What are the Sustainability Benefits of the Cloud?

Sustainability is becoming more and more important to all kinds of businesses across many different sectors. There are lots of ways in which a business can become more sustainable – primarily, they can achieve this by managing their carbon footprint, and their energy consumption.

A business’ carbon footprint defines the amount of carbon emissions they produce, either directly or indirectly. Carbon emissions are a major issue in terms of climate change – so how can businesses start to reduce their own footprint?

Technology has been a huge driver of innovation around sustainability, and helping businesses manage their environmental impact in an intelligent way. One technology that has been around for a long time, but which is highly sustainable, is Cloud Computing.

Reduces Energy Usage

The Cloud eliminates the need for on-site data centers – aka arrays of servers that hold all of a company’s resources on them. Data-centers are very energy intensive technologies. We’ve seen how even companies providing IT Support for Financial Services take their energy consumption into account. Not only do they need to remain on 24/7, thus requiring a constant energy supply, but because they generate so much heat, but also need to have a powerful cooling system which will also eat up a lot of energy.

While the Cloud also requires the use of datacenters (due to their size, they are often known as hyperscale datacenters) the energy consumption associated to a cloud datacenter has repeatedly been found to be much lower – the same amount of data stored in a hyperscale cloud datacenter would consume less energy than if it were stored in an on-site datacenter.

Reduces Greenhouse Gases

Throughout the lifecycle of an on-site datacenter, greenhouse gases (GHG) are emitted. For example, producing the raw materials to built servers emits GHG. Assembling the equipment also emits GHG, as does transporting it to a business’ site. Even disposing of the equipment when it is no longer usable will emit GHG. You can speak to your IT Support, if you’re in London or the UK then speak to a Managed Services Provider London businesses trust to help you with your assessment.

Cloud data centers are much more future proof, and are generally built for redundancy – meaning that usage will almost never outstrip its capacity, therefore upgrades are less frequent and the lifecycle of the hardware within a Cloud datacenter is much, much longer. There are many IT Support Services Solutions which take this kind of working into consideration and how to help teams with support for cloud based options. Being able to eliminate the lifecycle of a traditional on-site datacenter, in favor of the Cloud, will result in a huge reduction in GHG emissions.


Businesses using on-site server hosting will have to contend with a lot of materials throughout the lifecycle of the hardware. Once again, physical hardware is associated with GHG emissions from construction, transportation, and disposal.

Cloud Computing enables businesses to virtualize a large amount of their infrastructure. Servers can now be virtualized and stored in the Cloud, and connecting users through Cloud services can also facilitate remote and hybrid working, which could reduce the carbon footprint associated with employees commuting to and from work. What is more, Cloud computing can help businesses go paperless. The lifecycle of paper is very energy intensive, no to mention the effect of cutting down trees. By going paperless, and reducing their demand for paper, businesses can help to eventually reduce paper consumption across the world.

This idea of eliminating the need for physical materials in favor of Cloud-based resources is known as dematerialization, and can have a great effect on a business’ carbon footprint.