COP27 was clear that the world must take action on the pledges made from past conferences. Every person and every business has a responsibility to reduce their carbon emissions, or we face irreparable damage to our world.
But as business leaders with high operating costs, both fiscally and environmentally, is there anything we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and do our part for the environment?
Using cloud platforms in place of on-premise systems can remove your visible carbon emissions and simultaneously reduce your business energy usage. But there are hidden costs to using the cloud.
Is It More Sustainable?
A study conducted in 202 suggested that migrations to the public cloud can reduce CO2 emissions by 59 million tons per year, equating to taking 22 million cars off the road.
By building scalable platforms, businesses can consume much less energy operating on the cloud as they employ fewer on-premise servers and data is hosted in more efficient data centres.
By moving away from traditional, power-hungry servers onto datacentre-hosted services which scale down power usage and wattage, you eliminate the need for constant updates of legacy hardware, reducing water usage in aircon and production costs and, in turn, carbon emissions.
Reducing the waste of legacy components naturally makes the cloud greener. Plus, with analytic platforms and data collection typically built-in to cloud services, visualizing ESG goals and climate strategy is much easier.
Companies implementing cloud services that can scale and innovate responsibly are already taking steps towards clean energy and reducing their environmental impact.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
When choosing a sustainable provider, there are a few things you can review to ensure you make the right choice.
Take a look at how green the provider’s infrastructure is (using metrics like lights and cooling), whether or not they source their electricity and energy from a renewable source, and the storage and cooling systems it uses.
You could also review their company’s green initiatives and whether they use eco-friendly data centre sites.
As cloud computing hosts, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are major energy consumers. The Financial Times has reported that tech emissions are predicted to exceed 6% annually. Businesses must therefore implement cloud migration in an environmentally-conscious manner to prevent providers from draining crucial resources.
There needs to be more than a pledge, as Amazon Web Services (AWS), with ambitious net-zero commitments, only met 12% of its goals. In answer to this report, Greenpeace has accused Amazon of hypocrisy by investing in clean energy but putting in little effort to stop their emissions.
So choosing the wrong supplier could indirectly cause more company emissions, especially if you’ve scaled your resources too high for your actual needs. Review your usage regularly and ensure your supplier’s environmental policy matches yours.
Choosing A Sustainable Cloud Provider
When choosing a supplier, choose one that aligns with your sustainability policy and provides you with a reliable service. Some cloud migration companies can help you with calculators or inside knowledge on the sustainability practices of the provider.
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