Sustainable data centers


The aim of the joint research project is to make data centers as the heart of data management future-proof and sustainable. Together with partners from science and practice, transdisciplinary cooperation is being conducted in this field under the direction of the University of Stuttgart.

Research Question

The project "EcoRZ - Sustainable Data Centres" deals with the energy- and resource-efficient integration of data centres in locations in Baden-Württemberg. Based on analyses of existing data centres and those in planning, work is being done on various topics:

  • Indicators and tools for a location decision for data center operators and sustainability indicators
  • Comparison of infrastructure and technologies for future-proof data centers
  • Scenario development based on a developed technology matrix in relation to the climate protection goals of the state
  • In an exemplary practical transfer, the application of the developed solution methods is tested and quantitatively evaluated with the help of concrete questions and scenarios
  • Success factors and obstacles to project transfer are identified in order to formulate recommendations for action


The competence center is working on work package 3 "Infrastructure and Technologies". Here, concepts for currently available and future data center infrastructures are systematically evaluated (heating, cooling, network backup systems, buildings, IT hardware, software and communication technology).


  • A set of instruments for location analysis was developed on the basis of a set of sustainability indicators for recording hard and soft location factors for data centres.
  • Differentiation characteristics for data centres  were derived and can be used to define data centre performance classes.
  • Potentials for increasing energy efficiency (including electricity, heating and cooling supply) were identified and presented.
  • Sustainability potentials with regard to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, jobs and energy savings were quantified.
  • The transferability of the results to concrete data centres was ensured through project-accompanying communication with data centre operators as well as through the application of an analysis tool developed in the project.
  • A guideline for operators, planners and political decision-makers was prepared as a practical extension to the final report. The guide "Sustainable Data Centres" can be downloaded from the website
ManagementProf. Dr. Wolfram Mollenkopf

University of Stuttgart (coordinator), University of Ulm, ZSW - Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, ICT Facilities GmbH, Zweckverband Kommunale Informationsverarbeitung Baden-Franken, ÖkoMedia GmbH

Project e-mail address at the University of Stuttgart


Funding bodyMinistry of the Environment, Climate and Energy Baden-Württemberg
Call for tenderLivelihood Environment and its protection
Duration01.04.2018 – 31.03.2020


Name & Position E-Mail & Telephone
+49 711 8926 2768 4/215