Today’s blog is all about green Cloud computing. The environment is a major hot-button issue in the world, and there are several important figures who are taking a strong stance on reducing carbon footprints, banning plastics, providing clear drinking water to those in need, and slowing climate change in other ways.

Microsoft and Google are two examples of major ICT companies that have made committed efforts to becoming more eco-conscious. Microsoft has reduced their company carbon emissions by 9.5 metric tons, recycled nearly 10 million kilograms of consumer eWaste, and purchased over 500 megawatts of new wind and solar energy. In fact, Microsoft recently announced that they’re leveraging submarine technology to test an underwater datacentre, with the intent of taking advantage of renewable marine energy, and also to eliminate the need to cool the equipment.

Google has maintained a carbon-neutral status for the last 10 years, diverted 86% of their waste from their global data centre away from landfills, refurbished 22% of the components they used for machine upgrades, and reached 100% renewable energy for all their global operations.

One of the ways that organizations can participate in environmental initiatives is green Cloud computing – switching to Cloud to take advantage of the environmental benefits of doing so. Join us as we look at the environmental impact of green Cloud computing, including three ways that green Cloud computing helps the environment.

 

The Environmental Impact of Green Cloud Computing

Green Cloud computing refers to the environmental benefits of switching your IT services to the Cloud (i.e. Internet) in your organization.

Back in 2010, Pike Research, a cleantech marketing company, predicted that global electricity consumption would see a 31% drop by the year 2020, indicating a substantial energy-efficiency benefit to green Cloud computing.

Research has suggested that, if a larger organization switches even one of their major applications (like their HR system) to the Cloud, they could save an average of 30,000 metric tons of CO2 within 5 years, which is the equivalent of getting almost 6,000 cars off the road. When you think about it, that’s a huge environmental impact.

 

3 Ways Green Cloud Computing Helps the Environment

To illustrate the environmental impact of implementing green Cloud computing in your organization, here are 3 major ways that green Cloud computing helps the environment:

1. Energy Conservation Through Green Cloud Computing

Back in 2013, Google funded a project to measure the energy use and carbon footprint of Cloud computing, which indicated that, if organizations switched their most common software programs (like email, spreadsheets, and CRM systems) to Cloud, they could reduce their total energy consumption by 87%.

Few people truly understand just how much energy it takes to run a local (on-premise) server. You need to maintain a constant power supply to your servers, make sure you have a cooling system in place so they’re not overheating, and when they reach end-of-life, you need to dispose of them. By moving to the Cloud, however, you can pool your resources and reduce the amount of hardware you need on-premise, which results in a reduction of power consumption and a decrease in your energy bill.

2. Remote Workers Decrease Your Environmental Footprint

When we talk to organizations about Cloud computing, one of the biggest benefits we mention is the ability for their employees to work from anywhere, anytime, and using any device. This flexibility is usually touted because of the increase in productivity that comes with it, but there’s also a huge environmental component to allowing more remote workers in your organization.

Remote workers don’t have a daily commute, which cuts down on fuel emissions that are released into the atmosphere from the number of cars on the road (and, let’s face it, often stuck in traffic). Also, having remote workers allows you to cut down on your real estate footprint. You can get away with a much smaller office space, which means consuming less energy for ‘heat and hydro’ than running a full-size shop.

3. Green Cloud Computing Helps You Go Paperless

The Cloud offers a secure place where you can store your data. Storing your files to the Cloud has many advantages, like being able to access your content anytime (so long as you have an Internet connection), or the added back-up features that means your data won’t be wiped out if something happens to your hard drive (or your server room).

However, green Cloud computing has allowed several organizations to go paperless. With the introduction of Cloud storage options like SharePoint, OneDrive, DropBox, or Google Drive, going paperless has reached a whole new level of functionality for organizations out there. And, by also introducing secure Cloud-based technology like Adobe Sign and DocuSign, you no longer need to print documents, either. Green Cloud computing tools like these ones allow you to send, sign, and store contracts and legal documents with just a few clicks of the mouse.

This eliminates the need for your organization to purchase paper products. Further, when those documents are no longer needed, you can just delete them from whatever Cloud-based storage you’re using. This means you can cut down on the need to recycle, shred, incinerate, or dispose of your documents in another way, all of which can have a negative impact on the environment.

Of course, if you’re going to go paperless, we recommend that you start with a good Content Management and Content Governance System. Check out this blog for best practices and tips when implementing a Content Management System in your organization.

 

Make the Green Cloud Computing Commitment – Switch to Cloud Today!

Although this blog only discusses the environmental benefits of green Cloud computing, there are many other benefits to implementing Cloud in your organization. Not sure of how to get started? Talk to us! ProServeIT has been helping people switch to the Cloud for over 15 years. Our team of experts will work with you to discuss all your options, and help you select the right Cloud solution for your organization. Get started today by checking out our Office 365 Email Pilot migration program and move your first 50 mailboxes from your existing on-premise environment to the Cloud.