the adiabatic cooling system contributes to the following SDGs:

  • SDG 6 Clean water and sanitation: the adiabatic cooling system saves more than 90% of the global amount of water needed to cool a standard data center
  • SDG 7 Clean and affordable energy: the data center is supplied with 100% of renewable electricity
  • SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth: through the rehabilitation of a former postal logistic center, the project helps maintaining the local employment
  • SDG 9 Industry, infrastructure and innovation: the project aims to rehabilitate a former postal logistic center avoiding not to build a new data center area
  • SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production: the lifespan of the equipment is extended and the IT components are fully recyclable, an environmental label is also request on each product invoiced (energy, water, carbon);
  • SDG 13 Measures relating to the fight against climate change: the adiabatic cooling system fully eliminates any air conditioning uses which have the biggest impact on global warming.
  • SDG 17 Partnerships for the achievement of objectives: the project concretely contributes to the national strategy on digital sovereignty with a global French industrial economic partnership.

Several partnerships are engaged especially with:

  • Loxy: a local company of the adapted sector which ensures the reuse and the recycling of computer components
  • Planet tech care: Planet Tech’Care is the first initiative bringing together a network of partners (professional organizations, schools, competitiveness clusters, associations, foundations, think tanks), which aims to support companies wishing to integrate digital responsible pratices in their environmental trajectory and to support training players in their skills development for responsible digital future.
  • Greentech Alliance: The Greentech Alliance brings together green technology companies, who are fighting climate change with their products and services in the most responsible and planet-friendly way.
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Contact the company carrying the project :

Walter Delage (CSR Responsible, iliad) : wdelage@iliad.fr
Laura Calmore (Head of Corporate Communications, Scaleway) :
lcalmore@scaleway.com