According to a recent survey, data centers emit roughly 2% of all global carbon emissions — about the same as the entire airline industry. 

Yet at the same time, worldwide our economies are digitizing at a faster pace than ever. By 2023, 65% of global GDP will rely in some way on digital and data-driven services and technology.

If countries and companies are to meet their obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement, while continuing to benefit from the efficiencies that digitalization delivers, we must find some way to make data centers and mass computing more carbon efficient.

One of the best ways to tackle the challenge of data-center decarbonization is by moving some or all your workloads to the cloud. 

Cloud specialists have the tools and the expertise to minimize emissions.

Take AWS for instance. Studies by 451 Research have shown that AWS’ infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median of U.S. enterprise data centers, and up to 5 times more energy efficient than the average in Europe.

451 Research also found that AWS can lower customers’ workload carbon footprints by nearly 80% compared to surveyed enterprise data centers, and up to 96% once AWS is powered with 100% renewable energy—a target we’re on path to meet by 2025.

So how does migrating services to the cloud help you de-carbonize your tech stack?

  • Thanks to ‘SusOps’ — or sustainable operations — tech and best practices, cloud specialists can monitor and optimize emissions in real time. 
  • Cloud specialists can dynamically allocate workloads to achieve maximum hardware utilization. This means less wasted compute power and lower emissions.
  • They are also better able to use intelligent, managed services to cut power use but get the same performance.
  • Cloud specialists have the technology and expertise to monitor, measure and quantify emissions, tracing them to their source so they can minimize them. 
  • By keeping their infrastructure constantly up patched with rolling updates and fixes, providers are able to maximize hardware and energy efficiency. 

With no other mission than to get the best possible performance and efficiency from the infrastructure they operate, cloud specialists have the budget, technology, experience and redundancy to find and reduce emissions in a way that many companies running in-house data centers do not. 

Nor are the benefits of this approach limited to reducing emissions, important and significant as this is. By improving asset utilization and reducing energy usage, the greater sustainability of cloud operations also helps companies control and even reduce costs.

In other words, moving to a sustainably managed cloud infrastructure delivers not just reduced emissions but also improved total cost of ownership (TCO). 

That’s why, in the survey above, 71% of respondents view their organization’s cloud strategy as the biggest driver of sustainability, with this expected to rise to 85% in 2023. Another recent study found that a switch to cloud data centers could help cut the carbon footprint associated with the effected computing activities by up to 11%. 

To that end, we have the experts, the tools and the technology required to help you reduce the environmental impact and carbon emissions associated with your data center operations. Contact us today!