As engineers pick cloud vendors for future SaaS products and IT offerings, we should consider the environmental impact of those computers.
My rough summary & ranking, as of December 2019:
- Google is carbon neutral using 100% renewable energy where available
- Azure is also carbon neutral, but only 60% renewable energy (uses credits to claim neutrality, plans to be 100% by 2025)
- AWS is the worst, with plans to be carbon neutral by 2040, using 50% renewables today
We should also consider fourth option: computers on-premises, which share the same carbon neutrality story as our buildings and AC. The cloud is often better: besides energy mix, you gain efficiencies in cooling, hardware, compute utilization… basically, economies of scale.
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