THE ROLE OF THE CLOUD IN BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY
The term “Green Technology” or sustainable technology refers to the use of technology and science to reduce environmental damage.
Applying this approach to technology has many benefits. The most clear and fundamental of these is protecting the habitable conditions of our planet. It also has reputational implications for the company, while motivating employees, and fostering loyalty in customers... For many years now investors have taken sustainability issues into account.
This year, Gartner has added “IT Sustainability” to its trend report, a broader concept that also incorporates the sustainability of the company itself in the long-term, with an updated perspective on the three axes of ESG (environmental, social and governance) through technology.
Technology can be a lever of change towards a better and more sustainable world. The key is to create solutions that, in addition to creating business value, are also capable of reducing the carbon footprint. Solutions for Industry 4.0 as well as those aimed at smart cities, smart buildings or smart mobility will continue to be supported by sensorics, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the cloud, with the aim of creating more efficient but also safer factories for their workers, cities that are more livable for their citizens, with mobility solutions that are able to regulate emissions such as LEZs, while reducing traffic jams with more and better real-time data, better waste management solutions, solutions for the control and energy self-generation of buildings, intelligent solutions to improve the autonomy of our elderly in their own homes, and so much more.
Traditionally, the intensive use of technologies has been associated with an environmental setback, i.e. an increase in carbon emissions. So, what has changed so that we can now claim otherwise? Are we not making the situation worse by promoting the use of technology? Let's look at this question through the cloud, which is where computational workloads are increasingly generated and is precisely one of the main drivers of change.
The net zero commitment is a commitment that many companies have made to reduce their environmental impact. Basically, it is a commitment to strike a balance (and ultimately equalize) the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they emit and the amount that are removed from the atmosphere.
In the context of public cloud providers, net zero commitment means they are committing to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions (for example, by using renewable energy in their data centers) and offsetting emissions that cannot be completely eliminated (for example, by investing in carbon-neutral projects or purchasing carbon credits). Next, let's see the commitments of the main public clouds:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) has set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 - zero net carbon emissions across its global operations. To achieve this goal, AWS has made several commitments, such as the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency in its data centers and investing in emission reduction projects.
- Microsoft has set a goal of being carbon-negative by 2030 - that is, removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits. To achieve this goal, Microsoft has made several commitments, such as the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency in its data centers, investing in carbon capture and storage technologies, and the elimination of existing carbon emissions.
- Google has set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 - zero net carbon emissions across its global operations. To achieve this goal, Google has made several commitments, such as the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency in its data centers and investing in emission reduction projects.
This commitment from public cloud providers is an opportunity for everyone, as it allows us to reduce our own carbon footprint by choosing providers that are committed to environmental sustainability. In this sense, we can even benefit from specific tools that public clouds have made available to everyone to calculate the emissions generated by our workloads in the cloud and the savings they entail with respect to on-premise alternatives.
Therefore, the migration to the cloud is now one of the best paths that all companies can travel to strengthen our commitment to the environment and reduce our emissions.
At SEIDOR Opentrends we define the best migration path for each customer taking into account their starting situation, the number and type of legacy systems, the opportunities for application modernization… and we also implement any new development in cloud native, i.e., designed and developed specifically to be implemented and executed in the cloud.