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Public cloud adoption could help businesses cut emissions

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff)

A new report suggests businesses looking to lower their greenhouse emissions should take steps such as moving to public cloud, getting rid of useless data and buy refurbished hardware.

Recently published by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as reported by Computing, the paper argues that large cloud service providers are usually more energy-efficient, compared to traditional enterprise data centers. They are able to achieve this with better infrastructure and improved operational efficiency, as well as by using more renewable energy sources.

By removing ROT (redundant, old and trivial) data, meanwhile, firms also end up using fewer cloud resources to begin with, which makes a lot of difference to price and environmental impact. And finally, by buying refurbished and repurposed IT gear, they can minimize their energy use throughout the year.

"Even small improvements, when amplified across millions of systems, can make a big difference," BEIS said.

All these proposals are part of the UK government’s wider goal of pushing businesses further towards sustainable energy practices. The project's aim is for businesses to significantly reduce their carbon footprint by 2030.

Many large technology companies - such as Google, Apple and Microsoft - have taken major steps in this direction. Large data centers, meanwhile, now often use seawater to cool their gear and deploy advanced AI to optimize the use of energy throughout their facilities.