(republished from Do Your Part: September 8, 2011, Why It's Green to Send Gmail)
Companies often choose ‘cloud computing’ to save time and money. But a new report shows emailing in the clouds is also 80 times more energy efficient than in-house email. A recent study by the Carbon Disclosure Project revealed that cloud computing has the potential to reduce global carbon emissions by millions of metric tons. That study led Google to investigate how the services they offer stack up against the alternatives.
Google compared Gmail to the traditional email services that it says it has replaced in more than 4 million businesses. Google says it found switching to Gmail can be almost 80 times more energy efficient than running in-house email.
Google says cloud-based services are more efficient because they are typically housed in highly efficient data centers that use hardware and software built for the services they provide. Google’s cloud-based email servers are also largely housed and cooled in more energy efficient environments. The company also builds and designs its own servers to be as efficient as possible.
A recent study of data center electricity use found Google accounts for .8 percent of the world’s data center infrastructure, but only accounts for .011 percent of overall data center energy use.