The government has urged UK businesses to accelerate the pace of cloud migration, to help curb their carbon emissions in drive for Net Zero.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which issued the guidance, also recently released its own series of recommendations for businesses across the country, to help support the UK’s net-zero emissions campaign against climate change.

The proposals are part of a wider push by the government to encourage businesses to take effective measures to reduce their carbon footprint by 2030.

BEIS is also supporting the UK Business Climate Hub Initiative, which asks participants to become net zero entities by 2050.

‘Net-zero means that you are putting no more carbon into the atmosphere than you are taking out of it,’ reads the campaign announcement.

‘Through the government’s United Nations-backed commitment process, you’re joining an international community of thousands of like-minded businesses.’

BEIS says companies should consider moving their IT infrastructure to the public cloud – rather than continuing to house it within their own private data centres.

Large cloud service providers are generally more energy efficient than traditional enterprise datacentres, due to their infrastructure and IT operational efficiency. They also tend to use more green energy.

BEIS also urged UK firms to audit their data stored on-premise, and to delete obsolete, trivial or redundant data that is no longer needed. They can also consider buying recycled and repurposed IT equipment, processed through an accredited IT asset disposition partner; and make software-level changes to minimise energy use.

‘Even small improvements, when amplified across millions of systems, can make a big difference,’ says BEIS.

Many tech firms have signed key declarations to combat climate change in recent years.

For example Amazon, Microsoft and Google – the world’s largest public cloud providers – have promised to use more renewable energy to power their data centres.

In 2019, Amazon pledged to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2040, a decade before the Paris Accord target for net zero emissions.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in April that five of the company’s data centre sites – in Finland, Denmark, Oklahoma, Oregon and Iowa – now operate at or near 90 per cent carbon-free energy.

Google has also revealed plans this year to shift ‘movable’ compute workloads to different data centres, based on the availability of renewable energy, and for customers to choose cloud regions based on carbon emissions.

Microsoft said in 2020 that it had successfully used hydrogen fuel cells to power a data centre for two consecutive days.

In January, 25 companies and 17 trade associations operating in European data centre and cloud infrastructure industry signed the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact – with a commitment to take firm steps to make their data centres climate neutral by 2030.

Infintec

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(source: Computing)