CEDA leads UKRI’s net zero computing goals

Posted on November 30, 2021 (Last modified on October 19, 2023) • 2 min read • 397 words
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The CEDA team are leading efforts in the UK’s research and innovation sector to reach net zero computing. Our data experts will recommend a plan to ensure all the digital tools used throughout the sector, from supercomputers to phones, will be carbon neutral by 2040.  

We are leading research to set out a plan for how the entire UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) digital estate can reach zero carbon emissions. 

The £1.9million scoping project, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, will support UKRI’s journey towards environmental sustainability and provide a clear roadmap to deliver carbon neutral digital research infrastructure by 2040 or earlier.

JASMIN hardware lights

Net zero computing

Across the nine organisations which make up UKRI, there are an extensive range of computers and mobile technology - known as digital research infrastructure.

To support UKRI’s goal of reaching net zero by 2040, our team are using scientific research techniques to map out the entire organisation’s digital infrastructure. UKRI will then be able to determine the best action to reduce the carbon emissions from data generation, analysis, storage and dissemination. 


Taking a systems-based approach, we will work to develop adaptation strategies for the way data is conserved, analysed and managed. The project will cover all the UKRI-owned and majority-funded infrastructure, everything from the national supercomputing centres, like JASMIN, to the thousands of laptops used by staff.

JASMIN machine room

The project team will work collaboratively across the whole of UKRI’s digital research infrastructures to ensure the whole organisation is represented.

Dr Martin Juckes, Head of Atmospheric Science at CEDA, is the project lead. He said:

“We will set a benchmark for a realistic, rigorously evidenced, ambitiously scheduled, roadmap for the full decarbonisation of all elements of significant national infrastructure.

“The project will look at both the energy consumed by the computers in use and the impact of the supply chain.”

Brad Tipp of Microsoft, who joins the project on the Scientific Advisory Board, said:

“Microsoft are delighted to be part of this new UK initiative to eliminate the carbon footprint of computational research, part of a growing global movement to meet and go beyond the Paris targets.”

Read the full story here.

For more detailed information about the work we are doing, check out the project website

Images show the JASMIN hardware, which will be one of the digital infrastructures covered by this project. Credit: STFC. 

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