Cloud IT – Enabling Business To Take Green Strides To Reduce Carbon Footprints
Taking a look at our previous blogs about the benefits of cloud IT, readers will have picked up on the key theme of efficiency - of time, operations and spend. Whilst these are key factors in business success and growth, and are often hot topics in our conversations with new Pro Cloud Solutions clients, over the last few years climate impact has also become an important area of discussion.
Cloud IT really does offer a green tech solution in a number of ways, and when added to the positive effects on business stability, flexibility and growth potential, this makes a move to the cloud something that all businesses should be considering.
Reduce – The First Of The 4 Environmental R’s
Both at home and in the office, actions around recycling have been a key focus over the last decade in particular, but the first and most impactful of the 4 environmental R’s is actually reduce, coming before reuse, recycle, and recover. Insights recently shared by the Business Climate Hub detailed that in the near-term, SMEs are making efforts to cut their greenhouse gas emissions through reductions to energy consumption and waste (82%), employee education (64%), and upgrades to facilities and equipment (52%).[i]
As a key tool in delivering these reductions, moving to cloud computing helps business to reduce both energy consumption and emissions, as well as playing a major role in reducing commercial e-waste.
Reducing Energy Consumption
Traditional hardware infrastructures are high maintenance, requiring vast amounts of continuous electricity, as on-premise data centres power each machine constantly. Beyond this, they require energy-hungry cooling systems and regular maintenance cycles. In comparison, cloud computing uses shared data centres located near their source of power, and using the latest equipment - so they need less overall energy to operate. Large companies that use a cloud server typically need 60% to 70% of the space on it. But smaller companies tend to use only 5% to 10%. This means more of them can use a single data centre, and with fewer data centres needed, less overall power is needed for everyone to operate at full capacity.
At Pro Cloud Solutions, the efficiency, reliability and security of the data centres we use is of fundamental importance, but we are proud to partner with an organisation who is also championing green business practices, how they source power and purchase energy. All of their operations are powered by 100% renewable energy coming from sources like solar, wind, and hydro, and they are continuously evaluating which sites have the largest carbon footprint to identify more opportunities to reduce their emissions.
We understand that many of our clients are unable to influence the source and production of their fuel use, as they operate from shared office complexes. For a large number of firms, the ability to use cloud IT therefore not only offers a reduction in emissions, but also an element of environmental control.
Cloud data centres do produce heat, and typically, about 70% of all heat produced is wasted - waste heat that could be turned into sustainable energy. With this in mind, here at Pro Cloud Solutions we were recently delighted to read about the innovative energy research that our data centre provider has embarked on, to develop a world-first heat cooling system - designed to turn waste heat into power that drives server cooling systems. Initial results showed potential for up to a 50% reduction in electrical power consumption, and the trial received the “Best Use of Emerging Technology” honour from the Digital City Awards in March 2022 for the significant impact the programme could have on the carbon footprint of the data centre industry.
According to the Environment Agency, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, and IT overconsumption and its shortened lifespan have led to rapid growth in the numbers of unwanted or obsolete tech equipment. In 2000, the average lifespan of a computer was 4.5 years. By 2015 it was down to 2 years.
New IT hardware with deemed or real advantages are certainly a trigger, however, it is a sad fact that the major cause of new business IT infrastructure spend comes from a perceived lack of reliability, and frustrations with poor connectivity and efficiency.
Using Pro Cloud Solutions’ innovative Cloud IT and Hosted Desktop service negates the need for costly, and potentially environmentally harmful on-site infrastructure overhauls. See our blog here for more details: https://www.procloudsolutions.co.uk/post/cut-through-the-cloud-vs-on-premise-confusion-with-pro-cloud-solutions
MD Simon Waugh: “At Pro Cloud Solutions we are always delighted to see the positive impact that our services provide, and to see the support we offer as a real enabler of change. When we are also able to see this having a lasting impact on the carbon footprint of our clients, this success has an even greater depth”
More Flexibility, Less Travel Impact
Beyond energy and waste, Cloud IT offers the flexibility and reliability needed for businesses to reduce the travel impact of their team. In Britain, transport is the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gas emissions, producing 27% of the UK’s total emissions[ii] and so logically, reducing office commutes - as well as encouraging electric, pedal and pedestrian work journeys - forms a major part of business carbon reduction plans.
Using Pro Cloud Solutions’ innovative Cloud IT and Hosted Desktop service means that you and your team have the flexibility to work from any location: at home, at the office, or indeed anywhere in the world – all that is needed is an internet connection. Adding to the simplicity, our service works seamlessly across all devices, so it makes no difference whether you are logging in using Windows, Android, Apple or Linux.
We understand how important it is for all your team to have company information, inbox and project files at their fingertips, so we ensure that wherever they are, using whatever device, our Hosted Desktop gives everyone consistent and speedy access to all of the systems and applications they need in order to work effectively.
More Efficiency, Less Reliance On Paper
Recent YouGov research found that:
80% of UK organisations are printing documents just to get them signed
The average UK office worker prints off over 500 sheets of paper per month
More than half of all office print outs are to ‘make finding files easier’ [iii]
As well as the environmental impact of eliminating paper from the office, going electronic also offers the potential of rethinking workflows like these to save even more time.
At Pro Cloud Solutions we know that much of the work our clients undertake is team and project based – using our service makes sure that remote working doesn’t have to mean operating in isolation. With efficient cloud access, coupled with our fit for purpose office management systems, you and your team have the latest suite of Microsoft applications readily available, allowing document creation, file sharing and easy access to Teams when conversations are key.
Going Green with Pro Cloud Solutions
In conclusion, there is a real determination amongst businesses of all sizes to reduce their environmental footprint by scrutinising in-house processes and operations, as well as casting a keen eye on their supply chain. Moving to Cloud IT has a positive green impact for business in many ways that firms may not have previously considered, and working with Pro Cloud Solutions ensures that companies have a green focused IT partner - offering expertise, support and advice.