How Cloud Providers Aim To Go Green In 2021

Continued adoption of cloud computing can prevent carbon dioxide emission by more than one million metric tons between 2021 and 2024.
Cloud providers, Net Zero

Experts and researchers worldwide cannot help but accept that climate change is real, and it is high time that we take action to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the continued adoption of cloud computing can prevent more than one billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions between 2021 and 2024. 

Cloud providers across the globe have been helping client companies make the green shift and change the world for the better. Replacing high-footprint resources with low-footprint ones include shifting from manually inputting data into sheets to set up the seamless flow of data connectors — automated, real-time data — and finally analysing the data to produce actionable insight. 

Realising this urgent need, tech and cloud providers have been increasingly tilting towards eco-friendly operations and launching initiatives to go green. Here’s a list of tech companies that adopted green initiatives in recent years:  

Amazon Sustainability

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is fixed on efficiency and innovation. By 2025, it prepares to power its operations with 100 per cent renewable energy. It claims to have energy efficiency as the primary goal of its global infrastructure. 

Back in 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge. As a part of its sustainability mission, Amazon aims to be the world’s most customer-centric company. It is driving toward net-zero carbon emissions across operations by 2024. The tech giant purchases and retires environmental attributes such as renewable energy credits and guarantees of origin to cover non-renewable energy in the US, Europe, and Canada. 

In June this year, Amazon announced the launch of 14 utility-scale wind and solar energy projects across North America and Europe, making the tech giant the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the US. In addition, according to a study by 451 Research, AWS’s infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy-efficient than the media of US enterprises’ data centres surveyed in the study.

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability 

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability helps companies measure, understand and take charge of their carbon footprint, set sustainability goals and take the required actions. It offers companies a set of rules to control environmental initiatives and offer automated insights to accelerate the sustainability journey. In short, it allows organisations to record, report, reduce and replace their emissions effectively. 

Companies will be able to leverage Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability to achieve the following: 

  • As a part of their departmental environmental footprint, CIOs will be able to report IT carbon emissions from devices, applications and the cloud. 
  • Offer their customers a sustainability scorecard to track progress against carbon emission reduction targets. 
  • Point to specific emission areas and track emission reduction goals.

Google’s round-the-clock clean energy

In 2017, Google claimed to become the first major company to go carbon neutral. However, the tech giant’s ultimate mission is to run carbon-free energy, round the clock, at all its data centres by 2030. According to its website, Google Cloud uses 100 per cent renewable energy for all its cloud regions; it diverts 90 per cent of waste from landfills; its Power Usage Effectiveness or PUE is 1.1, and it claims to be 2x more efficient than enterprise data centres. 

Additionally, Google is sharing technologies, methodology and funding to enable other organisations across the globe to transition to carbon-free and sustainable systems. It has launched a carbon-free energy score for companies to check and measure locations that allow lower carbon emissions. 

Salesforce Sustainability Cloud 2.0

Earlier this month, Salesforce announced that it has transformed into a Net Zero company across its value chain to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy for its operations. Moreover, the company has also launched its Sustainability Cloud 2.0 to further accelerate customers’ path towards sustainability and Net Zero and help organisations track and reduce their carbon emissions. Its latest innovation includes Slack-First Sustainability that enables better collaboration with suppliers, industry-specific climate action plans and a carbon offset ecosystem. 

Salesforce has also partnered with Global Citizen and to push additional funds to plant 30 million trees this year, with the mission of funding the plantation of 100 million trees by 2030. 


Earlier this year, IBM announced that it would be able to achieve net zero by 2030. IBM plans to reduce its emissions, accelerate energy-efficient efforts, and increase clean energy use across the 175 countries that it operates in. 

Further diving into the details, IBM revealed that it aims to reduce GHG emissions by 65 per cent by 2025 (against the base year 2010); procure 75 per cent of its electricity for consumption from renewable sources by 2025, and take that to 90 per cent by 2030; use technologies like carbon capture, to remove emissions in an amount equivalent to or more than IBM’s residual emissions in or by 2030. 

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Debolina Biswas
After diving deep into the Indian startup ecosystem, Debolina is now a Technology Journalist. When not writing, she is found reading or playing with paint brushes and palette knives. She can be reached at

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