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BUILD Sustainability: Constraints, Opportunities, and the Pursuit of Net Zero Data Centers

Phill Lawson-Shanks  (Chief Innovation & Technology Officer , Aligned Data Centers)

Karen Petersburg  (Vice President, Data Center Development and Construction, PowerHouse Data Centers)

Priyal Chheda  (Sustainability Lead, Corgan)

Adam Wellen  (Senior Director of Membership & Community, Green Build Initiative)

Location: Room 203 A/B

Date: Thursday, April 18

Time: 11:10 am - 11:55 am

Pass Type: All Access Conference, Data Center BUILD Summit - Get your pass now!

Session Type: Data Center BUILD Summit

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All Audiences

In today's competitive landscape, where communities weigh in on proposed developments and investor requirements for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting hold increasing sway, sustainability in the data center industry is taking center stage. The industry has made significant strides to reduce its environmental footprint and contribute to collective climate targets by expanding access to renewable energy and improving efficient technology.

This engaging session will delve deep into the constraints and opportunities on the journey to meet net-zero carbon goals while simultaneously facing unprecedented demand for AI. Discover the driving forces behind data center portfolio owners' efforts to become more sustainable and socially responsible, as they rise to the challenge of providing essential digital services to support the growth of local, national, and global communities.

Expert panelists will share design, construction, and operations strategies for reducing carbon from a life cycle perspective as well as DEIB and social equity practices that empower surrounding communities. Attendees will understand the importance of transparent reporting through third-party assessment, certification and ESG frameworks.


  • Understand the factors that play into sustainability in the face of a rapidly changing data center landscape with the growth of cloud and AI workloads. Recall how these impact multiple facets of the data center lifecycle, from supply chain through design, construction, cooling, etc.
  • Recall the driving factors compelling data centers to be more sustainable.
  • Identify the strategies that are being used by data center owners to pursue decarbonization and empower surrounding communities.
  • Describe construction tactics that contribute to sustainability, health, and resilience and how to apply them across data center portfolios.