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How to Measure and Control Enterprise Cloud CO2 Emissions

An Open Data Center Alliance whitepaper published yesterday outlines how ODCA members BMW, Datapipe and Verne Global used the ODCA Carbon Footprint and Energy Efficiency Usage Model to track, evaluate and manage enterprise cloud CO2 emissions across the entire cloud ecosystem.

The proof-of-concept paper details testing scenarios, results and benefits achieved by measuring the carbon footprint of cloud IT operations from the perspective of a data center operator (Verne Global), a cloud service provider (Datapipe), and a consumer of cloud services (BMW).

In conjunction with the ODCA Carbon Footprint and Energy Efficiency Usage Model, the paper provides companies with a framework for comparing the CO2 emissions of products from cloud IT vendors and cloud solution providers, making it easier for any organization to specify and manage cloud services that are green and energy efficient, ODCA says.

The paper also recommends cloud service providers and subscribers select a “green” data center operator that sources power from a verified low-carbon power plant. The ODCA recommends that cloud service providers include this information in their service catalogs.

The cloud generally beats on-premise computing for energy efficiency, according to a study of IT products and services for small- and medium-sized businesses published last month. Often cloud computing offers greater diversity and can serve more customers at the same time, achieving better economies of scale, according to the report, The Carbon Emissions of Server Computing for Small- To Medium-Sized Organizations, prepared by WSP Environment & Energy in partnership with the Natural Resource Defense Council.

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