Companies are increasingly using cloud (hosting) services facilitated by external data centres to store their company data, and to run their websites and -shops. The amount of electricity needed to run these data centres is enormous! Actually, it has been said that the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from data centres exceeds the emissions from flying. And due to Covid-19, with more online meetings and more web shop use, this is even further enhanced! In most western countries the internet traffic has increased with 20% and simply turning off your camera during virtual meetings is a good idea, an environmental study says.
Worldwide, it is estimated that data centers consume about 3 percent of the global electric supply and account for about 2 percent of total GHG emissions. That’s about the same as the entire airline industry. Alarming news this figure will increase to 5-7% of the global emissions has been seen during the pandemic. That data centers play key role in reducing GHG emissions, need to turn to clean energy sources and dramatically improve energy efficiency, is a no brainer. A lot of positove initiatives are seen, but what this mean under the line is not that clear.
And question.. can you help?
We see our clients want to take increasingly responsibility for their climate impact for the services of their data storage providers. So, we have started to investigate the climate impact, but it isn’t easy. So far we have come to an average of 36 g CO2eq per MB. However, we come across lack of information-sharing by datacenters, storage providers, but also we encounter a myriad of information sources and different interpretations. We concluded that we need your help to come to a more accurate result. So, please share your ideas, suggestions and reliable sources!
Finally, we dare you to make a quick calculation yourself – what is your best guestimate of the emissions caused by your data storage?