European businesses have an opportunity to improve their competitiveness and emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis while contributing to a more sustainable planet. A sustainable journey to cloud is an imperative first step.

The cloud imperative

Now more than ever, CEOs need to prioritise a cloud-first approach to enable their companies to transform quickly and thoughtfully.


of European business leaders wished that they had modernised their IT systems faster.


European data centre capacity increase in 2019.


data centre capacity growth expected in 2020.

Migrating to cloud sustainably

But this double-digit growth comes with a price. The uptake of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) applications threatens to accelerate the energy demand for computing power. If Europe is to achieve its emissions targets as well as accelerate digital transformation, the approach to cloud must be sustainable.

Cloud migration can deliver the double benefit of simultaneously reducing costs and carbon emissions. Companies beginning their cloud journey confront several questions when considering options for green cloud:

1. Which cloud provider?

2. What level of migration is required?

3. Which cloud-driven innovations are prioritised?

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Public cloud providers are transparent about their environmental footprint.

The graphic below indicates the incremental levels of carbon reduction that can be achieved—the greater the ambition, the greater the reduction in carbon emissions.

Figure 1. Reducing carbon emissions

This graphic indicates the incremental levels of carbon reduction that can be achieved.

Europe has a unique opportunity to position itself as a leader in green cloud, due to two key factors:

  1. A growing number of European businesses are now monitoring the carbon impact of their procurement.
  2. The regulatory environment stimulates responsible use of data and investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This, in turn, can accelerate the digital transformation of European businesses, as well as spark a wave of innovation for European cloud-enabled sustainability solutions.

European companies beginning their cloud journey confront a number of questions. The decisions they make will directly determine how sustainable their solutions are and the benefits they drive. Those that choose wisely will gain unprecedented levels of innovation leading to both a greener planet and a greener balance sheet.

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