- 3 min
Paris, 24 November 2009
The Crédit Agricole S.A. Group has launched construction of a twin-site IT centre near the cathedral city of Chartres. The two sites, in Mainvilliers and Fontaine La Guyon, both cover an area of 14,000 sq.m and together will house the Group's central IT systems, currently spread over several locations in the Paris metropolitan area and outside France.
By opting for a modular and easily expandable design, the Group is not only innovating at the technical level; it is also demonstrating its commitment to achieving energy efficiency while strengthening operational risk management and optimising costs.
A “green” project
The design of the centres reflects the Group's willingness to invest in mitigating its environmental footprint, notably as regards energy consumption. A key player in sustainable development, the Crédit Agricole S.A. Group has already committed itself to a 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from energy consumption at its Paris-area sites by 2010.
High availability IT centres are usually major consumers of energy for air conditioning purposes. But these new facilities have been designed to reduce requirements considerably, notably by taking advantage of the region's climate to achieve free cooling (i.e. using low external air temperatures), thereby improving energy efficiency while cutting operating costs.
Similarly, after consultation with local decision-makers, the architecture has been adapted to blend into the region's scenic environment. The modular design provides a responsible way for the Group to meet its requirements in the years to come.
Strengthening operational risk management
To guarantee the security of the services it provides to customers, and also to safeguard their data, the Crédit Agricole S.A. Group is relying on two “mirror” sites, each with high-redundancy internal infrastructure, which can take over from each other when necessary. Furthermore, to address systemic operational risk, the Group has decided to build the new centres away from the Paris metropolitan area. The Chartres region was chosen for its proximity to the capital and the quality of its infrastructure, thanks to the strong involvement of local policymakers.
The new IT centres - the result of close collaboration between several Group entities, with the steadfast support of the Val de France Regional Bank - will be fully operational from early 2011.