Digital responsibility: our computer calculations in boilers

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A crucial step in Natixis CIB's responsible digital strategy has just been taken with the use, in production, of the French cloud provider Qarnot. This French SME designs and manufactures digital boilers on which calculations are run, and whose heat is reinvested in water circuits instead of being dissipated by a ventilation and air-conditioning system. This is an eco-responsible use-case at the heart of societal concerns.

In concrete terms, after an implementation phase, a first run of stress test calculations on the Equity Derivatives scope was successfully completed. Technically this represents, at this stage, a few thousand hours of calculation. Above all, it validates our technological choices, by demonstrating that the solution enables multi-cloud within a unified technical solution. Next step: other Global Markets calculations will gradually be transferred to Qarnot servers.

Watch the video to find out how it works


With Clément Pellegrini, CTO and co-founder of Qarnot, Charles-Emmanuel Musy, Head of IT Global Markets, Pricing & Analytics, Natixis CIB, and Marie Joron Melyon, Head of sustainable IT, T&O Groupe BPCE

Digital energy efficiency, at the heart of climate protection

Our choice to use this eco-responsible service provider is part of our digital energy efficiency and risk management strategy, with high standards of security, performance and cost control. Indeed, the cost is shared between the user of the servers - in this case, Natixis CIB - and the sites where the boilers are installed: swimming pools, district heating networks, building complexes, etc. Note that the boilers are configured according to the incompressible amount of heat used by the infrastructure, thereby guaranteeing that the waste heat is recovered all year round, with no risk of overheating.

More broadly, the approach is in line with Natixis CIB and Groupe BPCE's strategic ambitions concerning climate change. It rounds out the many initiatives we have been carrying out over several years to promote digital responsibility and the overall efficiency of our data centers.

4 years, 4 priorities, to reduce the environmental impact of our IT by 15%

Our digital energy efficiency strategy accelerated in 2019 with the signing of the Responsible Digital Charter, followed by the establishment of a responsible digital division in charge of carrying projects based on this theme.

Groupe BPCE has set itself a target to reduce its IT carbon footprint by 15% and improve the energy efficiency of its data centers by 7% over 2020-2024. To achieve this, our actions are organized around four main pillars.

Optimizing the efficiency of our data centers

First and foremost, we monitor the energy consumption of our four data centers. This measure goes hand in hand with optimized energy sourcing, giving priority to renewable energies, and greater energy independence. It echoes current events surrounding the French government's energy efficiency plan, which includes a digital component.

The choice of Qarnot is fully in line with this approach, and complements other initiatives, such as our Bailly Romainvilliers data center, which uses waste heat from servers to heat the Val d'Europe aquatic center.

Qarnot and Natixis CIB's project team
Clément Pellegrini with Natixis CIB's IT project team

Digital eco-design

Secondly, responsible design ensures that every product and project is useful, eco-designed and usable. To support our technical experts on this subject, we have built up a rich catalog of eight training courses: 140 Group IT employees have already been trained.

Furthermore, all IT projects are now subject to a scoring tool, our Green Project Scoring (GPS), which evaluates the extent to which around 20 ESG criteria have been taken into account: does the solution meet a real need? can the need be shared? has the project team been trained in eco-design? is the solution based on an existing infrastructure? etc.

Another example, we are working on enriching the Sonarqube tool around rules limiting the environmental impact known to developers to check the quality of their code lines. The project is carried out on an open-source basis in order to pool the advances made by all players in the marketplace.

Optimizing the lifecycle of IT equipment

At the same time, we are working to optimize the life cycle of our equipment. Ethical, energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly factors are incorporated at various stages, including: extending the useful life, recycling existing equipment, putting workstations on standby and setting M365 parameters, and deploying Access IT to ensure the accessibility of IT equipment and solutions.

Responsible digital reach

Finally, the Group's long-standing commitment to responsible digital development is a powerful lever. The aim: to onboard all the Group's 100,000 employees. Numerous awareness-raising initiatives are underway: digital fresco, responsible digital escape game, massive open online course (MOOC), clean-up day.... And support for the businesses through themed workshops.

Digital technology is integrated into the internally-developed My Green Footprint tool, which enables all employees to measure the carbon footprint of their professional activity. With this solution, we've come full circle: it was awarded the highest internal score for our GPS, and the project team was trained in digital responsibility in order to eco-design the product.  And it supports the talents of tomorrow, since students from the Ecole des Gobelins spent a year working on the project.

Rediscover another Green IT project: Val d'Europe aquatic center (French only)


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