Indian organisations can cut carbon emissions by up to 80% by moving to the cloud: Report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 04, 2021

Amazon Web Services announced the findings of the ‘carbon reduction opportunity of moving to the cloud’

Indian companies and public sector organisations that have migrated computing workloads from on-premises data centres to cloud infrastructure could expect to reduce their energy use and associated carbon footprint by nearly 80 per cent, according to a new report.

Amazon Web Services announced findings of the Carbon Reduction Opportunity of Moving to the Cloud for APAC report by 451 Research, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The report found organisations that have moved certain workloads to the cloud can reduce their carbon footprint significantly. 451 Research estimated that if 25 per cent of the 1,200 largest publicly traded businesses in India put one megawatt (MW) of compute workload into the cloud, powered by renewable energy, it would save the equivalent of a year’s worth of emissions from 1,60,000 Indian households.

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“Cloud technology can credibly help companies in India decarbonise,” said Puneet Chandok, President Commercial Business – AWS India and South Asia, AISPL.

“With India’s vibrant start-up ecosystem already pioneering low carbon solutions, it is imperative that enterprises, public sector organisations, and policymakers factor in sustainability as a critical part of their cloud migration decisions. AWS’s commitment to fulfilling our net carbon neutrality goals in India includes initiatives in infrastructure efficiency, renewable energy, water sustainability, electric mobility, sustainable packaging, and building awareness through community engagement. I invite companies and organisations in India to join us in the climate pledge, committing to regular reporting, carbon elimination and credible offsets, on a journey to becoming net-zero carbon by 2040,” said Chandok.

“As data centre activity continues to surge in India, so will energy consumption, which will make energy efficiency a focal point in the market,” said Kelly Morgan, Research Director, Data center Infrastructure & Services at 451 Research of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“In our study, the server-level efficiencies of Indian organisations exceeded their peers in other surveyed APAC countries as a result of higher rates of virtualisation and a more aggressive stance towards workload consolidation. Indian organisations drive their systems somewhat harder, and their server infrastructure is among the youngest on average in APAC. However, much of this is offset by inefficiencies at the facility level. Cloud providers like AWS are driven to make all parts of their infrastructure work in sync to increase efficiency, from design to operations, to lower costs and provide IT services at scale. Furthermore, the lack of accessible and affordable corporate renewable energy options leaves a significant amount of carbon reduction potential on the table,” added Morgan.

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According to the report, the energy efficiency gains of cloud data centres were based on their use of the latest, most energy-efficient servers, which typically run at higher utilisation rates than on-premises data centres. These two factors combined led cloud data centres to use 67.4 per cent less energy.

APAC enterprises utilised under 15 per cent of servers on average. Cloud operators utilise servers well above 50 per cent. The research further found that facility-level energy efficiency gains at cloud data centres, including the use of advanced power distribution systems and cooling technology, provided an additional 11.4 per cent of energy savings.

“Cloud data centres perform the same workloads with five times more energy efficiency than APAC enterprises and public sector organisations,” the report said.

Amazon’s efforts

Amazon further highlighted its own sustainability efforts in the country and said that AWS server systems were designed for power optimisation and use the latest component technology.

On electric mobility, Amazon India has committed to include 10,000 electric vehicles in its delivery fleet by 2025, it said. It has also introduced several sustainable packaging efforts over the last year including India-first initiatives like Packaging-Free Shipping (PFS) and the elimination of 100 per cent single-use plastic in packaging from fulfilment centres.

It is also planning to further implement ultra-low flow water fixtures for all buildings to reduce water consumption.

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Ken Haig, Head of Energy Policy, Asia Pacific and Japan, AWS said, “Apart from maximising the efficiency of our operations to reduce the amount of energy needed to power our data centres, we’re also working towards procuring 100 per cent renewable energy for our worldwide energy needs by 2030 and are on a path to reach that milestone early by 2025.”

“APAC energy markets remain among the most challenging in the world for businesses seeking to source 100 per cent renewable energy, but we continue to collaborate with private and public organisations to overcome these barriers and invest in more projects in the region. At AWS, we are also working closely with customers to help them meet their own sustainability goals using cloud technology and driving innovation in low carbon solutions,” Haig said.

451 Research surveyed more than 500 private and public sector organisations across Asia Pacific (APAC), spanning a variety of industries across Australia, India, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. The report, commissioned by AWS, includes over 100 survey respondents in India.

Published on August 04, 2021

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