The Co-operative Group has awarded data centre design and build specialist Sudlows a multi-million pound contract to build a "green" data centre at its new headquarters in Manchester.

The UK’s largest mutual retailer said the new data centre will support its corporate green strategy. The new facility will incorporate the latest EDRUPS Flywheel UPS technology, which the company described as "amongst the most energy efficient systems in the world". The 4MVA data centre will be designed to operate at Tier 3 resilience.

Colin Bennett, head of change and delivery at the Co-operative Group, said: “The Sudlow design team’s solution offers low PUE (power usage effectiveness) aspirations and high tier levels to provide the Co-operative Group with increased efficiencies in system operation, redundancy, modularity and delivery to the project programme.

"This reduces the carbon footprint of the project not only in operation but also in construction.”

The data centre is expected to be operational by summer this year.

Earlier this year, the Co-operative Insurance business launched a product for young drivers where the premium paid is adjusted depending on driving behaviour.

A GPS "Smartbox", from telematics system provider Wunelli, is fitted in the driver’s car and sends data on driving behaviour to the Co-op. The Co-op then processes it against core criteria to produce an overall score which dictates premiums.  

The score, which is based on braking and acceleration, how fast corners are taken, speed and time of driving (the premium is higher for night-time users), is then used to determine whether the driver receives a discount on their premium, or whether their premium should go up.