A new standard for the Green Deal: CLC/TS 50600-5-1 on maturity model for the environmental sustainability of data centres

Data centres have a notoriously high demand of resources: the massively increasing demand for IT services of all kinds continues to lead to rising consumption of (among others) electricity, water and refrigerants. Therefore, it is part of the daily business of a data centre operator to optimise facilities and infrastructures in terms of energy consumption and thus improve the environmental sustainability of the data centre.

In the past few years, a series of recommendations on the field started to be developed, reflecting the diversity of technical facilities and infrastructures deployed in data centres. What was missing until now, though, was a normative approach to allow data centre operators to determine, verify and document the status of its measures on a recognised basis.


From now on, this gap is history: thanks to newly released CLC/TS 50600-5-1, the world's first technical specification for a maturity model for energy management and environmental compatibility of data centres is now available to the market.


This specification enables data centre owners and operators to:

  • employ a framework to baseline their data centre design and practices;
  • determine the level of maturity applicable to their data centre;
  • identify relevant guidance on potential areas of improvement together with the anticipated benefits to justify the resources required;
  • develop an action plan to migrate to higher maturity levels.

The maturity model of CLC/TS 50600-5-1 addresses the following elements: Management and operational information; Building, Power supply, distribution and environmental control infrastructure; and ICT issues including Software, hardware, storage and networking.


There are five levels applicable to each one of these elements, with a progression from Level 1 to Level 5.

To determine the maturity level of a given data centre, the model refers to the practices applicable in the specific case, outlined in previously published CLC/TR 50600-99-1 and CLC/TR 50600-99-2. As the practices of CLC/TR 50600-99-1 are aligned with the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres’ Best practices, it can be expected that the maturity model of CLC/TS 50600-5-1 will be rapidly adopted by data centre operators.


Starting from June 2022, also a German language version will be made available. CLC/TS 50600-5-1 was developed by CLC/TC 215 ‘Electrotechnical aspects of telecommunication equipment’, whose Secretariat is held by DKE. was also triggered by a suggestion of The Green Grid, a global data centre industry initiative.


Frédéric MLANAO


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