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Prime Data Centers Sharpens Sustainability Strategy; Hires VP of ESG

April 23, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Prime Data Centers is embarking on an enhanced sustainability strategy. The multiple-part, companywide effort includes hiring Disney veteran Sarah Martinez as VP of ESG (environmental, social and governance), and partnering closely with such organizations as  Infrastructure Masons.

Sarah Martinez, VP of ESG, Prime Data Centers

Prime Data Centers, founded in 2017, is based in San Francisco, California. The company develops and operates hyperscale and wholesale data centers in America and Europe. Macquarie Capital invested in the business in 2021.

Among Prime Data Center's key sustainability goals:

  • Issue its first-annual sustainability report in mid-2024;
  • release a renewable energy roadmap at the end of 2024; and
  • disclose greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, climate risk assessment, green building standards, and zero-waste commitments in 2025.

Data Centers: Generative AI, Energy Consumption and Sustainability

Those commitments surface at a key time. Numerous data center companies and cloud service providers (CSPs) are concerned about skyrocketing energy use tied to generative AI applications.

Moreover, U.S. electrical systems are not expanding fast enough to meet rapidly growing power needs of technology like Generative AI -- prompting some data center businesses to sometimes bypass utilities, Reuters reported.

Nicholas Laag, founder and CEO, Prime Data Centers

In a prepared statement, Prime Data Centers Founder and CEO Nicholas Laag said: "With cloud, social media, and AI driving massive energy demand, we are compelled to ensure our sustainability commitments result in responsible long-term growth. Since our inception in 2017, Prime has passionately explored new ways to further sustainability such as district heating in Europe, our closed-loop mechanical system, high-efficiency infrastructure, and unique power sourcing options. Looking to the future, we will continue to push the envelope and collaborate with digital infrastructure leaders and our customers to create a direct link between the advancement of technology and sustainability innovation."

Prime Data Centers Hires VP of ESG, Deepens Sustainability Relationships

With those priorities in mind, Prime hired Martinez in January 2024. She previously held key ESG and sustainability positions at The Walt Disney Company, The Clorox Company, Eco-Products, Target and Prologis, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Meanwhile, Prime has focused heavily on Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE), while also working closely with such organizations as the Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA) and the Infrastructure Masons to Global Foundation Partner.

Miranda Gardiner
Miranda Gardiner, executive director, iMasons Climate Accord

In a prepared statement, Miranda Gardiner, executive director of the iMasons Climate Accord, said: "Working with Prime executives, it is clear the company has a top-down commitment to sustainability. Now is the time for our industry to collaborate on finding real solutions to the systemic and large-scale challenges we all face, such as energy sourcing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our industry's success is dependent on contributions from engaged partners, like Prime, to ensure these conversations become actions for a sustainable future."

Cloud, AI Leaders Make Sustainability Moves

Meanwhile, giants like CRM software provider Salesforce and AI investors such as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman have made major moves in recent days. Examples include:

We'll be watching to see how Prime Data Centers presses forward with its various sustainability deadlines.

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