International Data Corporation (IDC) has published new research that indicates cloud computing could eliminate 1 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2024.
Climate change is increasingly coming front-and-center as an issue for governments and companies alike. One of the promises of cloud computing is the potential to be more environmentally friendly.
IDC has quantified just how much cloud computing could positively impact the environment, concluding it could eliminate 1 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions between 2021 and 2024.
Much of this is due to the increased efficiency that comes with aggregated computing resources, and the ability to use economy of scale to improve cooling and power utilization. Another important factor is the ability of cloud computing to shift workloads around the globe, including to areas where renewable energy are more widely used.
“The idea of ‘green IT’ has been around now for years, but the direct impact of hyperscale computing can have on CO2 emissions is getting increased notice from customers, regulators, and investors and it’s starting to factor into buying decisions,” said Cushing Anderson, program vice president at IDC. “For some, going ‘carbon neutral’ will be achieved using carbon offsets, but designing datacenters from the ground up to be carbon neutral will be the real measure of contribution. And for advanced cloud providers, matching workloads with renewable energy availability will further accelerate their sustainability goals.”
Cloud computing has already been kicked into overdrive as a result of the pandemic, enabling remote workers to stay productive regardless of their location. IDC’s latest report adds further impetus to cloud adoption, making it the responsible option for climate-friendly companies.