Data Centre Dynamics, DCD, published an interesting interview on safety, sustainability and climate change challenges with Jason Hood, former global manager for the data center and life sciences segments. We think it is worth sharing and are happy to be able to reproduce the entire content below.
Protecting life and assets
We sat down with Jason Hood, Global Segment Manager - Data Centers and Life Sciences at Roxtec to discuss Roxtec’s role as a specialized manufacturer and supplier.
According to Hood, Roxtec was built on a central idea: safety. The founder of Roxtec developed the original product concepts in his garage in Sweden, after seeing problems with other cable and pipe seals in the market. Hood recalls that at that time, existing products were more prone to failure for a variety of reasons. Roxtec continues to operate on the key basis of safety, and aims to offer high value solutions that optimize safety and the protection of people and assets.
Hood has worked at Roxtec for over a decade, bringing with him significant experience in business development across a variety of industry portfolios. He is currently focused on data centers, life sciences, semiconductor and advanced facilities as part of the infrastructure segment.
We wanted to gain a better understanding of Roxtec’s current role in the data center industry, and how Hood envisions Roxtec tackling edge deployment, climate change and more.
Starting something new
We asked Hood to provide us with a retrospective of Roxtec’s beginnings, and how its mission and core values have evolved with the business. At its core - Roxtec is focused on protecting life and assets. Initially beginning in shipbuilding, the team at Roxtec quickly learned how important it was to protect critical infrastructure, and of course people. The standards in this industry were quite high, as you could imagine - especially for Navy contracts. This allowed Roxtec to transition into new markets such as data centers, as Roxtec’s core mission aligns closely with the goals and aims of the industry.
From Hood’s perspective, manufacturing is a competitive landscape, specifically so in the data center industry. However, he highlights that many of Roxtec’s competitors tend to focus on singular threats such as water or dust. He says Roxtec wanted to offer protection against multiple threats that would have the longevity and applicability to a range of data center infrastructure models.
“We're finding a better fit, and better alignment with other industries and data centres being included.”
Hood also makes an interesting point about their mission as it pertains to edge infrastructure; often these facilities won’t be manned so the need to protect people is less critical than the need to protect infrastructure. However, this presents its own opportunities and challenges for an organization like Roxtec. Remote infrastructure still needs to be protected from fire, water, dust, etc. but how you deal with that and protect it will differ depending on how the facility is manned.
A global outlook
Hood says being a global company presents some challenges, however, these challenges are outweighed by the exceptional number of opportunities. Playing to these opportunities is one of Roxtec’s key strengths. Hood says Roxtec has subsidiaries and local support experts across the globe that are able to assist their customers in various regions with ease. Additionally, they focus on localized value chains that are able to support regional customers.
Hood reiterated that Roxtec’s mission as a global company is harmonized across all geographies - the focus on safety and protection of assets is paramount. Roxtec has a number of projects that help customers mitigate risk, create safer environments and protect critical infrastructure.
Many projects Hood has worked on came about due to customers underestimating their need for protective infrastructure. He recalls numerous conversations in which customers express how they regret not exploring protecting their infrastructure previously. However, Hood believes Roxtec has a part to play in educating the market about the evolving requirements in the industry, and the impact regionality has on the operation and maintenance of data centers.
“We're there to support the customers [but a] large part of what we do is really educating the market to share with them the potential threats.”
How to tackle climate change
We asked Hood what role he believes Roxtec has in tackling climate change, one of the most serious challenges facing the world. Hood says part of Roxtec’s strategy is to implement products that futureproof data centers in high risk areas, specifically around water protection - mainly for areas at risk of rising sea levels and high rainfall.
Beyond this, Roxtec has also implemented strategies to reduce its own carbon footprint. Roxtec established a Sustainability Forum that will collect and analyze data within their own supply chains to identify where carbon emissions can be reduced or eliminated. This forum has already highlighted three key areas that are opportunities for improvement. This includes: reducing energy consumption at the manufacturing level, minimizing air-freight shipments and purchasing renewable energy technologies.
Hood says this Sustainability Forum will monitor these areas according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, but also continually identify and make improvements to help reduce Roxtec’s impact on the environment.
Overall, Hood has seen a general shift in awareness and responsibility for taking action not only to tackle climate change, but also to protect critical infrastructure. He says that he has seen a transition from indifference to a more ardent approach to things such as cable and pipe penetrations. The changes in the market over time have highlighted to Hood and the team at Roxtec their need to educate the market, and provide it with future-proofed, flexible products to protect critical infrastructure.
“This has taught us to be resolute in our market approach and that by doing so, we will continue to grow. Most importantly, this has helped us identify our strengths and how to apply our strengths to creating and supporting loyal customers.”
Read DCD’s Operations Supplement
Data Centre Dynamics, DCD, published their 16-page Operations Supplement, featuring content on safety sealing and water mitigation. We are very pleased to be able to share the supplement with you. Feel free to download the PDF and learn more on how to protect data centers, today and tomorrow.
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