The Microsoft cloud is good for business

Microsoft Cloud Carbon Footprint


You already know the compelling reasons to move to the Microsoft cloud: cut costs, make users more productive, add more IT value. But there’s another great reason: it’s better for the planet. Moving to Office 365 can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 90%.

Your data is dirty

According to the latest Greenpeace report, IT consumes 7% of the world’s electricity. And it accounts for 2% of all global carbon emissions. To put this in perspective, that’s roughly the same as the aviation sector. Which means all of our data flying around in email and on servers is as good for the planet as a fleet of 747’s. Ouch.

The cloud is cleaner

So what can IT do to help reduce this carbon footprint? When you move to the cloud, you’re taking a step in the right direction. You’re moving off your own physical servers and onto shared servers that are more efficient and well on their way to being powered by renewable energy. For example, Microsoft is working hard to make the data centers that power Office 365 even more green. They’ve committed to 50% renewable energy by 2018 and 60% a couple of years after that.

By moving to Office 365, you can:

  • Reduce your energy use (less onsite hardware)
  • Hold more online meetings (reduce business travel)
  • Let employees work better from home (less commuting)

How it works

But do these shared servers truly translate to a reduced carbon footprint? Microsoft commissioned a study to take a look. It found that, by moving to Office 365, you could reduce your carbon emissions by anywhere from 30% to a whopping 90%. It all depends on the size of your organization:

  • Small orgs with 100 users reduced by 90%
  • Medium orgs with 1,000 users reduced from 60-90%
  • Large orgs with 10,000 users reduced from 30-60%

These energy savings have a big impact on your carbon footprint. As an example, if everyone in the U.S. who’s currently running Microsoft Exchange onsite were to move to Office 365, it would be like removing 100,000 cars from the road. And that’s for a single business application for about a third of the U.S. workforce. Just think of what we could do if we moved over all applications for the whole workforce.

It gets better

Plus, we’ll keep improving the cloud’s efficiency over time. As more people move to the Microsoft cloud, cloud providers will get better and better at predicting and filling the demand. Which means even less down time (read: less wasted energy) for physical servers.

So if you’ve already made the leap to Office 365 (or are well on your way), this is yet another reason to feel good about your decision.

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