One of the biggest challenges the world is facing is dealing with the emission of greenhouse gases from our daily activities. This continued emission has led to a 1oC rise in the global average temperatures since the pre-industrial times, and it continues to rise at an alarming pace.
Unfortunately, the ICT sector is one of the most significant contributors to this problem for various reasons. Firstly, the unconstrained mining of rare metals to build computer components cause severe environmental harm, especially in third-world countries. There is also pollution from the use of batteries and other forms of waste that this industry releases in epic proportions.
As a result, most computer components end up in landfills, with very few being recycled.
Secondly, computers require a massive amount of energy and release lots of CO2 into the environment. For instance, every online search generates about 0.2 grams of CO2 emissions, according to Google. That is about the amount of energy required to power a lightbulb for up to 17 seconds, and the energy may even be higher in other estimates. Also, for every hour a user spends watching an online video, 36g of CO2 is released into the atmosphere.
Lastly, if a person uses a smartphone for an hour every day for a year, they would be releasing 1.25 tonnes of CO2 – that is about four domestic flights for a country with an average size. Yet these smartphones are used for almost 24hours in a day all year round.
When one considers all of these factors and the billions of people using mobile phones worldwide, streaming videos, and performing online searching, the proportion of the damage becomes mighty. That is how much carbon footprint the ICT sector has, emitting far more CO2 than the aviation sector. And this proves that cloud computing is a need than a wish.
How the Cloud can save the earth
Companies that use physical servers within their office wastes enormous amounts of energy, carbon emissions, and money. This is because servers constantly run but are not used to their full potential.
According to a Microsoft report, Microsoft Cloud significantly reduces carbon and energy emissions compared to on-premise data centres. This gives up to 93% more energy efficiency and 98% carbon efficiency due to extensive investment in infrastructure, IT efficiency, and renewable energy.
Here are some ways that Cloud can save the planet
1. Reduces energy consumption
The traditional data servers take up a large amount of electricity, power, and cooling. Moving the business to the cloud and pooling resources from the data centre lowers energy consumption. It also reduces the wasteful use of materials, space and cuts off carbon emissions. For example, a business moving their basic software programs like CRM, email, and the likes to the Cloud can cut down on the total energy consumed by these applications by as much as 87%.
2. Lower cooling/heating costs
It’s crucial to control the server room’s temperature, especially during the summer when it is hot. Making a move to Cloud will significantly reduce the costs of this. The servers will not produce a similar amount of heat, causing the AC to cool the server consistently in your office.
3. Faster refresh speed
Conventional servers are mostly used for an extended period before they are upgraded or replaced because of the time and high cost of upgrading. However, the hardware within a public cloud most likely has a far high utilization rate than the traditional servers, so it is also likely to have a short lifecycle, leading to faster refresh time.
Also, it’s more cost-efficient to upgrade public cloud servers regularly because there is better energy efficiency with each new technology introduced. So, very energy-efficient hardware allows the public cloud provider to save more money, and in the long run, it will lead to a drastic reduction in energy usage.
4. Reduced carbon footprint
CO2 emission is a big problem today, and the Cloud helps solve this problem to a large extent. In addition, the Cloud has a potentially massive impact on CO2 emission as it gives companies the ability to cut down on their energy consumption significantly.
5. Flexible work location
When a business uses the Cloud, it becomes possible for personnel to access anything they need at any time. From applications to file storage, the business’ data is at the fingertip. This gives the employees the flexibility that they need to be successful working remotely from anywhere in the world. It eliminates the need to be present at an office space before work can commence. This reduces heating and cooling costs, electricity costs, and carbon emissions from commuting.
Cloud computing is easily the planet’s saviour for many of the reasons mentioned in this article – with a significant reduction in energy consumption and carbon emission being the key factors.
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