Will Cloud Migration Lower Emissions?

Businesses beginning to migrate their workloads to the cloud expect that the effort doubles as a sustainability initiative. But there are important issues to consider to ensure a business’s carbon footprint is minimized by moving to the cloud.

Before moving code and data to the cloud, the DevOps toolchains should be tested to ensure everything’s optimized to use the least amount of processing power, storage, and network usage.

Businesses also need to assess how their cloud provider(s) approach sustainability. This means looking at cloud providers’ sustainability, or environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reports, any published sustainability standards they may be following, and any audits that may have taken place.

Businesses need to understand that cloud provider claims of sustainability do not mean they are. It’s up to the companies to verify their green creditability before signing contracts.

How Are Cloud Providers Doing?

Compared to traditional business data centers, most cloud providers are doing pretty well in sustainability, primarily due to significant investments in renewable energy. Powering the cloud with renewable energy, like wind or solar, is the primary strategy to lower their emissions.

Providers often prioritize strategies like data center placement and cloud service provider engineering investments. They are also leveraging data center-based resources, such as storage and compute, using multi-tenant approaches that are nearly fully optimized. This means that the supply chain of on-demand computing can offer a carbon footprint close to net-zero that an audit can independently verify.

These patterns of innovation need to continue considering the rapid growth of cloud computing and the fact that businesses are now demanding cloud providers that can provide sustainable services.

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