With environmental sustainability taking on an increasingly larger focus for corporate decision-making, corporate research firm Gartner says among the three emerging sustainability technologies to reach mainstream adoption by 2025, cloud sustainability is a promising candidate.
Gartner defines cloud sustainability as the use of cloud services to achieve sustainability benefits within economic, environmental and social systems. This includes the sustainable operation and delivery of cloud services by a cloud service provider and the sustainable consumption and use of cloud services.
Public cloud services offer “great sustainability potential with their ability to centralize IT operations and operate at scale using a shared service model, resulting in greater computing efficiency,” says Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner. She adds that they have a unique ability to invest in sustainability capabilities like moving cloud data centers to be physically located near renewable energy sources.
Gartner expects that over the next three years, cloud providers will face increasing pressure for a transparent climate strategy. It also suggests that by 2025, the carbon emissions of hyperscale cloud services will be a top three criterion in cloud purchase decisions.
Hyperscale cloud providers and digital infrastructure customers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Meta, and Microsoft announced an agreement with 70 other digital infrastructure providers brokered by iMasons to reach carbon neutrality. Research suggests that digital infrastructure will have a greater role in greenhouse gas emissions due to ever-growing demand for internet services powered by non-renewable electricity, thus requiring cloud providers to decarbonize.
Gartner also lists carbon footprint measurement and advanced grid management software as the other two sustainability technologies. Both have connections to the edge computing industry, as an Omdia survey suggested that data centers can help the electric grid with sustainable energy, and Aligned Data Centers integrated OriginMark, a material traceability system that accelerates supply chain decarbonization and circular asset management.
AWS | data center | ESG | Gartner | Google | Microsoft | power management | sustainability