Is Cloud Computing A More Environmentally Friendly Choice?

Environment

Many companies are moving part or all of their systems to the cloud in order to gain from the benefits this type of system provides, such as cost savings and flexibility. However, cloud computing is also a much more environmentally friendly choice, when compared to running servers from within your individual business.

Research suggests that for a large enterprise, making the switch would actually save 30,000 metric tonnes of CO2 within five years, which is the equivalent to almost 6,000 cars off the road! Take some time to think about how many businesses there are in Australia and across the world. If more businesses switched to a cloud based system, the positive environmental impact would be astronomical.

How does the cloud make your business more eco-friendly?

There are a number of ways that switching from your own private, in-house servers to the cloud could make your business more environmentally friendly. Some of the major reasons are:

  • Using full capacity – As with many businesses, you are unlikely to be utilising the full capacity of your server. With the cloud, server capacity is shared between a number of businesses. Resources are allocated so that there are no idle machines, and utilisation rates are much higher. This means fewer machines are needed and less energy is wasted.
  • Energy efficiency – While small businesses may not be greatly affected by the energy savings they could achieve without in-house servers, large data centres would see vast energy savings with a cloud-based system. They can also buy cloud server space in larger amounts, helping the business save money and energy in the long-term.
  • Better climate control – Servers get very hot, so it is important to have a high quality cooling system, which further adds to the cost of in-house servers. Since the cloud works on a much larger scale, it can use more efficient layouts to keep servers cool.

Cloud computing also provides a number of non-IT environmental benefits. For example, it can reduce the amount of travel required by staff, as employees can access documents from anywhere with the cloud, allowing for more flexibility and a potential reduction in travel, depending on the business.

What are the benefits of being eco-friendly via the cloud?

As a business owner or manager, you may be wondering why this should matter to you. However, it’s not just about becoming more environmentally friendly.

By moving to the cloud, your resources will be pooled amongst your cloud users, allowing your systems to run at a higher capacity. This will mean that you will require less hardware and will save energy, resulting in financial savings through lower electricity bills, among others.

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To ensure that your business is as environmentally friendly as possible, ensure that your cloud service provider has implemented Green IT policies. When selecting a provider, enquire about their energy saving servers, cooling racks, and any other eco-friendly systems they have in place.

Why is it important to be an eco-friendly business?

Being environmentally friendly is arguably even more important for businesses than individuals (though we encourage you to go green outside of work, too). Reducing your carbon emissions reduces the impact you have on the environment and saves natural resources. As a business, you have a much larger carbon footprint, so even small changes can make a big impact.

Eco-friendly business practices can also bring you significant savings. If you use less electricity by switching to a cloud-based system, turning out lights when possible, and weakening the air conditioning just a tiny bit, you will have much lower utility bills. This also makes your business more sustainable, as you will be less reliable on natural resources, which will likely increase in cost over time. Don’t forget that re-using and recycling also makes a big difference and will save a lot of money in the long run.

Lastly, you can set yourself apart from competitors by showing your customers that you care about the environment and have strategies and systems in place to make a difference in our world.