CyrusOne is participating in Host in Ireland’s “Orchards in the Community” initiative to provide more fruit trees for bees in the country.

The company said it has planted several orchards alongside existing wetland area and amongst a wildflower meadow at its Dublin I data center campus.

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– CyrusOne

“We’re delighted to be continuing our journey with Host in Ireland through this all-important project, and know just how valuable orchards and green spaces are for our wider society and the planet,” said Mark Moloney, director interconnection solutions and sustainability at CyrusOne. “The Orchards in the Community project is set to offer an incredible lifeline to the bee population across Ireland and the fact we’re taking this nationwide is really exciting.”

Orchards In The Community is part of Host In Ireland’s DCs for Bees initiative. Orchards play a key role in providing an early food source for bees as they emerge from winter; the initiative aims to plant more than 1,000 mixed fruit orchards all over Ireland. Host In Ireland suggests planting fruit trees including Victoria Plum, Conference Pear, Discovery Apple, Katy Apple, and Boskoop Apple.

“Orchards in the Community is helping to create ‘pollinator pit stops’ across the island. One third of our 99 wild bee species are at risk of extinction. Each year as they flower, these orchards will provide them with vital food. In return, by pollinating the flowers, the bees will ensure we have lots of fruits to enjoy in the autumn,” said Dr. Úna FitzPatrick co-founder and project manager of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.

DC for Bees calls on data center operators to adopt plans to support biodiversity. These include 42 suggested actions, including preserving existing hedges which contain forage plants, and reducing the mowing of lawns to allow wild flowers to grow. Bees can be given nesting places, with "bee hotels" hanging on walls, and earth banks for mining bees. DCs for Bees also suggests drilling holes in wood on site to allow more nesting space. CyrusOne is already a part of DC for Bees.

“Orchards have played an important role in communities for many centuries, providing a focal point, a gathering space, and a place where people and nature successfully work together to create abundant harvests,” added Garry Connolly, founder, Host in Ireland. “That spirit of community is alive and well with ‘Orchards in the Community’ as organizations like CyrusOne come together with biodiversity groups, schools, colleges, Tidy Towns and others across Ireland to tackle challenges like biodiversity loss to save Ireland’s pollinators.”

NTT keeps bees on the roof of its Vienna 1 data center in Austria. Depending on conditions, the four hives shown could produce around 100lb (45kg) of honey per year, and will help pollinate local plants.

While not as common as renewable efforts such as installing solar panels or Power Purchase Agreements, a number of telcos and data center firms are beginning to invest in forestation projects. Most recently, Gibraltar telco firm Gibtelecom planted more than 600 native British trees at a farm in Wales.

French telco Orange has invested in several carbon sink projects including pine tree reforestation in Spain, mangrove plantation in Senegal, and a reforestation project in France. Interxion recently announced it was sponsoring a new afforestation project in Palencia, Spain, following previous forestry projects in Madrid and France.

Other data center operators supporting reforestation or afforestation include QTS, which is working with American Forest on reforestation projects in the US, saying it will plant one tree per month for every 100 kilowatt (kW) customer agreement. In the Philippines, Converge ICT Solutions recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Aeta community here to adopt a two-hectare land for reforestation near Angeles City.

At full build-out, CyrusOne’s Dublin campus will span 33,445 sq m (360,000 sq ft) with 54MW across three two-story buildings.

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