Sustainability challenge and related SDGs
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the volume of data generated in companies and organisations worldwide has seen exponential growth: from 6.5 zettabytes in 2012 to 64.2 zettabytes in 2020 (one zettabyte corresponds to one trillion gigabytes). The storage, processing and analysis of enormous amounts of data (Big Data) are increasingly being taken over by giant energy-consuming data centres: Global electricity consumption by data centres was 200-250 TWh1 in 2020, which corresponds to about 1% of the global final electricity demand. And the trend is pointing upwards.
To reduce the high energy consumption and the associated CO2 released into the atmosphere, it is crucial that companies and private users use more efficient solutions. The decarbonisation of core IT services, including data processing, storage, network and data platforms, is a crucial step to advance the sub-goals of SDG7 “Affordable and clean energy” and SDG 13 “Climate action”.
Possible solutions and their contribution to achieving the SDGs
Until the end of the 20th century, almost every organisation had a traditional data centre with local servers on site to manage the amount of data generated. In private households, data was stored and managed using CDs (and data DVDs) or USB storage drives. Such traditional methods of data processing were very inefficient because they had limited power and storage capacity, allowed only a limited number of users and needed a good internet connection to run smoothly.
Cloud services are much more energy efficient than locally or privately operated data centres due to their economies of scale.
According to a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the transition to cloud computing between 2021 and 2024 is expected to prevent around 629 million tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. For this reason, cloud computing solutions are an important step towards decarbonising organisations. In the concept of cloud computing, services such as storage space or computing power, but also software solutions are provided via the internet. For example, the user’s data is stored on server farms in a cloud via the internet, and the user can access the data from anywhere and at any time with a user account.
Companies with #EfficientCloud support organisations in saving energy, reducing their carbon footprint and conserving resources. This way, they contribute to SDG 13 and promote
Primarily related SDG Targets: 7.1, 7.3.1, 13.2.2
Investment Rationale and Growth Potential
The global volume of data has increased by 43% from 2010 to 2022. Today, more than 5 billion consumers interact with data every day – by 2025, it will be 6 billion, which is 75% of the world’s population. And the volume of data continues to grow incessantly: the IDC predicts that the global data sphere will increase from 33 zettabytes (ZB) in 2018 to 175 ZB in 2025. For comparison, if you could store the entire global data sphere of 175 ZB on DVDs, you would have a stack of DVDs that could circumnavigate the earth 222 times.
In terms of global ambitions to introduce more energy-efficient solutions to reduce greenhouse gases, efficient clouds represent a solution: they overcome the limitations of traditional IT, form the backbone of the global networking of people, companies and processes as part of Industry 4.0 and will continue to enjoy high demand in the course of the energy transition.
- 7.Affordable and Clean Energy
- 13.Climate Action