With the world population now hovering around 7 billion and the increased strain put on the environment by developing nations such as India and China, the need for environmentally friendly business practices is more important than ever. Although the United States still has much to do to improve its reputation in this area – per capita, the United States trails only a few nations in energy consumption, all of which have much smaller population sizes – individual business owners can do their part, starting today.
If you own or operate a business and are interested in reducing your company’s environmental impact, consider cloud communications solutions. Storing data and information in the cloud can help you minimize your carbon footprint by taking advantage of shared resources. Think of it this way: Why dedicate your own resources to solve a problem when you can call upon pre-existing resources? That is just one of the many promises of working in the cloud.
Cloud computing: Global reach with (nearly) zero footprint
Admittedly, pinpointing the exact degree to which cloud computing can reduce your carbon footprint is difficult to do, if not impossible. This is partially due to the fact that every company’s needs are different. That being said, the general consensus is in, and it states clearly: using the cloud can save energy costs and reduce CO2 emissions.
By how much though? Well, the predictions vary, but the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), a nonprofit group that measures, tracks and analyzes corporate climate change information, estimates that cloud computing could save large U.S. corporate entities up to $12.3 billion in energy costs annually through 2020, and reduce CO2 emissions by 85.7 million metric tons per annum. Even if these figures are optimistic by half, the benefits of such an approach are clear.
A number of reasons help contribute to this low environmental impact. In general, cloud computing is a more sustainable approach to data storage than doing so locally because it calls upon a shared, centralized network. By consolidating storage into a central hub, you eliminate the need for individual devices, such as hard drives and computers. And this means that those devices no longer have to be manufactured, powered, cooled or maintained. In summation, centralization leads to energy conservation. It really is that simple.
Make the change today to save tomorrow
If you are interested in pursuing cloud computing as a solution for a data storage problem, you have options. Whether you simply require external storage or are looking for servers to support an online presence, you don’t have to rely upon your own hardware. Companies like Dropbox, Box, Amazon, Google and a number of individual hosting companies all offer cloud computing services. Simply do your research and choose the provider that best suits your needs and budget.
Ultimately, making such a change will reap your company not only financial rewards, but moral benefits as well. We all must do our part to conserve natural resources and reduce our impact on the environment – why not start here?