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Green IT: Making digitalization sustainable with the cloud

by Editorial team
Magenta-colored logo of Deutsche Telekom's "#GreenMagenta" sustainability label
The Open Telekom Cloud makes cloud resources available in a climate-friendly way and is labeled with Telekom's "#GreenMagenta" sustainability label.

In this article you will read about,

  • why cloud computing is particularly resource-efficient
  • how companies benefit from the cloud and
  • what is important when choosing a cloud provider.


8 percent of global CO2 emissions by 2025: According to a forecast by the French think tank, The Shift Project, this is how high the digital economy's share of global pollutant emissions will be in five years. This would mean that the environment would be polluted more by IT than by motor vehicles. This makes it all the more important that companies pay attention to sustainable products and solutions in their digital transformation and private users do the same when it comes to digital solutions and devices. For this reason alone, companies should rely on the cloud. After all, with the help of cloud computing and virtualization, companies can help to reduce the energy consumption for their IT use. This not only relieves the strain on budgets, but also benefits the company's image. Cloud solutions operated from green data centers – such as the Open Telekom Cloud – are particularly positive for the environmental balance.

Save energy with the cloud

More and more data is migrating to the cloud: According to the KPMG study "Cloud Monitor 2020," 76 percent of companies in Germany alone are already using cloud solutions. The result: company-owned data centers are becoming smaller or disappearing completely. This is a sustainable development, because companies generally cannot organize their servers as energy-efficiently as the operators of large modern cloud data centers. For security reasons, companies often calculate their internal servers to be larger than necessary – so they are usually never fully utilized – but consume as much energy as if they were. This is because the energy requirements of a server depend on its operation, not on its degree of utilization. In addition, servers are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, so an air conditioning system that also consumes a lot of energy is indispensable.

Cloud solutions, on the other hand, are much more efficient and therefore more sustainable. Why? Because the virtualization of physical IT resources such as hardware, software, storage, and network technologies makes it possible to distribute these resources flexibly and according to demand to different customers and to optimize their utilization. In addition, many cloud providers overbook the virtualized resources because users do not fully utilize all booked resources at the same time. This also guarantees a more efficient utilization of cloud capacities.

Operators of large cloud data centers are also optimizing their energy requirements so significantly that their energy needs have increased less and less in recent years – despite a massive increase in performance. A development that is driven not least by users: energy efficiency and sustainability are becoming increasingly relevant for the IT industry for cost and image reasons. 

Green data centers for sustainable IT

In order to operate their cloud sustainably, companies should ensure that cloud data centers are climate-friendly wherever possible. Certifications that confirm energy efficiency can provide guidance. The Open Telekom Cloud, for example, is provided from the highly-secure Telekom data center Biere, which with 1.3 PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) requires 30 percent less energy than comparable data centers. A performance that has been awarded Gold status by the US certifier USGBC in accordance with the internationally recognized LEED rating. In addition, the Telekom data center is 100 percent powered by electricity from renewable sources.

But that's not all: In order to be able to operate the data center in an even more climate-friendly manner in the future, Telekom is working on various measures ranging from resource-saving retrofit projects and the review of sustainability criteria of suppliers to the optimization of infrastructure and operating processes. In addition, a technology analysis is planned in cooperation with a university. The goal: to further reduce the CO2 footprint. The data center is therefore an important part of Telekom's climate protection strategy. 

"#GreenMagenta": Telekom creates its own sustainability label

To create greater transparency in the area of sustainability, Telekom has created the "#GreenMagenta" sustainability label. It identifies Telekom products, services, and initiatives that make a special contribution to the environment and digital participation. For this purpose, a committee of experts from various specialist areas evaluates the proposed offerings. The Open Telekom Cloud is also marked with the "#GreenMagenta" label –because the cloud's energy requirements are covered 100 percent by renewable energies. The Open Telekom Cloud thus makes IT resources available in a climate-friendly manner and makes an important contribution to sustainable digitalization.


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