How the data centre industry could help save the bees

23 Apr 2021

Image: © Heather Jane/Stock.adobe.com

Host in Ireland has launched its DCs for Bees pollinator plan to address Ireland’s biodiversity plight and help save the bees.

Data centre advocacy group Host in Ireland wants to save Ireland’s bees with a new plan that includes more than 40 pollinator-friendly actions.

The DCs for Bees pollinator plan is the first of its kind for the global data centre industry and highlights ways for individuals and businesses to take action in addressing Ireland’s biodiversity plight.

An estimated one-third of all food that we eat depends on pollinators such as bees. However, a third of Irish bees are said to be facing extinction and the climate crisis could put the global bee population in even more danger.

The data centre industry has come under scrutiny for the demands it will put on energy consumption. According to an Eirgrid report, data centres could account for 29pc of electricity demand in Ireland by 2028.

However, the DCs for Bees plan could give industry players an opportunity to give back to the environment another way. It includes a toolkit of 42 pollinator-friendly actions to ensure the survival of our pollinators for future generations.

Some of the actions include reducing the frequency of mowing to allow wildflowers to grow, planting clover fields and other bee-friendly plants, and adding bee hotels to plant and machinery areas.

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The aim is to give any business in the data centre ecosystem, no matter how big or small, the tools they need to take action and reduce, stall or even reverse the potential extinction of bees.

The plan is backed by the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, an island-wide initiative attempting to reverse declines in pollinating insects.

The initiative’s co-founder and project manager, Dr Úna Fitzpatrick, said Host in Ireland was the first industry-wide organisation to approach the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan about addressing the declining bee population.

“We are delighted that Host in Ireland and its data centre industry partners have stepped forward and are uniting to make a difference with the DCs for Bees Pollinator Plan,” she said.

Host in Ireland’s founder, Garry Connolly, added that he hopes the initiative will encourage other industries to follow suit and make an even bigger difference to the global issue.

“When we launched DCs for Bees, we committed to raising awareness, becoming advocates and, most importantly, taking action to reverse the dramatic decline in Ireland’s pollinators,” he said, adding that the launch of the new plan is a continuance of this pledge.

Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com