Q1 2022

APAC / Issue Q1 2022 5 NEWS , XI’AN, China, Jan. 17, 2022 / PRNewswire/ -- Xi’an, located in Northwest China, is one of the most historical cities in the world, serving as the capital for much of ancient China. It’s no wonder, then, that hundreds of millions of tourists visit Xi’an every year to explore sites such as the Terra- cotta Warriors, the Daming Pal- ace, and the Drum and Bell Tower of Xi’an. The city truly boasts a seamless blend of culture, nature, and modern development. In today’s digital age, howev- er, these droves of visitors bring massive torrents of data. From a global perspective, according to third-party database company Statista, 2021 saw a 79 Zettabyte (ZB) increase in data volume, the equivalent of approximately 79 billion Terabytes (TB). Such dra- matic increases in data volumes put heavy strains on operators, and those in Xi’an are no excep- tion to this trend. As one of the world’s largest telecommunications carriers, China Mobile has helped rev - olutionize connectivity around the world, enabling more than 2 billion connections between us- ers. Needing a new data hub for the Northwest China region, the carrier set an ambitious goal to build its new Xixian Data Center of China Mobile (Shaanxi) in the ancient capital, Xi’an. And as the speed of data center construction and expansion directly affects the digital experience, the carrier was not going to let its users down. Indeed, in June 2021, the engi - neers at the Xixian Data Center achieved their construction goal: deliver a green data center with 938 cabinets in just six months. A data center is complex and sophisticated physical infrastruc- ture that involves many subsys- tems and thousands of devices. Embracing Low Carbon Construction in an Ancient Capital Typically, a data center building with 1000 cabinets would take eight months to construct, and 10 months would be required for equipment installation, commis- sioning, and acceptance. The con- struction would also generate dust and debris, not ideal as Xi’an aims to become cleaner and greener. What’s more, such a large-scale data center would consume 60 million kWh of electricity and 60 million tonnes of water every year, which indirectly contributing to nearly 30,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. Facing such challenges, the Chi - na Mobile (Shaanxi) engineers felt confident that they could achieve a quick service rollout while pri- oritizing green and low-carbon results. In collaboration with long- term partner Huawei, they de- cided on a solution that involved combining a prefabricated modu- lar data center with indirect evap- orative cooling technology. The data center was divided into 232 modules with the equipment all prefabricated and preinstalled in the factory. Then, after com- pleting onsite preparation, LE- GO-like construction was per- formed. This allowed engineers to complete the entire service rollout in just six months, with construction waste and dust slashed by 80%, and a material recovery rate exceeding 80%. Traditional data center cooling systems are also extremely re- source-hungry, accounting for more than 30% of total power consumption and using up all of the water resources available to the data center. Huawei’s indirect evaporative cooling technology, however, capitalizes on Xi’an’s climate, drawing air from the sur- roundings to cool the facilities. Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, the air compres - sor is only needed for two months of the year, with the facility relying on natural cooling for the other 10 months, reducing the cooling system’s energy consumption by more than 50%. As such, over a 10-year cycle, nearly 60 mil- lion kWh of electricity is saved, alongside 400,000 tonnes of wa- ter, which translates into slash- ing carbon emissions by 27,000 tonnes, the equivalent of planting 37,000 trees. Such impressive feats were only made possible thanks to China Mobile (Shaanxi)’s engineering team, as well as Huawei’s innova- tive Information and Communica - tions Technology (ICT) infrastruc - ture. And by taking full advantage of the natural climate from the an- cient city, the rapid service rollout of just six months was achieved, all while prioritizing environmen- tal protection, serving as a new benchmark for low-carbon data center development. and competitive bidding (72%), private equity to be a major acquirer (70%), an increase in cross-sector (68%) and cross- border (65%) dealmaking, as well as more megadeals (56%). ESG and sustainability concerns are becoming more important for dealmakers, according to the survey. An overwhelming 99% of responding CEOs say they factor these issues into their buying strategies, while 6% of respondents say they have walked away from deals in the past year, due to ESG related concerns about the target. Guerzoni, says: “CEOs see M&A as a critical accelerant for long- term growth strategies. As ESG and sustainability concerns are becoming critically important, the market in 2022 is also expected to be fueled by M&A aimed at helping CEOs realize their sustainability strategy goals faster.” Cost of focus on sustainability creates CEO tension with some investors In a further sign that the pivot toward sustainable transformation among CEOs is becoming a permanent shift in the post-COP26 world, while revenue growth remains a key driver, over three-quarters of respondents (82%) identified ESG factors as extremely important or important, when it comes to strategic decision-making. In addition, 28% of respondents can clearly see the competitive advantage of becoming a leader in sustainability. At the same time, however, 65% of respondents admit that they have encountered resistance from investors and shareholders about their sustainability transition strategy; and almost a quarter (21%) say that investors are not showing support for long-term investment plans, or that they are fixated on quarterly earnings. Guerzoni, says: “CEOs are ready to set their organizations on a course that should deliver sustained benefits for shareholders and society. What stands out is the need for alignment between CEO thinking and that of investors, when it comes to prioritizing sustainability. Resistance from investors and shareholders because of high costs and doubts over long-term returns, can derail CEO plans and land their organizations on the wrong side of history.”