17 Dec 2020

Kao Data COO, Paul Finch, wins Infrastructure Masons 2020 Sustainability Champion and iMason100 Awards

Kao Data are delighted to announce that COO, Paul Finch, won two prestigious industry awards at the 2020 Infrastructure Masons awards on Wednesday evening.

The Infrastructure Masons (iMasons) awards are the showpiece event of the iMasons calendar and celebrate the outstanding contributions of individuals who are making an impact in the global digital infrastructure industry.

The vision of iMasons is to unite the builders of the digital age by enabling their global membership to connect, grow, and give back. Their five strategic industry priorities include enhancing education opportunities, championing diversity & inclusion, promoting innovation and technical excellence, and inspiring action on sustainability.

Paul was awarded with the iMasons 2020 Sustainability Champion Award, which highlights individuals who are moving the needle on digital infrastructure sustainability. Fittingly, the award was announced by Patrik Ohlund, CEO of Node Pole and iMasons Sustainability Chair, and presented to Paul by the 2019 Sustainability Champion, Joseph Kava, Vice President - Data Centres at Google.

This award recognises Paul’s considerable work over the last 20+ years to improve sustainability awareness and adoption within the industry. His years of industry stewardship have included representing both the data centre industry (when at Digital Realty Trust) and ASHRAE as a formal representative to the European Commission (2015-2018) on the Eco-design Consultation Forum DG GROW Lot 9 (Servers and Data Storage products) in response to (EU) No 617/2013, the implementing regulation for enterprise servers and data centres.

In more recent years, Paul’s leadership on sustainability has ensured Kao Data is one of the most environmentally friendly data centres in Europe. The company’s first KDL1 data centre is powered by 100% renewable energy, architecture is BREEAM Excellent certified, and data centre operations run at an ultra-energy efficient PUE of 1.2 (even at partial ITE utilisation). In addition, Paul has spearheaded the incorporation of a number of industry ‘firsts’ such as being the first facility in the UK to achieve OCP Ready ™ status outside of North America, as well as being the first wholesale facility in the UK to use Indirect Evaporative Cooling (IEC) with no mechanical refrigeration or environmentally harmful refrigerant.

On winning the iMasons 2020 Sustainability Champion Award, Paul commented: “As an engineer by profession and with sustainability being at the core of our businesses ethos, I’m truly honoured to be presented with this award. Over the last 20 years I have witnessed huge advancements in data centre energy-efficiency and sustainability - often understated by commentators from outside the industry who do not take a holistic view of the digital economy and the value the data centre industry brings.”

“Platforms such as this help raise the profile of our industry by celebrating these collective achievements. Through the innovative application of sound engineering principles, Kao Data have evidenced how sustainability can be complementary to reliability and availability through reduced complexity, whilst reducing short-term CAPEX and longer-term OPEX for the customer and operator, delivering higher returns for the investor. If you choose not to put sustainability front and centre of your strategy the result is your business will be at a commercial disadvantage.”

Paul was joined in the nominations for the 2020 Sustainability Award by an illustrious group of industry leaders and Kao Data would like to also congratulate all of the 2020 Sustainability Award finalists - Aaron Binkley, Sr. Director, Sustainability Programs, Digital Realty; Aidin Aghamiri, CEO, ITRenew; Lars Schedin, CEO EcoDataCenter, and Tor Kristian Gyland, CEO, Green Mountain.


To cap off a very successful evening, Paul was additionally recognised as one of the iMasons 100Award winners, which recognises 100 individuals who have contributed to the digital infrastructure industry through the iMason’s strategic pillars, and have lead by example, creating a pathway for those following in their footsteps. He joins a respected list of thought-leaders who are trailblazing best practice within the digital infrastructure industry.

More details on the iMasons awards can be found here.

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