Hyperscaler carbon emissions to drive cloud purchase decisions by 2025 — Gartner

Gartner has predicted that carbon emissions from hyperscalers will be a top three criterion in cloud purchase decisions by 2025

According to Gartner, over 90% of companies increased investments in sustainability programs since the start of the pandemic, compared to 2017, as attention to ESG grew.

“Leading providers of cloud infrastructure and platform services are increasingly focusing on how they can disrupt higher-level business, compliance, societal and environmental issues,” said Ed Anderson, distinguished research vice-president at Gartner.

“Hyperscalers are aggressively investing in sustainable cloud operations and delivery, aspiring to eventually achieve net zero emissions within the decade, or sooner. Gartner expects increased availability of tools that help organisations calculate and reduce their carbon emissions through effective use of cloud services, like tools that assist in optimising cloud spending today.”

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Environmental impact of hyperscalers

Research shows that the top 10 largest cloud providers (by revenue) accounted for 70% of all IT spending on cloud infrastructure, platform and application services.

Going forward, Gartner forecasts that cloud sustainability initiatives will start with the leading cloud providers, which are among the world’s largest data centre operators, and critical to reducing IT-related carbon emissions.

Anderson continued: “While essentially all cloud providers have sustainability initiatives in place, their progress in meeting carbon reduction goals and strategies for achieving net zero carbon emissions varies wildly.

“Sustainability metrics and workload placement tools are still immature and not always transparent, making it difficult for organisations to fully and accurately assess true sustainability impacts of their cloud usage today.

“As stakeholders continue to push organisations to improve their sustainability posture, the more progressive providers will share their sustainability information publicly. Increasingly, stakeholder pressure will prompt them to include it in company disclosures, compliance and reporting.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.