Scientists estimate that IT accounts for as much CO2 released into the atmosphere as the global air travel industry. Each of these industries churns out about two percent of worldwide CO2 emissions.

IT services and hardware have become a top sustainability priority for most companies, but many are still unaware of the efficiency of data storage in terms of sustainability and carbon footprint.

At the beginning of 2020, the number of bytes in the digital universe was 40 times bigger than the number of stars in the observable universe. By 2025, the world will have generated around 175 zettabytes of data and with this growth will only rise the demand for data storage.

In addition to the technological and financial benefits of cloud computing, there are impactful environmental benefits, too. Cloud computing is not just a ‘technological thing,’ it has a noteworthy impact on the natural environment – it reduces energy consumption, waste, and carbon emissions. 

The Sustainable Advantages of Moving From an Onsite Owned Server to the Cloud:

Reduced energy use:

It takes a significant power supply to operate an on-site data centre. It needs a constant power supply for the server, a cooling system to avoid overheating, and when the equipment lifecycle ends, they have to be disposed of; which only adds to e-waste. Transitioning commonly used software applications to the cloud would cut energy use by as much as 87%.

Decreased greenhouse gas emissions:

A traditional on-site data centre produces greenhouse gas throughout its life cycle through producing raw materials for the equipment, assembling the equipment, transporting the equipment to the on-site data centres, using the equipment and disposing of the equipment when its lifecycle ends. Offsite services can reduce annual carbon emissions by as much as 85.7 million metric tons. In 2010, Salesforce reduced their carbon footprint by 170,900 tons of carbon – that’s equivalent to eliminating 37,000 cars on the road!


Dematerialisation refers to the replacement of high-carbon physical products with virtual equivalents. Think of things like DocuSign replacing the need to print out a document and physically sign it. Migrating to the cloud means that fewer machines and hardware are used and replaced with software that uses less energy and has a lower impact on the environment. Consequently, companies have lower energy bills and freed up capital to allocate to profitable projects.

Data centre efficiency:

Cloud computing is based on the concept of sharing services hence maximising resource effectiveness. Cloud computing operates with greater efficiency than on-premises data centres; which results in efficient use of IT resources that have a positive outcome for the environment.

Shift to renewable energy sources: 

Some cloud data centres have shifted to renewable sources of energy to power their operations and further reduce their carbon footprint. They are using renewable sources of energy such as solar, geothermal, hydropower resources, and wind. 

Cloud computing offers businesses more than just a way to safely store data, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. It has substantial environmental benefits that are too many to ignore in an era where global warming and climate change are pressing issues. 

What Makes A Cloud Provider Green?

There are several important factors that comprise a green cloud provider. It’s important to keep these considerations in mind when evaluating how green a cloud provider is:

Environmental practices and policies of the cloud service providers:

It’s an advantage to have a good understanding of your provider’s systems, policies, and procedures for their data centre to improve sustainability performance, meet legal requirements and achieve continual improvement across the organisation and supply chain.

Power sources for data centres:

A cloud data centre consumes a lot of energy. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower play a vital role in generating electricity while reducing GHG emissions significantly when compared to carbon-based power generation methods. Gauge how the provider runs its data centres and their usage of renewable energy to better understand the providers sustainability efforts.

Data centre facility management and equipment

The delivery of cloud services depends on the equipment and the facility that houses it. Look for sustainable procurement strategies, responsible end-of-life disposal of hardware, measuring efficiency metrics like performance utilisation effectiveness, and water utilisation efficiency. These aspects measured against established efficiency goals will provide a clear understanding of your cloud provider’s sustainability capabilities.

GlueData Can Help Your Company Smoothly Migrate Data to The Cloud

Without a properly defined data migration process, a project can easily spiral out of control, incurring significant unforeseen costs and operational challenges.

When it comes to migrating SAP systems, we believe that proper planning and understanding are key to ensuring preservation of your existing data, and limited interruption to your business. At GlueData, we’re breaking the trend of migration projects running over time and budget, with subsequent data quality issues that frustrate clients and compromise business continuity.

Our deep experience in this field combined with our in-house accelerators allow us to deliver SAP migration projects of all sizes, across multiple industries, in record time. Our global team of experienced consultants are SAP-certified experts, and our methodology aligns with SAP’s Activate Implementation Methodology.

We’ve pioneered a unique process using our own tools, methodologies, and SAP architectural landscape knowledge to bring a high level of maturity in the ETL (extract, transform load) data migration process.

Work with us to smoothly (and sustainably) migrate to the “green” cloud.