Cloud computing and sustainable technology
Environmental concerns and a sustainable model have become one of the major drivers of innovation in companies. Aware of the impact of their actions, they are adopting initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and implementing CSR policies and corporate sustainability commitments.
Since a decade ago, the number of global Internet users has doubled, and by 2022 global traffic is expected to increase by 4.2 zettabytes per year. Technology trends reflect that one of the foundations for exponential digitization is the migration to the cloud. This means that the cloud environment faces a significant challenge in scaling computing capacity and providing a more “eco-friendly” model that reduces carbon emissions.
We explain why joining the cloud world is so beneficial for the development of a company and how important it is to combat climate change.
Is cloud computing good for the environment?
Cloud computing is transforming the models of many corporations, and more and more are joining this cloud infrastructure. We have already mentioned the advantages of this technology on other occasions, such as cost savings in infrastructure investment, unlimited storage, greater flexibility, improved security, efficiency, competitiveness, etc. And now we add an extra benefit, such as sustainability.
According to recent reports, it has been observed that many technologies are not as clean as they could be and that even 2% of the CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions that are emitted daily into the atmosphere correspond to ICTs. However, in recent years their use has been turned around, and they have become a fundamental tool for reducing the emissions that they and other technologies generate.
Cloud computing has also positioned itself as one of the most sustainable and efficient ICTs, saving more than 59 million tons of CO2 and more than 200 billion euros in annual savings for companies.
As it is based on a pool of shared computing resources, it allows cost reductions (up to 40%) and reduces energy consumption and emissions caused by traditional methods of servers and local platforms.
On the other hand, it allows remote and centralized management of centers and offices, even if they are located in different geographical locations. The need for external resources is minimized, allowing cloud access from any location or device. Data centers also have increasingly efficient and intelligent infrastructures, which facilitates more efficient use of infrastructures and the design of advanced energy-saving policies. It can be seen in a Google study, which shows that the use of these centers increased by around 550% between 2010 and 2018, but the amount of energy consumed by this equipment only increased by 6% in that period. In other words, as the industry becomes more cloud-centric, energy efficiency continues to improve.
Cloud Computing and Sustainability: Examples
The latest figures suggest that large companies can reduce their carbon footprint per user by up to 30%, while small companies can reduce their carbon footprint by up to 90%.
Therefore, companies should prioritize this Cloud-oriented approach to discover new sources of innovation and growth, favor circularity, and foster more sustainable products and services. Many platforms already exist to achieve this, and these are just a few examples.
Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability
Microsoft Cloud Computing is a specialized cloud that offers organizations the ability to access a complete, integrated, and automated set of knowledge to accelerate the process towards a more sustainable model.
It is based on the principle that what cannot be measured cannot be improved. Therefore, to move towards Net Zero’s goal, each organization’s carbon emissions need to be more effectively recorded and reduced.
Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability leads to a more sustainable model, transforming businesses, accelerating progress, and assessing environmental impact and footprint.
Microsoft Emissions Impact Dashboard
Microsoft Emissions Impact Dashboard is another option where users get a detailed view of the impact of their technology infrastructures and know what their reduction would be through the use of cloud services in Azure.
The platform enables detailed analysis of the services already deployed in the cloud, optimizing their use to achieve maximum emissions reductions. It even allows the calculation of Scope 3 emissions, the indirect and more challenging to measure emissions that occur throughout the product value chain, from raw material sourcing to transportation and disposal of the hardware.
Cloud Computing and security
Still related to Microsoft Azure, there are many cloud computing applications in sustainability, such as this eco-friendly solution applied to the ticketing management of a shipping company.
This project eliminates physical contact between company employees and passengers at boarding. It is based on an optical system that increases security and ensures real-time passenger identity control. Thanks to its cloud platform, the entire process is simplified and goes a step further in terms of sustainability by eliminating the need to print boarding passes.
Thanks to being an efficient and viable alternative in sustainable business development, the cloud has positioned itself as a great ally on the road to sustainability. It is not the only one, as Blockchain-based applications are also being developed to neutralize the carbon footprint or digitization versus paper to reduce waste and improve processes, among many others. If you want to know more about sustainable technologies for companies, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!