Reporting carbon emissions relating to Azure Cloud

Addressing climate change requires action across the global community. The Paris Agreement in 2015 is a binding commitment on 192 countries to cut global greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature rise this century to a preferred 1.5 degrees Celsius.  From a CO2 emissions perspective, this requires that global emissions are reduced by 7.6% annually this decade to ensure targets are met.  

To help meet these objectives, in an announcement last week, New Zealand (Aotearoa) has committed to its first action-specified emissions reduction plan with a government funding of $2.9b over 4 years. 

 Action is expected across the entire business spectrum – from government, consumers and employees themselves. Many businesses are engaging in sustainability initiatives to reduce their emissions.  For measuring the results of action, there remains a need to calculate the current level of emissions for activity businesses are currently engaged in

  1. What type of business activity should be considered for priority action? 
  2. How do I measure and gather data on our emissions? 
  3. How can this be reported and communicated to key stakeholders? 
Data storage as a contributor to global emissions 

An impact often hidden to many is the global CO2 emissions relating to digital activities – including email, internet search, and cloud computing/storage – that amount to 3.7% of all emissions. This is roughly the same level of emissions as the airline industry! 

Sustainability consultants are commonly sought to convert business activity into usable emissions data for analysis.  This provides business with a baseline status and opportunity for making decisions on actions as a result.  We have a recommendation for a simplified starting point for anyone who is using Microsoft Azure Cloud Services. 

For Power BI users, Microsoft has provided a free Emissions Impact Dashboard.  Downloading and connecting to your Azure tenant at a billing level allows you to track, analyse and report your entire business impact relating to cloud activity.  

If you are not 100% on Microsoft Azure, further inputs allow estimates and insights on potential emissions savings from any further migration of workloads to Azure.

Download and deploy today for your own business to explore current emissions relating to cloud. A perfect complement to your existing Sustainability reporting or the first step in reporting your companies impact to a range of stakeholders – both inside and outside of your business.  

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