Could Cloud Tech Help to Redress the Balance in Climate Change?

Climate change from drought to green growth

The impact of climate change has become increasingly visible in recent years, with severe weather events, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers all threatening our planet. With the growing concerns around these issues, there are questions around the environmental impact of cloud technology: Can cloud tech help to redress the balance in climate change?

The emergence of cloud tech has completely transformed the way we store and process data and is now seen as a potential solution to help mitigate the effect of climate change.

According to a report by Greenpeace, the energy consumption of the data center industry that powers cloud technology was responsible for around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This figure is expected to increase by 1.2% in 2025, potentially tallying 3.2%. The report highlighted the fact that many data centers still depend on fossil fuels, resulting in a high carbon footprint.

Cloud technology has the potential to reduce the effects of climate change by minimizing energy usage. Cloud providers have made significant efforts to lower their carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, to leverage their data centers. Digging deeper, there’s more to how cloud tech changes the narrative of rising carbon emissions in the industry.

The Environmental Impact of Cloud Technology

On the downside, the widespread use of cloud technology has raised concerns about its impact on the environment. Cloud technology highly depends on data centers, which consume large amounts of energy to keep servers and cooling systems running. The energy consumption of data centers is evaluated to be around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to the entire aviation industry. This high energy consumption is mainly due to the need to maintain the servers and cooling systems, which run 24/7.

However, there are potential benefits of cloud technology that could help to reduce the environmental impact. One of the main benefits is the ability to share resources and reduce replication. In a conventional IT infrastructure, each organization would need to maintain its servers and resources,

leading to duplication and waste. Cloud technology allows organizations to share resources and use them more efficiently, reducing overall energy consumption.

Cloud Technology and Renewable Energy

Another potential benefit of cloud technology is its ability to facilitate the use of renewable energy. Many data centers are now powered by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, but by implementing energy-efficient practices, such as using liquid cooling or optimizing airflow, energy usage can be reduced. This transition towards renewable energy is propelled by both environmental concerns and the economic benefits of using renewable energy sources.

Cloud providers can also use artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize their energy consumption, ensuring that they are using only the amount of energy that they need. The utilization of renewable energy sources can help to reduce the carbon footprint of data centers, making cloud technology a more environmentally friendly option.

Furthermore, cloud technology can help to promote the use of renewable energy sources in other sectors. For instance, cloud-based energy management systems can help to optimize the utilization of renewable energy sources in buildings and reduce overall energy consumption.

The Role of Cloud Technology in Reducing Travel

The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined work possibilities by pacing the thrift of remote work. Considering that transportation is responsible for around 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions, cloud technology can reduce the need for commuting, cutting down on carbon emissions from transportation by enabling virtual meetings and remote working. It also minimizes the need for employees to travel to work or attend meetings. This reduction in travel can have a substantial impact on carbon emissions, particularly in the transportation sector.

Furthermore, cloud technology can support sustainable transportation by enabling carpooling and ride-sharing. By using cloud-based apps and platforms, employees can easily coordinate carpooling and ride-sharing options, reducing the number of vehicles on the road and thus reducing carbon emissions.

Enabling Circular Economy

The circular economy is an economic model that aims to lessen waste by keeping resources in use for as long as possible. Cloud technology can enable a circular economy by fostering the sharing of resources

and promoting collaboration. For instance, cloud-based file-sharing platforms can enable users to share files and collaborate on projects without the need for physical storage. This minimizes the need for physical storage devices, which are often jettisoned and end up in landfills.

Conclusion: Cloud Tech as a Game Changer

In addition to the points mentioned above, cloud technology can also help to reduce paper usage and waste. By storing documents in the cloud, businesses can reduce their reliance on physical copies, thus reducing the need for paper, ink, and other resources used in the production and disposal of paper documents. It can also help to promote food production and sustainable agriculture by using cloud-based tools to collect and analyze data on soil health, crop yields, and other factors that affect agricultural sustainability.

In conclusion, cloud technology has the potential to be a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. By enabling remote work, facilitating renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, enabling a circular economy, reducing paper usage and waste, monitoring and reducing carbon emissions, supporting sustainable transportation, and promoting sustainable agriculture and food production, cloud technology can help to create a more sustainable future for everyone.

Get the latest from our blog posts

Industrial news, infographics, case studies, guides, and more.

Transcend with Doit Security

Partner. Trust. Scale. Grow.