The continued proliferation of cloud computing across the global tech sector could help to reduce carbon emissions by up to 1 billion tons by 2024, according to a new report.
IDC claimed in a newly published report that a billion tons of carbon dioxide could be cut from global emissions as the uptake of cloud services reduces the number of emissions from no-cloud physical data centres.
The report compiled data on server distribution and cloud and on-premises software use along with third-party information on data centre power usage and carbon dioxide CO2 emissions.
Cushing Anderson, programme vice president at IDC said, “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.”
“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.”
The report stated that the greater efficiency of aggregated compute resources will be a key enabler in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
By shifting from physical on-premise data centres to green, cloud-connected centres, businesses are better able to manage power capacity, optimise cooling, leverage the most power-efficient servers, and increase server utilisation rates.
The IDC report claimed that the range of potential carbon dioxide reduction possible by migrating to the cloud was between 629 million metric tons and 1.6 billion metric tons.
If the percentage of green cloud data centres remains constant, then the resulting migration to the cloud would save 629 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2024.
However, if all data centres in use by that date were optimised for sustainability purposes, then the total saving would be 1.6 billion metric tons.